Monday, June 27, 2011

A Great (and Exhausting) Week

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that busy, stressful weeks are not my thing.  And yet, this past week has been wonderful.  I am completely exhausted, my house desperately needs me, my husband has been so patient and undemanding, and we have the happiest child on earth.

If anything, she has made this past week worth the effort and time.

I was pretty nervous about the first day.  I hadn't been a classroom with multiple children for over three years, and I had never really worked with children so young, except for my own.  But Addie made all of my uneasiness melt away on our way home from VBS on Monday when she said, "Mom, you're a great teacher!"  Was that a confidence booster or what!


I must say , God gave me the best two assistants in the world!  I was the lead teacher but I had a helper teacher and a teen helper.  We made a great team.  I was the lead teacher because I was the one teaching the lessons and directing the flow of the day, but my helper was just as involved in every aspect of the day, classroom discipline, coming up with ideas, classroom decorating, hands on activities, and preparing as I was singing with the kids, taking them through their rotations, or teaching them their lesson. Our teen helper was the absolute sweetest girl and our little troop of 3 year olds loved her.  One little boy even had a crush on her and would tell her she was beautiful as he would leave.


But as I said before, all of this was really done on my part for my Addie girl. 

And I knew she loved it! 

Each day she woke up ready to get dressed, eat breakfast, and leave for church.  She even reminded Daddy that he couldn't take our family vehicle to work because we needed it to go to church (Brian has a work truck for work.... but you can never be too careful about these things). 

She fully participated in every activity and played so well with the other children.  I think her favorite time was playground time since my sweet little girl has a rough and tumble side to her.  On the first day of class, I had to stay in the classroom with a crying child while the rest of the group went to music class.  When Addie came back, she came running to me, "Mommy, we went to mucus class!  I danced like this!" (and she proceeded to do a little shimmy).   She was so proud of every art project she made and was sure that they were displayed on the fridge for Daddy to see when he came home.  There were daily notes and a review lesson that also came home daily.  She made sure that Daddy sat with her in the evening and did the activity on the back of the review with her and read the notes.  And I could tell that Brian loved being so involved.


Mommy is it my turn? was a phrase I heard often.  When you have to take turns at playing the organized games with ten children, waiting your turn can feel like an eternity for a three year old. But she was very good about waiting. 

Towards the end of the week, I could see how burnout was starting to take over.  Thursday was a little rough for her, and she burst into tears twice during class time.  On Friday, she had to sit in timeout because she didn't want to participate in the activity the rest of us were doing.  Sometimes, having Mommy for a teacher isn't such an easy thing.  And believe me, it was not easy putting her in timeout either.


Friday night was the closing program for our VBS.  It was Addie's first time being in a program and of course, Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, and Pops were all there to support their girl.  The first part of the evening was for the parents to visit the classrooms to see what their children had done and to collect the rest of their papers and work from the walls.  Addie walked Daddy through as he collected her work.  I wanted to make sure that this time was a special for her as it was for the other children. 



When performance time came, my little ham froze when she saw all of the people sitting in the pews watching the big group of preschoolers sing their three songs.  She looked at me, put her hands over her mouth, and those big brown eyes filled with tears, but she didn't cry.  She just stood there covering her mouth and looking scared.  I can't blame her.  At least she stayed up there.  When I was a little girl, I was terrified of being in front of people and would burst into tears and run to my parents. 


After the preschool part was over, Addie said hi to her grandparents and then went to sit with her little friend Amber and her family.  They are so cute together! They were even making their own plans to have another play date together.




We went to McDonald's for ice cream after the evening was over.  We knew that McDonald's is Addie's favorite place, and because the evening was all about her, we wanted her to feel very special.


VBS was such a success for us as a family.  I saw how thrilled Addie was being in an organized program and seeing your child thrive is a wonderful thing.  I don't know how much participation I will be able to have next year during VBS because Ian will be about 9 months and I intend to nurse for a full year, but I know that Lord willing Addie will definitely be participating in it. 


Our next program to look forward to is AWANAs coming this fall.  Brian was literally in AWANAS since he was two weeks old (my in-laws were AWANA leaders and Mom was back in full swing right away) so he was excited that Addie will get to participate in the same program he grew up in.  The churches we attended had other programs (Missionettes, Pioneer Girls, Girls in Action, etc.) so I never was a part of AWANAs growing up. 

Each stage of her life has been such a complete joy, but I can't believe how quickly these stages are coming and going.  There was time when Addie was an infant, and I was getting up in the middle of the night with her. I thought I would be in that stage forever.  Now that stage is a distant memory and I almost wish we could back and do it all over again just so she doesn't grow up faster than I am ready for her to. 

Now I know how my parents felt.

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