Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kindergarten Mom

Today I got to be Kindergarten Mom. I volunteered in Christopher's class this morning. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed being in a school classroom, but it didn't take me long to remember how thankful I was that I never taught kindergarten! Wow. What a lot of activity in that room today!

I got to work with the rhyming station - helping the kids match rhyming words with pictures. It was exciting to see the ones who got it, and frustrating to work with the ones that didn't have a clue what I was talking about. I know that all comes with time, and those kids will get it eventually, too.

One thing that really shocked me was what I saw during their first nutrition break. I was a bit curious to see what other kids had packed in their lunches because, naturally, I was comparing my kid to the others. I was shocked at how much junk food and convenience food was packed in these little kindies' lunchboxes! Snack packs of meat, cheese, crackers and a mini candy bar, yogurt tubes, Jell-O cups, Twinkie stuff (they're called something else here, but I don't remember because I never buy them), candy, candy and more candy. That's not to say that I don't ever give my kids a fun treat with some of this kind of stuff, but seriously! Some of these little kids had lunchboxes FULL of convenience foods! Not only is it not good for them nutritionally, but think about how expensive that can get, too!

I was also shocked at how much Christopher ate at his first nutrition break. They have two breaks during the day and the kids are supposed to eat half of their lunch during the morning break and half during the afternoon. Christopher ate almost everything during the first break and then asked me if I had anything else in my purse that I could put in his lunchbox for second break! Yikes! I think I'd better pack him a bit more next time. The only problem is that I'm running out of ideas of things to pack. We can't pack anything with any type of nuts, nor are we allowed to send egg-based dishes...no egg sandwiches, egg salad, boiled eggs, etc. It's a school wide policy because of allergies.

Anyone have any suggestions of what to pack in a lunch box for hungry boys? We also have a very 'green' school. We use reusable , recycleable or compostable containers only, and we're asked to keep garbage to a bare minimum. I'd love to hear some suggestions of non-messy, economical and delicious ideas to send in the boys' lunches! Thanks!

After Christmas I get to be Kindergarten Mom and Grade 1 Mom! I'm looking forward to that. I already help out in Stephen's class, but it's mostly on a drop-in basis, or send-work-home-with-Stephen basis. I love being in the kids' school and appreciate the fact that I am getting to know the staff and students and vice versa. What a great way to be involved and to be a part of their lives and to let the staff get to know our family.

I'm also glad that I'm not a kindergarten teacher. Oh, the headaches I would have! On the flip side, I'd also be blessed with hundreds of special little gifts and drawings and tokens of affection. I guess maybe it wouldn't be that bad after all!

Monday, November 22, 2010

So Sweet!

I got to meet my new niece, Elyssa, today! She is soooo addictingly sweet! I'm sure that Henry and Jo will agree with this, but this little baby is almost perfect! The whole time I was there she was just looking around as quiet as could be ... until Mommy tried to changer her diaper, that is. She wasn't so thrilled about that, but after that disruption was over and she was back in Mommy's arms, she was calm and quiet again.
Methinks girls have different temperments than boys right from the beginning. None of my guys were this calm and peaceful at five days old! Holding that little sweetpea ALMOST made me wish that we would have had a girl, but then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and remembered why I'm glad that we don't. I'm not a girl's mommy. I'm really not. I don't know how to do hair or clothes or shoes or decorating or shopping or any of those other feminine things that 'girls' do. I scrape by looking presentable in all those areas, but I just don't have the knack nor the desire to deal with things like that. Ok, so I can cook well enough, and I can bake. I can take care of kids. I can snuggle with my husband. But that's about it for the stereotypical girl stuff, I think.
Before each of the boys were born, I had experienced quite a bit of panic at the thought of one of them being a girl! What if the baby would have been a girl and then grown into one of those types that was all lacey and frilly and loved perfumes and princesses and parties?! What if I would have had to learn to French braid hair or tie bows on poofy dresses?! Would I have to go into the girls departments to look for ruffle-y socks and tights with patterns that matched dresses with flowers on them?! I guess I probably could have learned all that, but I do believe that God knew that I could handle boys much easier.
OHHHH and another thing! Last weekend my friend (who is a mom to five girls) and I were helping out with a friend's daughter's wedding. We were peeking into the future when our own children might marry. My poor friend is going to have to plan FIVE weddings!!!! I will get to attend three. Whew!
And what about that adolescent time when girls' hormones start to act up and emotions begin to run rampant?! Oh my goodness! I can hardly handle my own crazy hormones at times! How in the world would I be able to deal with a bunch of girls that are just being introduced to theirs?! I'm sooo thankful for my boys! God sure knew that I could handle boys and not girls. I think it takes special women to be mothers of girls and I am so grateful for all of you...because that way I didn't have to be one of them. God has given you a very special gift and I admire that in you.
Now, that all being said .... I can hardly wait to get back over to Jo's this week to go see that little princess and hold her and squeeze her and kiss her and love her ... and then give her back to her rightful mommy who will help her grow up to be a beautiful woman inside and out! Welcome to the world, Elyssa Margaret! I've fallen in love with you already!
(I'm not sure why this is not breaking up into paragraphs. I've tried to fix it several times and it just isn't cooperating. Sorry about that!)