Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Balloon day

Today in council time, Tiffany was telling the kids the story about Saul and his son Jonathan from 1 Samuel 14. Basically, Jonathan ate some honey he didn't know he wasn't supposed to eat, and Saul said that whoever did it would be killed. When it turned out to be his own son, Saul wanted to still go through with it.

Tiffany was at this point in the story when she said that she couldn't believe that Saul would actually murder his child at all, much less for such a stupid reason.

"I'm a parent, and I can't imagine killing my son because he ate some honey!" she explained. I leaned over to Sarah .

"Maybe she would if it wasn't organic," I joked. Sweet Tiffany is my "tree-hugger" friend. Sarah looked back at me and laughed.

"Well, it it wasn't organic, it would kill him anyway," she replied, dryly.


Today Sarah and I had a group of girls at the drinking fountain after game time, waiting for the rest of them to finish up, when two of the girls who were finished started playing with my Aggie ring and wedding rings. The one with my wedding ring kind of scratched herself with it, and I told her to be careful because it could hurt her.

She looked at me quizzically and then back down at the ring.

"Wait, is that a real diamond?" she asked, incredulously.

"Well, I really hope so," I replied, laughing "or I'm going to be pretty mad at my husband."


My group of girls seems to be multiplying every time I come back, which is wonderful and terrifying all at once. We're up to nine kids! It's not all that bad for handbook time since everyone (mostly) stays seated and Sarah and I tag-team and get everybody who wants to say verses covered, but game time... oh, that's another story.

My first problem with game time is that the kids have a tendency to want to sit down or run around or just be wild in general. When we have one game director and two circles (one boys and one girls), it gets hard to hear all the instructions for each game and then, of course, re-explain said rules to the girls who were too busy spinning around or talking to one another or looking at the ceiling or daydreaming about unicorns to listen.

My second problem is that I've resolved to not lose control of the kids during game time like I did last year. Last year, many would simply refuse to participate, instead sitting down and complaining of imaginary ailments and injuries. Not this year. No way, man. I'm a drill sargent this year.

"Get back on your feet, ladies! We're 4th graders! We don't sit down! Sitting down is for 3rd graders! We're better than that! YOU'RE BETTER THAN THAT!!"

Okay, so I'm not that harsh, but I have indeed used the phrase "we don't sit down; we're 4th graders."

Anyway, today was balloon day, and a lot of drama comes with balloon day.

I found out tonight that a single red balloon can simultaneously turn nine sweet little girls into raving lunatics. Between games, I'm holding the balloon like the responsible leader that I am, and over and over I have to deny requests to gain possession of said balloon.

"Can I hold the balloon?" "I must touch the balloon!" "I need the balloon!" "I will actually die right now if I don't have the balloon in my hand in the next five seconds!" "GIMMEE gimmegimmegimmegimme the ballooooooooooon!!!!"

I'm quite sure you will survive without holding the balloon, ladies. Just calm down now.


Evidently balloon day entails a lot of leader participation. Namely, blowing up the balloons, popping the balloons, and occasionally demonstrating the games for the kids.

And that's where we run into trouble.

You see, this may come as a surprise to you, but I'm actually not the most graceful person in the world. I'll give you a moment to pick yourself up off the floor, because I'm sure you need some recovery time from that shocking news. Take your time.

So when the game director tells me to blow up a balloon, tie it off, run around the game circle with it, then put it on the floor and pop it with my foot, I'm thinking "oh yeah, I can rock this. I've done this thousands of times in Awana." The girls are chanting my name and "Eye of the Tiger" begins playing in my head.

And then right after I awkwardly fill the balloon with air, I realize that I suck at tying balloons off. My finger is stuck inside the latex loop I've made and I'm trying desperately to pull it out as other leaders whip around me like olympians.

And then there's the part where I finally make it around the game circle, put my balloon on the floor, lift my leg up and bring it down swiftly on what turns out to be the side of the balloon instead of the top, tripping me and almost bringing me down. Smooth. The balloon, in the meantime, floats off toward one of the girls who's foaming at the mouth because oh-my-gosh-she-might-actually-get-to-touch-the-balloon-and-sqeeeeee!!!

And my personal favorite? The game where you put the balloon between your knees and have to hop all the way around the circle with it there as you wonder whether the too-big-in-the-waist jeans you're wearing are going to slip completely off as you jump around the circle like a loon.

Oh, the things we do for the kids.


Sarah D said...

Oh my goodness, this blog is hilarious!! Made me laugh out loud at work. Maybe I'll just steal it for my blog post since I was a witness...jk.


Oh, and nevermind the fact that I just 'had' to keep score instead of looking like 'a loon'! Maybe I'll take my turn next week....

Mandy and Jack said...

Steal away! And yeah, you're quite the strategist. I'm on to you, Sarah D.

Tiffany said...

Oh, how did I miss this post last week?? Thanks for the laughs. I love the "4th graders don't sit down!" line--I will have to use that!

You forgot to mention the part about how you almost knocked Diane to the ground while you were running around the circle. You were so focused! :)

I am SO thankful for you and Sarah. You ladies rock!

Mandy and Jack said...

It was probably because I was just. trying. to. get. around. the circle. for. goodness. SAKE!

Or because secretly, I wanted to beat all the other leaders. Yeah, that may have been it.

But probably the first one.