May 16, 2012

Working With Children

Recently I've been putting unusual (for me) effort into finding activities to do with Henry beyond reading to him, coloring with him, and pretending to listen to blow-by-blow accounts of a pretend fight he had with a minotaur. He's my last child, and he's only got about a year and a quarter until he's in school all day with the other kids, so this is a stage of my life that's wrapping up. I feel like it took a big chunk of this school year to recover from the years of having three little kids at home most of the day, but now I'm ready to try a little harder.

One day we made our own set of Memory cards: we drew matching pictures on pairs, or used matching stickers. Then we played Memory.

One day we experimented with natural dyes: we thought about things that stain the worst (spaghetti sauce, grass), and tried to use those things to deliberately dye a couple of white handkerchiefs.

One day we tried dripping highly-food-colored water on (1) coffee filters, (2) paper towels, (3) newspaper, and (4) regular white paper, to see the different effects. We also tried a single drop of straight food coloring, to see how different that would be. We used a medicine dropper, a q-tip, and a paintbrush to put the colored water on the papers, to see how those were different.

One day we made peanut brittle and fudge, and noticed the effects of different temperatures and different ingredients.

One day we made collages from magazine pictures and wrapping paper, and then made cards for his preschool teachers.

And what I have learned from all this is that I can cross the whole "working with children" category off the Future Possible Jobs list. I hate it and it's exhausting.

44 comments:

PinkieBling said...

That summary paragraph killed me. I love you. :)

CP said...

Where is the LIKE (or LOVE) button?

Alice said...

HA! (i did one of those out loud when i got to the last paragraph. my coworkers love me.)

all that sounds lovely for, like, 3 days. then i would be ready to send the kid to school and watch some Bones marathons.

Melospiza said...

Heh. I hear you.

MomQueenBee said...

I jumped to your final conclusion a LOT sooner than you did. Loved the children, hated the activities. Hated.

Ann Wyse said...

But you get an A for effort!
(I hate it, too.)

d e v a n said...

haha! I like experiment/learning project "stuff" but I HATE playing with them. I don't like pretend. I don't like board games or tag or really... anything they like to play. Thank goodness they're getting old enough to play with each other and not need much from me. ha!

Shelly said...

HAHAHA! I was juuuuust starting to feel inferior when I got to the last paragraph. Yep. "Working with Children" is not on my career choice list, either.

Amanda said...

Me too!

Where are all the Moms that love that shit because if you ask, no one actually does? It's a conspiracy to make us feel bad. Who to blame?

:D

cindy kay said...

I loved doing that kind of stuff with my kids when they were little. But then, that's probably why I'm now going to school to become an Occupational Therapist....

Suzanne said...

I even hated READING about all those activities (food coloring! with a child! insanity!) so your last paragraph made my day. I would so much rather stick to reading a book while keep a watchful eye over his independent play in the sandbox.

Nicole said...

HAHAHA! Baking soda and vinegar volcanoes - that is all I have to say.

Sarah said...

I used to work with little ones and I didn't so much mind doing stuff like that with them. But, I don't really want to do any of that with my kids. Being paid and not being responsible for the laundry after a project probably has a sizeable impact on the desire.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. And agreed. Going out for donuts is much easier to take.

Stephanie

Sarah said...

Oh man, yes. But wait- didn't you used to work in a daycare? Was it more rocking babies, less entertaining preschoolers?

Swistle said...

Sarah- Yes! I worked with pre-walking infants---so it was bottles, diapers, singing, and patting backs!

Bibliomama said...

Yup. I like reading. "Let's read a book. For six hours. Okay?"

Lauren said...

Exhausting and messy!

I am lucky to have my parents living nearby so I just wait until my mom wants to play and then I suggest these projects for special Nanny time. And we all win.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Love this! I agree with the first Sarah- not being responsible for the clean up/laundry would make many of these activities so much more enjoyable!

Laura Diniwilk said...

Best conclusion ever.

This reminds me of trying to teach Adriana Candyland and learning that I have no patience for toddler shenanigans.

Katie said...

This is timely - I just made a jar full of activities for my 4.5 year old to do when we can't think of anything else to do and the TV is calling - and also probably the funniest thing I've ever read. Which probably has to do with the timeliness of it. But still freaking funny.

Joanne said...

