Because Life's Like That7:06 AM
Today, a day when you are in school or in your home doing school or once went to school, I will not be in school. I will be at college, singing in the choir, giggling at my all-time favorite play (The Importance of Being Earnest, of course), sleeping in the dorm, bugging people and wondering if I can smuggle in my baby sister as a stuffed animal.
Since I am pinging off the walls, I am not thinking very deeply, and thus have nothing to offer except my dealings with preschoolers and paint.
Anybody who knows me knows that I am no good at crafts. Not only am I no good, but I also do not enjoy them to any negative nth degree. It's a pity, considering how much I adore little kids and how much little kids are inexorably tied up with crafts. (Don't you love using big words out of context -- and knowing almost nobody can call you out on it without scouring the dictionary?) I would have made a wonderful preschool teacher, you know, if we studied Romanticism and wrote papers on psychology.
But I find that not even in homeschool settings are preschoolers interested enough in that sort of stuff. So I cry pity -- especially because I am a preschool teacher. A preschool teacher who runs on grape juice while she stays up till midnight surfing the Family Fun website for crafts that won't bore the boy, endanger the girl's health and require an early morning run to Walmart for impossible-to-find craft items.
This week was Mad Scientists, because I wanted an excuse to introduce Daniel Flankyn and Smufflepuffs to play dough volcanoes. So we were going to do many mildly dangerous "science experiments" -- like bubble blowing. Did you know that if you mix three cups of water, one cup of lemony dish soap and one-fourth cup of corn syrup (which is different from cornstarch, in case you're as ignorant as I), you can create a semi-bubblious yellow substance? AND that if you tape three striped straws together, you can form a pathetic substitute for a bubble wand and blow bubbles once out of every thirty-three tries?
Another fascinating tidbit you may not have known unless you're a preschool teacher is that you can paint with bubbles. According to Family Fun, if you mix one cup of that semi-bubblious yellow solution with one-half cup of red tempera paint and then blow bubbles with a straw and then place a sheet of paper on top, you can create bubble prints. Sounds fun, no?
That's what I thought. Preschoolers + paint + bubbles = unlimited happiness. I even slit a hole in their straws so that the red paint bubble solution wouldn't travel back up the straws into their mouths.
Whoever came up with the idea that slitting the straws so that the red paint bubble solution wouldn't travel back up the straws into their mouths obviously has not studied Newtonian theory -- or whoever it was who studied the physical properties of red paint bubble solution. It turns out that "have preschoolers, will get a mouthful of red paint bubble solution." And the red paint bubbles didn't even make anything but the most cryptically invisible mark on the paper.
As an aside, if you create caterpillars out of egg cartons (which I suggest you do if it snows the day you were supposed to collect mud and make mud cupcakes), don't use Scotch tape to attach the pipe cleaner legs. You will spend the rest of your week fixing caterpillar amputations. Pull out the hot glue gun and face the inevitable burn.
Another free tip? Keep a steady supply of Skittles on hand. It's amazing how smart preschoolers can be in the presence of candy.
Since we're on the topic of preschoolers, I thought I'd introduce a profound conversation I had with my baby sister. I had just come from creating havoc in my life and stood sadly beside my sympathetic sister: "I have issues," I said.
She lit up. "Me see!" And she stared at my feet.
"Issues, Princess, issues."
"Me see shoes."
Later I asked her where she kept her issues. She grinned: "Upstairs." A wise place to keep issues, friends.
We also enjoyed the topic of chocolate birthday cake flavors.
"What does it taste like?" Bethany prompted.
"Um," she said.
(She was beginning to look annoyed.)
Her older sisters exchanged glances. "What does it taste like, then?"
May we all be as wise as a toddler. And if you have a little sibling, you should go hug him right now in honor of all the good younger siblings do (or did) to entertain us.
P.S. Stay tuned for the next Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Gazette, where one brave unsocialized homeschooler dare spends the night away from home...in a college dorm. With people.