16 July 2006

Sunday skool

Linkateria: go there now. You need the laugh!


In an effort to become more like a real member of the human race, by which I mean someone who can be around small children without suffering a panic attack, I signed up to assist at Sunday school.

Well, that isn't entirely accurate. I signed up because Carol, the church administrator, made me. When Carol asks, one does not say "no." This is what makes her the perfect church administrator. But then I realized I could also use it as a Valuable Learning ExperienceTM that would Make Me A Better Person.

My childcare experience is limited by a number of factors, the primary one, of course, being a marked antipathy for children.

This began when I was a child myself. I always wanted to hang out inside with the adults and try to understand their jokes instead of being outside getting pushed off the monkey bars by Jeff Feely.

I remember being five and trying to play with our neighbor, Jeanna, who was four. Her mom told her that she had to share some of her candy with me. It was one of those long strips of cellophane packages from the grocery store, each of which has a few candies sealed inside it.

When Mrs. Parrack tore the strip in half, that made Jeanna's circuitry go all haywire. The sight of all her beautiful candy being divided and dispensed to another child caused what NASA would call "a major malfunction."

I sat there watching her convulse and scream turn red as a beefsteak and thought the rough equivalent of "Good god, girl. Get a grip." That seemed to be the type of thing I was always doing as a child - sitting back and gazing, in horror, at the idiotic behavior of my peers.

As I got older, I didn't take opportunities to be around children because it didn't occur to me that one would want those opportunties. And even though I had eight nieces and nephews (the eldest born when I was nine), they had the good graces to stay mostly out of state, leaving Dear Aunty Sue to forget their birthdays and important personal details ("And tell me your name again?") from a respectful distance.

As an adult, I have had plenty of friends who have chosen to breed (and some who have bred without consciously choosing to). I also have a surprisingly large number of childless friends - maybe we ganged together because of our similar world-view, which did not include welcoming little bundles of joy into our lives. Unless those little bundles of joy were cashmere sweaters.

This morning was my second time of being in close proximity to children who were my responsibility in...oh, gosh, my life, pretty much. Laugh away, all you moms.

And in Sunday School, we had a child who suffered a major malfunction. He lost his mind when his mom left him with us to go to church. It was my job to try to comfort the little guy while the teacher wrangled the other kids into a circle so we could commence indoctrinating them into the One True Faith (kidding. My church is slightly less dogmatic than The Oprah Show).

I did not succeed. My little pal was unconsolable. Screaming! Laying face down! Crying! And mom had to be fetched during the service to step in and save the day as only a mom can. But he and I both survived, somehow.

The cool part was that while I was watching him yell, I could see in his eyes what he was thinking.

The injustice! The unfairness! The horror of being a small little person without control over your circumstances! He seemed...well - human! I had a moment of emotional connection with someone under 15 years old!

"Yep, little man," I thought. "I know just how you feel. I didn't like being a kid, either."

12 comments:

gandhi rules said...

I suppose being able to relate to a screaming kid must be the beginning of some sort of enlightenment, no?

SUEB0B said...

One can only hope.

Lisa said...

You did way better than I would have. And I would have needed a bunch of ding-dongs to stuff in my face afterwards to level off the stress. heehee.

super des said...

That's one of the reasons I'm not alllowed in church; I show no age discrimination when I go on killing sprees.

Kentucky Girl said...

You are SO brave doing something like that. I really can't see myself ever doing that. Kids skeer me.

Holly Capote said...

Suebob, you are wicked funny. As funny or funnier than professional funny writers. Are you submitting your writing to editors? I don't know how many people visit your blog, but it seems a waste to not have a greater readership and not be paid to play the goof, rather than, day after day, be paid to sit in some cubicle.

Submit to submitting your writing.

Please.

wordgirl said...

Amazing!! In our church they always target the people WITH children to teach Sunday School. So there's no escaping your kids...or anyone else's...even for an hour.

annelynn said...

This is hilarious, and even more so because I can see myself in this very situation, wrangled into it by a similar good administrator. I have likewise little interest in children, though in the past ten years I've come to appreciate and coo over them, and their beauty really is astonishing.

I wouldn't have a clue as to how to deal with the little person you write of; I do think, though, that I would find kinship in his spirit of discomfort and rebellion!

Like Holly said, good writing.

Laura said...

YIKES!! You are mixing other people's children and religion!!

I am a teaching mother of twins and I don't do that!

You are BRAVE! Very brave!!

ToastedSuzy said...

Kids kind of creep me out, too. 'Cept mine, but he's not a kid anymore. He's a teenag... he's older.

I don't want to talk about it.

Anyway, you are to be commended. I would have run screaming from the room. I would have blaphemed, too, probably.

Thanks for the story,

TS

marian said...

Kids I can handle, but Sunday school? Never!

TB said...

That is great. I love the connection that you drew here. It's the way I need to start thinking about the little people instead of being intimidated by them.

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