Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm a Survivor

I subbed primary on Sunday.

It leads me to wonder . . . why did God bother sending Job boils? All he had to do was lock him in a tent for two hours with half a dozen Sunbeams*. Same difference.

Oh, wait. The point was for Job to survive his trials. Forget about the Sunbeams, then.

I subbed Grant's class, specifically. You'd think I'd say "we" subbed it since I thrust the baby daughter at a passing sucker and drafted Kenny into battle. "Elder's quorum today? Oh, I don't think so, husband. This is the worse part of 'for better or worse.' You're helping.'" However, he had to spend his entire time subduing the one truly wild child in the class: Grant. Of course.

Kenny is convinced Grant's just a little immature. I'm convinced Grant doesn't understand the concept of "Chairs." I have two years of direct observation in sacrament meeting to support my theory.

Apparently, last week the two (yeah, TWO) Sunbeams classes must have been pretty um, epic, because they brought in special weaponry to subdue the natives this week: Birdies. That they had to sit on to keep warm. 


Little laminated birdies which each kid had to keep under his bottom or the birdie would get cold. "Ethan, get back in your seat. Ethan! In your seat, NOW. Leave Sister Johnson's skirt alone. Don't you care that your birdie is DYING? What is wrong with you?"

I can't say I was comfortable sitting on my bird because I kept seeing its one little eye staring up at my . . . me. Up at me. 

And all that was just sharing time. The only sane moment was when our six Sunbeams lost themselves in their dramatic interpretations of "The Snowman Song." Then they herded us down the hall to a tiny little shoebox of a room. They opened the door and waved us in, then shoved a battered manila envelop full of pretzels and thimble-sized paper cups at us before pulling the door closed and holding it shut on the other side. Kenny beat on it and yelled but they still wouldn't let him out.

I did have a few tools. I had smuggled in a baggie of mismatched crayons and some printer paper. "Okay, kids. Draw a picture of yourself." They did. It was sad. Based on the portraits, I think they might have terrible self-esteem.

After the last parent wandered by to pick up their child after church (and let's give them credit for that, because if those were my kids, I would have been bolting for the getaway car after the last Amen), we straggled back to the primary room to return the hardtack and grog they had provisioned us with. (Of course, one of those kids WAS mine but we couldn't outrun him.)

"How did it go?" the primary president asked brightly. How do they all have the exact same tone of voice regardless of their age, race, or throat polyps?

"How did it go? HOW DID IT GO? I'll tell you how it went--" but then Kenny dragged me out before I could finish screaming obscenities.

Guys, it was worse than CUB SCOUTS.

Yeah, that bad.



Kristina P. said...

First, I thought it said you got stabbed in primary, so I thought that was awesome.

I LOVE the birdie idea. Think it would work for drug addict teenagers? What if I used a bong instead of a bird?

That Girl said...

I'm pretty sure I will go apostate if ever asked to teach Primary.


annie valentine said...

Handing my three-year-old of to the Sunbeam teacher is my favorite moment of the week.

evitafjord said...

I thought I was all set - after 3 years in the presidency, they called me to nursery (we're in a newly wed, nearly dead ward, minus the newly weds, so nursery was 4 kids, 3 of which just graduated to Sunbeams). BUT, they asked me to move up with the new Sunbeams - and add the CTR4s. Nice cushy job with toys and snacks for 5 weeks, then chucked back into the fray. The first week was actually easier - because it was all new, so they were intrigued and a little scared and half of them were 4 - this week we had snow and sickness so there were only 2 Sunbeams but it felt like 100 (yes, one of them was mine). Now they know what's up and that they aren't escaping back into the nursery. I think I might need a sub next week too....

Melinda said...

I've been helping out in the nursery the last couple weeks and heaven help me! Of course, my son is in there too and I am POSITIVE they act as horrible as they can when you're around! I agree with Annie, I LOVE the two hours a week I get away from my son!

Rebecca said...

Yes, you have Grant, I have Andrew. Last week he told his teachers I tell him to "shut up" all the time so it can't be a bad word. What a great thing for the bishops wife to say to her kids! Now, I know I have issues with my language occasionally but at least he could rat me out on something I actually do say! And chairs, yes, what are those? All 7 of the adorable little sunbeams were seated nicely while mine was rolling around on the groud next to the piano. This week went even better...he simply ran out screaming. Tell me again why I had number 3?

LisAway said...

You definitely deserve a t-shirt.

"...terrible self-esteem." Hilarious. We all know that people with low self-esteem tend to act out in strange ways, so I guess you have your reason for their behavior right there.

Susan said...

This made me laugh. But not as much as I'm going to laugh when you get called as a permanent Sunbeam teacher. Mwahahahahaha!

MommyJ said...

Okay, so I had to reread the first sentence three times before I figured out that you were referencing Job from the bible, and not job, as in "Do you have a job?" or "Don't quite your day job."

I actually said to myself, "What the heck are job boils?"

I know. I'm an idiot. This post was funny. There are only two sunbeams in our branch, and one of them is my kid, so I think I could probably handle the class. For sure, I don't want to have to come and handle your class though!

Becca said...

Last year we had 14 Sunbeams. Ouch. 14. This year? 4. *sigh of relief*

Now, picture this with a strong Utah accent, dropping the letter T from words like "mountain" and "kitten" and adding it to words like "Nelson":

"Thanks s'much for your help today! We sure appreciate'cha!"

(See? I have my calling DOWN, sister."

Wonder Woman said...

I'm pretty sure you've reached sainthood for subbing for the Sunbeams the SECOND week of the year.

NIKOL said...

I sub in Primary regularly. Not so much for the Sunbeam class. I get the 5 year old girls. There are 8 of them. I could be wrong, but I think that each of those girls' parents give them a Red Bull during Sacrament meeting just to liven things up.

I'm also a Cub Scout leader, so I get my dose mid-week as well.

Valerie said...

I've found that being called to a Presidency exempts you from subbing in Primary. So then you have to ask yourself, "Presidency, or Sunbeams? Presidency or Sunbeams..."
and the jury is still out.
And yes, I have a rambunctious Sunbeam myself, so I feel for you!

Staci said...

This made me laugh so hard! I completely understand exactly what you're going through...I had 15 sunbeams last year! They finally decided to split the class this year so I only have 6 but it feels like so much more at the beginning of the year! And I know I'm crazy, but I love my calling :)

Kimberly said...

I giggled out loud while I read this. I'm evil like that.

Erin said...

I really wish we could CHOOSE the callings we want. I subbed in Primary a month ago and had a really great time. And I was just called to the the formerly-known-as-enrichment leader, and I would pretty much rather do ANY other calling besides this one (well, not Gospel Doctrine teacher, but anything else.) Hmph.

Dedee said...

I think I'm in tears here. Soooo funny!

Alison Wonderland said...

Teaching sunbeams is my version of hell.

Amber Lynae said...

I am the primary chorister.... and that can be a ...challenging calling. I do have to teach the Jr primary but I am not the only teacher in there...... Sunbeams would be much worse.

Sitting on birdies??? yeah that wouldn't fly for me.

Anonymous said...

Okay, seriously laughing here. But that's just so I don't cry. This is my life. Okay, not the Sunbeam part. But I am the Primary President in my ward, and let me say on behalf of all of us, thank you for agreeing to sub! Especially the Sunbeams!

I love the birdie idea. I may just have to use something like that!

(I will forever think of you from now on when I ask a teacher or sub - "How did it go?")