Yesterday, I had the terrifying task honor of watching 19 kids from 8 in the morning till 5 that afternoon. Granted, after lunch my numbers slowly dwindled as kids were picked up by family members until only about seven were left to stay on campus for the weekend. It was an interesting day (and by that, I mean it was interesting to see 1) how many times my patience was tested, 2) how many times I could tell a child the same thing I had told him five minutes ago, and 3) how many times my name was screamed by child A because child B had hit child A).
So, in honor of yesterday’s nine hours, I’d like to share nine things that I did:
- Prayed for a special gifting of patience when children were already arguing and pushing each other at breakfast.
- Sent a child to the office because she kept hitting the younger children, had an awful attitude, refused to listen to me, and would storm off and yell when she got mad. (I gave her 2-3 hours of time to adjust her attitude, and it just never happened.)
- Had five different times where I made two children sit in time-out because they had been fighting. Smiled ruefully because the poor five year old girl got picked on a lot and would retaliate when offended…so she was in time-out several of those times.
- Fixed up a little girl’s knees after she fell on the sidewalk when we came back from lunch. Lots of band-aids were used, at her insistence.
- Had to convince a five year old boy that telling me he didn’t hit someone when I saw him hit the other kid was not a very successful plan.
- Hit a volleyball back and forth with some of the older girls for a while (who of course were almost no trouble throughout the day. Mostly I was dealing with the younger kids when it came to trouble).
- Used mats in the gym to help three boys and three girls build two separate forts/clubhouses: one for the boys, one for the girls. Tried to explain to the boys that three mats for them and three mats for the girls really was fair.
- Freaked myself out when, in deep frustration, I wanted to use a folded-up copy of my time sheet to smack a boy’s shoulder when he continued to yell at me. Immediately wondered if I could be written up/fired for thinking about hitting a child with a piece of paper.
- Was ready to burst into tears relieved when 5:00 PM came and I could go home and collapse on my couch.
As you can imagine, many more things happened during that day, but I will stop with that. It’s safe to say I pretty much went home in a vegetated state and did very little else that evening.