When I was asked about volunteering in my son’s kindergarten classroom, I hesitated, and thought, geeze don’t they have enough mom’s that come in? Will Mrs. R. really have enough for me to do, every Tuesday afternoon?
Now that I have a couple of weeks of volunteering under my belt, I have learned that Mrs. R. really does need the help, is so appreciative when I come in, and as far as having enough for me to do? I left that classroom on Tuesday thinking, who is going to volunteer to help me?
I was handed a stack of construction paper, some patterns to trace and a sample “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” for our reference. I sat at the head of the table and one-by one Mrs.R. called the anxious kids over.
I traced the pattern of Rudolph’s body - simple enough -no head, no legs, no tail. Great! I cranked out a few of these and thought, this is going to be easy. Next, was Rudolph's head, I traced a simple round shape, perfect.
“ I need antlers now!” said Nick. “Yeah I need antlers too!” said Travis. “Me too!” Erin yelled.
At that point, I rifled through my patterns for antlers. As I started to trace the intricate antlers, the demands were fired at me for bows, eyes and “What about my nose?” Erin yelled.
Just when I thought I was caught up, my “little angel” Ryan sauntered over. He plopped himself down in the seat directly on my right. Ryan was clearly in one of his silly moods. For his first trick, he took a glue stick and turned it all the way up, so the entire glue portion was exposed. His classmates informed me of this, as I traced my heart out.
“Ryan is the class clown!” Creighton laughed. Erin made the “ok” sign with her hand and showed me how Ryan flicks her over and over at quiet time. Ryan was the center of attention at the table and loved every minute of it.
As he sat and joked with his friends, his patterns remained untouched in front of him. Through clenched teeth, I whispered, “Ryan, do your project……Ryan do your project.” I got so desperate I pulled out the big guns. “You know, Ryan, Mommy won’t come in anymore…..if this is how you are going to behave.”
Perhaps it was this threat that turned Ryan’s attention back to his Rudolph or maybe it was just that his friends lost interest in his shenanigans. I’m not so sure. I was too busy tracing antlers, legs, bows, eyes and of course red noses.
The once neat and organized table was a disheveled disaster of construction paper, patterns, glue sticks, scissors and some odd looking Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
One Rudolph had two antlers, but each was a different color brown paper. One Rudolph had antlers glued at the base of his neck, while one had a leg missing. Ryan’s reindeer ended up with short antlers thrown together out of scrap tracings - ah the perks of having Mom volunteer!
While I was not sure if I did more harm than good that hour, Mrs. R. thanked me for my help, reassured me that all was fine and said, “It’s just organized chaos.”
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