Because Life's Like That

7:06 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?

It's true.

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.

"Anchovies?"

"No."

"Strawberry?"

(She was beginning to look annoyed.)

"Chocolate?"

Irritated: "No!"

"Vanilla?"

Sullen: "No."

Her older sisters exchanged glances. "What does it taste like, then?"

"Cake."

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.

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15 impressions

  1. Blogger, why on earth didn't you publish this Thursday like I asked? Goodness. I leave for two days and you ruin my reputation as a consistent blogger.

    Wow.

    p.s. I love college.

    p.p.s. I'll try to get the love & dating post up sometime next week. I've just been busy with finishing up a few things. Sorry!

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  2. Wow, I can't even say how hilarious this was! I coughed my dry throat drier. :) I miss smuff. And you. And mum. And Dad. Did daddy relate the horribly hilarious story of him trying to tell me how to pour the correct amount of medicine? While we were talking on the phone. :)

    *hugs*

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  3. I loved this. :D I used to regularly babysit a preschooler every friday fromn 7 am until 2 in the afternoon and I still look back in amazement at all the creative crafts and activities I thought up to do with her. We also cleaned her room every week, which thrilled her mother. :D

    Looking forward with great anticipation to the love and dating posts. :D

    Hugs,
    Julia

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  4. Oh, this made me laugh! :D Though I have to say, college=bad. :( My little siblings are BIG and there are far too few substitutes at college! :( This whole segregation thing of clumping only tons and tons of young adults together with a few harried older adults... :P I miss babies severely - thanks for brightening my day. ;D

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  5. God bless you. Don't worry, life does get crazy doesn't it? :) But God always helps us through it. Rose

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  6. Bailey, this post was THEE cutest thing! I giggled all the way through.

    Here are a couple of my favorite (and simple) things to do with pre-schoolers:
    ~ Shaving cream--the cream kind, NOT gel which turns into a cream. Put some old t-shirts on the kiddos and give them each a blob of shaving cream (at the table, of course). They love it, and they smell so fresh when they're done!
    ~ Raisins and 7-up (or Sprite or Sierra Mist). Pour the pop into a clear glass and drop several raisins in. Bubbles will attach to the raisins and carry them to the surface. Then, the bubbles pop and the raisins sink back down. It's *magical*. (Also, this is about the only thing raisins are good for, IMHO.)

    I can't wait to hear about college! I missed you ever-so-much on Thursday, but I was praying for a safe journey. Glad to hear you're home. (Aaaand...we leave tomorrow.)

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  7. Okay.
    So I truly laughed out loud at this post. Loved it. Thanks for all the tips.

    Little kids are sooo sweet. I am glad to have a few brothers and sisters around. Random hugs are a must. I would go hug one but all the little ones are in bed. Tear.

    (I should be in bed too, I think. Oh well!)

    Glad to hear you're enjoying college. You are at college...Right?
    Some how I haven't exactly heard for sure if you are. But I am guessing your comment above means, yes. And your post...
    (Sorry for the sort of obvious unsure question! It is late though. At least give me that. Oh. I do need to go to bed...)

    I am sure God will use you in the lives of many and you'll be a light in their life.
    Happy studying!

    Blessings,
    Leah

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  8. I love reading your blog : D Your energy and enthusiasm are just contagious, and I'm always smiling after I finish a post! I can't wait to read all about your time in a college dorm! : O I'm a senior in college, but a dorm is something I have yet to experience.

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  9. Hahahahaha:) I love little kids when they're that age.

    I'm not a big fan of crafts either. If it isn't practical enough I find it pointless. Some things are okay though. (If one can use them for something practical enough when finished.) :D

    Hope everything works out for you. :)

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  10. lol ! Loved this post,Bailey! And don't feel bad...Our homemade bubbles never worked,either, when we tried to make them:) And yes, tape doesn't always work for everything...I tried using it for a Children's Church craft...ummm...it didn't work...I learned the hard way...nuff said...

    Can't wait to hear about you college experience!

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  11. First off, I must say- the dialogue with your baby sister is priceless. The logic of small children makes so much sense that it goes right over our heads sometimes. =P

    Next, I must remark on crafts. You see, this post brought back memories from when I was five or six, and took part in a community activity run by some well-meaning little old ladies. For five days one week, my older sister and I went to the town hall every morning, where we did crafts. The thing was called "The Green Thumb club".

    My best (or I suppose it would be the worst) memory of the whole thing was when we made some craft to catch bugs. It had a fancy name, but my sister and I now just refer to them as "The Bug Inhalers".

    We made them with green putty, straws, and a plastic cup. I can't really remember how they worked, but once we put them together, the ladies took all of us children out of doors and let us loose to catch bugs. On the rare occasion that we spotted a bug and managed to get close to it, we sucked in through the straw and inhaled the bug we found. It was supposed to go inside the cup, but only one child managed this. The rest of us were not so fortunate.

    Best of all, the ladies in charge were oblivious to the fact that we were choking on spiders and ladybugs. I overheard one of them telling another something along the lines of: "This is such a great craft! It's such a fun thing for them to put together, and then it gets the kids out in nature! I made this with my grandchildren, and they loved it!"

    They went on, extolling the virtues of our Bug Inhalers, and I couldn't believe it!

    Anyway, don't feel bad about your inability to provide good crafts for kids. At least you recognize that the crafts are no good.

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  12. What do you mean you're at college, Lee?

    *stares around suspiciously*

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  13. Silly me! I should have clarified: I was just on a two day visit to my college of choice. But I still love it. (Minus the cafeteria, but you might hear about that later.)

    Bethany -- LOL! We were standing next to a headless, handless statue in the arts center while Daddy and you carried on that conversation. Fascinating.

    Jenny -- Me like! I am going to try that 7-Up and raisins one with all speed and certainty. I knew there must be a reason for raisins. If only mosquitos and frostbite proved as useful....

    Katherine Sophia -- I know. :( It stinks...something I am definitely not looking forward too. But there's a preschool affiliated with the school (for "lab work") and many of the professors have lots of little kids, so hopefully I won't die from baby deprivation.

    Abigail -- ROTFLOL! What on earth? That's almost as insane as throwing preschoolers together with straws and bubbles.

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  14. I am giggling hilariously at the Bug Inhalers. :D
    I can't wait to hear how your college visit was, Bailey!
    <><

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  15. Watch out Hillsdale, here comes Bailey...

    Much love,
    Allison

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