“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” Matthew 19:14
I believe that. Children are sweet and loving and they understand far more than we give them credit for.
But that doesn’t mean that they never do evil and nasty things that would make a maximum security prison inmate catch the vapors and fall out on his fainting couch.
Watching my kids often gives me an understanding of the way the heavenly father might view my actions. This week, for instance.
When my mother came to visit me, I asked that she bring 130 candy canes for me to give to all of my kids. We talked about candy canes in our Christmas unit, and most of them have never seen or tasted a candy cane. It is just not a Chinese thing. I have been saving them for the right time, and for one of my four classes, the right time came on Thursday.
Well, word spreads fast about class events in the first grade, especially when candy or DVD watching is involved. Within minutes of the candy-cane-receiving class being finished, I was mobbed by a host of hopeful students demanding candy canes of their own. I really mean mobbed. They wrap themselves around my legs, waist, bag; they grab hold of my sweater sleeves and run halfway down the hall, stretching it out quite nicely. They reach their hands in my pockets, lift up the bottom of my shirt and look to see what they can see…it is brutal. Finally I broke free and sprinted , I repeat SPRINTED down the hall and into the safety zone of the far away teacher’s office. I have to go to an office that is not even my own for refuge, for, somehow, my office is not off limits and the children feel free to pilfer through my desk drawers, try out my rubber stamps, and do experiments with my scissors.
This brings me to today. One class today was demanding candy canes the entire class period. It was quite annoying, and, anyway, I was not planning on giving them to this class until Monday. I have my reasons! I don’t have to explain myself to you kids!
I have one native English speaker in that class, and his words to me were, “Teacher, why are you always so unfair?” Uh, why are you talking? Go sit down. I don’t remember what I said but I was highly irritated. Don’t worry, I was professional.
First of all, this class is never well behaved. So why do they expect the same privileges as the class who is always well behaved? And second, it is my business if I give one class candy canes and I give another class a handful of dirt. Not that I would do so, but, still. I am the monarch here. This is not a democracy. It is not a socialist classroom. Everyone does not get the same thing regardless of effort and productivity.
Anyway, after the bell rang, they mobbed me again and looked through my bag until they were convinced there were no candy canes hidden there. THEN they ran into my office and turned it upside down until it was evident that no candy canes were there, either (I am not dumb enough to keep 130 candy canes at school, give me some credit, kids).
So as it stands now, I am debating never giving them candy canes, ever. We should play the quiet game for the rest of the school year.
To top it off, I saw a little girl do the grossest thing I have ever witnessed. She is tiny, and would be cute except for her eyes glisten with wickedness. First, she blew her nose into her hands. It was as if she was holding an imaginary tissue. There was quite a load of snot in them. Then, she pulled her hands away from her face to look at her handiwork. Then, she proceeded to lick the snot like it was in ice cream cone. Then, she dug her fingers up her nose and transferred the leftovers into her mouth as well. I thought I was going to vomit.
I still have the heebie-jeebies.