A Child-ish Week

This week I’ve been spending my mornings with preschoolers. The preschool teacher at our church is on vacation, so I’m technically filling in for her, but the assistant teacher runs the show since she knows the kids, and I am an extra set of eyes and hands (and sometimes an extra corrective voice). The under five set is probably my all-time favorite demographic of people. They are energetic, curious, excited, and generally unguarded. They wear their hearts on their sleeves. I love to watch them discover the world. “This thing kind of looks like that thing!” “I saw this same thing at that place!” It often doesn’t take more than sharing rhyming words, a silly saying, a new song, or a simple “life hack” to light up one of those little faces with a smile of joy or confidence. I also enjoy the challenge of deciding when or whether to intervene for them. Sometimes they need my help, but sometimes they need to struggle a little and figure it out on their own. There are times that I could tell them how to do something properly, but other times it is perfectly fine for them to do it in a different way. On the other hand, there are times when I could let them tough it out but other times when they just need a hug and a helping hand. After all, they are still so little. Three or four or five years is not a long time to have been alive! That blows my mind every time, thinking about just how new children are to our world.

I observed many chuckle-worthy moments and thought I would share them here. I LOVE preschooler stories.

-The teacher showed the class a photo she took of a boat on the Sea of Galilee on a visit to Israel some years ago. As one of the little girls was looking at the picture she looked up at her teacher, confused, and asked, “But where are you in the picture?” The teacher explained that she was the one taking the picture, but that didn’t seem to ease the confusion. Once I added, “It isn’t a selfie, it’s only a picture of the boat,” that seemed to clear things up.

-I love a good non-sequitur, and one of my little friends can usually fill my quota for such statements… one morning he raised his hand to tell me that “lasers are good for getting bad guys because they can pew really far.”

-When talking about Presidents’ Day and how some presidents’ faces are on our money, a little boy turned to a friend and said he saw one of those guys on money that he “gave to Jesus at church.” His friend said, “to Jesus?” and the little boy said, “Yeah, you know- Jesus? [Pointing up] He’s dead?” Oh, that Jesus. 😉

-I also thoroughly enjoyed that one of the children says “next what” instead of “guess what” before sharing exciting news with teachers and friends.

Speaking of childhood, a piece of mine came screaming back to me last night when I happened to hear a reggae song that sounded kind of familiar. You may or may not (and probably don’t) know that in 1991 Disney released a CD called “Sebastian: From The Little Mermaid.” But we had this CD and I remember really enjoying it. The only song from the movie is “Under the Sea” (naturally), but other than that it’s just an album of Sebastian and Ariel singing covers of reggae songs. Since I didn’t love the idea of shelling out $99.99 or more for a used copy, I asked my dad if it’s still among his collection, and he found it! Soon I will have these songs for my very own. I’m sure it will be… not as good as I thought it was when I was eight years old. I did find a couple of the songs on YouTube and had fun remembering days and songs gone by. Now you, too, can enjoy Sebastian’s take on a beloved classic:

That’s it from me… off to preschool!

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