December...when even the GOOD go bad. (Way, way bad.)

This time of year, I always remember fondly the weeks leading up to Christmas in the Marsh house.  I can picture my mother, AnnaBelle, wearing her Christmas apron in the kitchen, working furiously on divinity, various kinds of fudge, meringue concoctions, cookies of all shapes and sizes and petits fours in preparation for the holiday extravaganza.   In fact, her face and most of her clothing were covered in flour for MOST of the month of December. 

My brother, sister and I would spend those weeks pretending that all of the horrible fighting that had occurred the past eleven months was just a figment of our parent’s imagination.  We were ANGELS, believing in our hearts that our letters to Santa outlining our various saintly acts would surely bring us plenty of loot.  That darling man with the red suit always came through, proving that this particular strategy worked. 

Now that I’m older, and teaching all of those angelic children, I have realized that all of that perfect behavior at HOME results in surprising and challenging days for teachers in elementary school.   The weeks in December are the true test of a skilled teacher, the “front lines” if you will.  Frankly, these are the days we like to call “When even the good go bad.”  

Today in Kindergarten I wiped tears from three children, broke up a lego-destruction incident, had at least three private reviews of the classroom rules with angels in the hallway, and watched two marker box explosions that resulted in a 101 Marker Pick-up game.   All before 11:00.

One strategy that I’ve often found works wonders when wading through a swirling tornado of holiday anticipation is singing.  We sing our way through most of the day, all the while working furiously on glittery crafts for our families!   We sing the line-up song, we sing the Dreidel song, we sing the ABC song, and lately have been singing the Rudolph song. Then, I tried to sing the Twelve Days of Christmas song.  (It was almost as challenging as teaching the Pwedge of Legiant.)  In the end, as we finished our craft marathon, the children decided to craft a song of their own. And so in the spirit of the holiday, here is a gift to you from the children in room 120 at Park Forest Elementary.  (We like to start the song at the end…) 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Twelve Jedi’s training;
Eleven Barbie’s shopping;
Ten Dinosaurs fighting;
Nine Star Wars legos;
Eight Ships with chimneys;
Seven Porcupines;
Six Ear Infections;
Five Regaler Grapes;
Four Tom and Jerry’s;
Three Peppers piping;
Two Stuffed Noses;
And A Bald Eagle in a Pine Tree.

And now I will wrap myself up in smiles, memories and my Christmas apron and take myself back to the magical Christmases of my youth.   You know, when I was practically perfect. (At least in December.)

Yes, this was an old one.  However, I am too tired from wrapping presents to send, reprimanding 25 kindergarteners ALL DAY LONG, begging the children to listen, packing for Grand Cayman and shopping for presents I don't need to buy.  Love to all of you. I think of you often and can't wait to get my mind back so I can be normal again.  This master's program AND the kids are kicking my ASS.  (And I'm NOT KIDDING!!) 


Gigi said...

SO happy to hear from you! Merry Christmas to you and yours! xo

marlu said...

Missed your thoughts! Merry Christmas

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