This is killing me, I was reading it, and thinking holy crap that sounds like the worst thing EVER and then I read your last paragraph and laughed out loud. What a relief!

minnie said...

ahahaha. i swear i thought i would like doing that shit with mine but i also mostly hate it!

although we did have fun making pastries with that pre-made flakey pastry dough the other day. we just cut out shapes, sprinkled it all with sugar cinnamon and butter and wrapped them up in silly shapes and baked. the best part was getting flour and sugar ALL OVER THE KITCHEN. not.

Leigh said...

This made me laugh. I tried putting together an alphabet book with my older daughter when she was 4, and gave up somewhere around K.

I enjoy playing with my kids much more now that they're old enough to play Scrabble competitively.

Tess said...

I wish I could fully describe how much I love this.

LoriD said...

LOL - I don't like those things either. I would much rather take them somewhere or kick around a soccer ball than have to think about/ plan/ clean up real "activities".

Tommie said...

All I could think about as I read this was, "Damn, she had some serious messes to clean up." And..."My nine year old would want to KEEP every single thing we put stains/dye/colored water on and we have enough 'crafts' to deal with."

I was relieved, like so many above me, that you hate it too.

Sara Hammond said...

Haha!! Did not see that conclusion coming! And kudos for even coming up with such great ideas!!

Doxie said...

I never had time to play like that when my kids were little...they did a great job entertaining themselves...now as a grandmother...I love to sit on the floor and play games, color, etc. Haven't tried any experiments with the grandchildren. I do enough of that as a first grade teacher! try it with 22 kids!!

Ms. Key said...

LMAO! I'm an elementary school teacher, so I.... love that stuff. To each their own! I don't have my own kids, however... and I can honestly say, I would bet anything I will have a lot less patience for this stuff with my own kids than I do with the kids at my job.

I would imagine that I'll be so tired of doing that stuff in my day job that I won't be interested in doing it at home too! LOL. But... that's what school will be for when my future kids get there. Ahh, the circle of life.

Misty said...

But look how awesome you are. I can barely throw cereal at my kids when I get home from work, I'm so tired/overwhelmed.

It only makes sense, you know. You've spent mortal years in the company of mostly children. Perhaps you'd like something a bit different.

Superjules said...

HA HA! I love this.

Slim said...

Is Henry loving it? Does he want to know what you have planned for today, or is he sneaking out back to dig a hole with a stick and plant pine cones?

Swistle said...

Slim- Fortunately, he only loved about half the activities---or sometimes half of a single activity. But unfortunately it still seems to have set up a "What are we going to do TODAY?" concept!

Maggie said...

HA! I was starting to feel sad that I don't have time to do all of those things with my nearly 3 YO, then I got to the last paragraph and remembered - yeah, I hate that crap. Also my kids would keep every. single. thing. and my house is already full.

My 3rd grader recently had to build a bridge for school and I was nearly homicidal by the time that project was over. I am . . . not crafty or patient.

fatj said...

This right here is why you are one of my favorite bloggers.
It's also why whenever I decide to resume working I'm going to be in for a career quandary. I taught elementary students before I had kids. And what have I learned from having kids? I don't like DOING any of this crap with kids.

Doing My Best said...

My problem with projects like this, other than the homicidal rage that inevitably boils up at some point during the activity, is that my kids want to keep EVERY!THING! we make, and I just can't deal with that x5 (or even x1, but I'll blame it on the 5). Yay you for trying!!

Anonymous said...

you kill me....LOVE your brutal honesty and I can so relate. thank you thank you thank you :)

Jenny said...

I howled when I read this. Then I read it to my husband, and he laughed too.

Anonymous said...

Echoing another commenter above: I just finished my first year of teaching (4- & 5-year olds)...and I'm not sure I want kids anymore. I know the first year is supposed to be hell (indeed it was!), and people keep telling me "It's different when they're your own," but I'm sorry, "My finger hurts" is going to be annoying even if I hear it from my own spawn. Jesus.

Anonymous said...

You are the antidote to my mommy guilt.

amyunicorn said...

LMAO! Surprise twist ending! I wouldn't have made it through half of those activities before admitting defeat. And I had originally gone to school for Early Childhood Education! Yikes!

Umiyyad said...

Oh thank you, thank you - I cried with laughter... for myself, I got to that point of realisation after the very first time I gave my first child a crayon... but still feel inferior to all those craft-loving moms out there!

Thanks for making my day!

Good Enough Mom said...

Me, too, sister. Me, too.
But I'm sure your little guy LOVED it!