Monday, September 26, 2011

The Zen of Working With Very Small People

For the past month I've been working with very small people.  We're talking seriously small people.  So small they don't even talk yet.  At least not in any manner discernible to the average adult.  These wee ones are just beginning to experiment with the spoken word.  Lately, the most frequently used word in our classroom is "woof!" 

Most people wouldn't last an hour in this situation, let alone eight hours a day, five days a week.  It takes a hardy soul to keep from running out screaming.  Already I've had several colleagues ask how I get through the day without shooting myself.  (Of course, the answer to that is simple... guns are outside toys and not allowed at the Home for Wayward Wee Ones.) 

The key to survival is to attain a zen-like state in which you contemplate everything these small people do with a kind of wonder and reverence.  Their babbling becomes quite conversational if you listen closely.  I often wonder if it's a secret language that babies understand perfectly.  And their persistence in learning to do all the simple tasks of life that we take for granted is rather astounding when you stop to think about it.  Some successes may seem mundane while others are truly exquisite...

We have a long, low easel in our classroom on which paper is always available for exploring different media. Three of the children worked together over the course of several days to create this combination of watercolor, tempera and crayon.

I have no idea how long I'll be working with these four wee ones, aged 11-14 months old, but I'm trying to make the best of the time I have with them.  It's a physically exhausting job but there is a peace that comes when they are finally asleep with the lights turned down low and quiet music on in the background.  Rocking a small child to sleep can be a form of meditation when you match your breathing to the back and forth movement of the chair.  It certainly gives me time to think about what I want to do next with my life... 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Catching Up is Hard to Do

Blogging is a funny thing.  You get on a roll and all is blissful as you exchange banter back and forth with other like-minded people out there in cyberspace.  But woe betide you if you stray from the path for any length of time. 

After awhile people start to wonder if you've broken a limb or something and start sending condolence cards.  The longer you go between posts, the fewer and farther between the inquiries become until one day you wake up alone in the dark, with no one to make you laugh or snort Dr Pepper out your nose. 

So, you begin the long trek back to your cyber-friends.  And a long trek it is.  Do you have any idea how long it takes to catch up on a blog roll that has some fifty people... or more?    Catching up is hard to do.  I'm working on it, but I keep finding myself channeling Neil Sedaka as I work my way back...

Don't take your love away from me
Don't you leave my blog in misery
If you go then I'll be blue
'Cause catching up is hard to do

Remember when you read me, right?
And you laughed at me all through the night
Think of all that we've been through
Catching Up Is Hard To Do

They say that catching up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that this is the end
Instead of breaking up I wish that we were catching up again

I beg of you, don't say goodbye
Can't we give our blogs another try
Come on baby, let's start a new
'Cause catching up is hard to do

It may take me awhile, but I promise I'll catch up as soon as I can!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Stuck: A Magpie Tale

Stuck in the mud
Wheels spinning
The more you try
The farther you sink 
Until you're totally immobilized 

Spring turns to summer 
And summer turns to fall
Rust begins to form
Yet you keep on fighting it

Sooner or later
It's best to give in
Get out of the truck
And walk back into town
Before winter closes in on you
And you're stuck there forever

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Willow over at Life at Willow Manor  has been providing inspiration for bloggers with her photo prompts on a site called Magpie Tales.  Be sure to check out the other fabulous writers participating in Magpie Tales this week.  You'll be glad you did! 
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