so today . . . my fuse was short. luckily i have good self control . . .
when you work with small children, some days you either laugh or scream. or put your head down on your desk and picture white, sandy beaches . . . i try to choose to laugh when i can, but today, screaming almost won out.
four year old brains do not function like adult brains. duh! but when you spend way more of your time with four year olds than you do with adults, it is easy to forget that. you kind of start to think that they think like you do. they do not.
it is sad to say that my "peeps" are mostly four or five years old! and most days i enjoy being with them, but i admit there are some days when i just want to throw paperwork at them, and sit at my desk until they bring it to me all neatly and correctly completed. because there are days when it is really hard to embrace all that being a four year old means. like choosing just the right crayon. even if it takes FOREVER!
today i was working with the pre-k kids on number concepts--you know, how much is the number "two," really . . . and what does the number "three" look like, in terms of quantity . . . and why is "one" a lonely number . . . ? these are the burning questions four year olds need the answers to. my solution, before handing them the requisite paper to complete, was to work with their crayons.
crayons seemed like such a good choice. they use them all the time, so it wouldn't be like a new toy that they would want to explore. they each already had crayons within arm's reach. and they had more than three--perfect, i naively thought . . .
so i said, "ok, today we are going to use our crayons to show how many," and then proceeded with the lesson. they seemed to be with me. they were listening (at least, they were looking at me which i took to mean that they were listening--but maybe they were thinking about white, sandy beaches . . . or legos) and then i said, "show me two crayons."
you would think i had asked them to build a nuclear reactor.
two crayons! that is all i was asking for. take two crayons out of your pencil box and lay them on the table so i know that you know how many two is. but apparently they couldn't pick up just any two crayons. apparently there were two crayons that would result in the right answer, while all others would be wrong. ok, i can wait. and wait. and wait.
finally the chosen crayons are presented, and thankfully they have all chosen the right number. i would love to just call it a day right here, but i still have the numbers one and three left. it's a toss up, but i ask for one crayon. that goes pretty quickly--they put their little hands in and pull out a crayon. now THAT's what i am looking for! ok, let's move on to the number three. and let's do it quickly, because it is almost snack time . . .
"quickly" is not even in the building. they paw through their crayons. they make as much noise as possible pawing through their crayons. they choose one. but that isn't enough, so they look some more. "is this crayon blue?"
WHO CARES!!! JUST PICK THREE CRAYONS AND LAY THEM ON THE TABLE!!!!!!!! THE COLOR IS IRRELEVANT!! I JUST NEED TO SEE THREE! THREE!!! ANY COLOR WILL DO!!! JUST PICK THREE!!!
i don't actually scream these words. oh yes, they are careening around in my head, but i have enough self control to keep them in there. all that escapes my lips is, "no, that is indigo. did you want the blue crayon?"
no wonder some days my head feels like it is going to explode. all those upper case letters and exclamation points are trapped inside . . .