Saturday, 19 April 2008

Why You Should Always Think Before You Volunteer

I can only assume that yesterday I was delirious to the point where it was bordering on insanity.

At playgroup (preschool) they have a rota for the parents, the presence of one parent at each session helps to keep costs down. Now I am all for saving money when I can so I shouldn't complain, they take Thomas 7.5 hours a week so I can't really grumble about having to put in 2.5 hours work every 2/3 months. It is nice to see what he's doing while he's out in the big wide world by himself but still part of me really really loathes to do it. They are more than happy for you to bring younger siblings along when it is your turn but so far I have always managed to palm Eli off elsewhere and do my time alone.

Yesterday we were running late (as always) and we were some of the last people to arrive. I saw on the door they needed a volunteer for the session (it would appear I am not the only parent less than enthused about taking turns because they get let down frequently). I had been considering all morning how I was gonna keep Eli entertained while Thomas was at playgroup because I just had zero energy and wanted more than anything either to crawl back under the duvet (if only!) or take a massive hit of caffeine. Somehow my mouth started working faster than my brain and before I knew it I had volunteered to help with Eli in tow.

I knew the second that clarity of thought returned that this was not my best idea ever. Eli in a confined space with twenty something 2-4 year olds, with paint, glue, soil, pens and water at his disposal just made me totally nervous.

Was my feeling of dread justified? Absolutely.

Eli proceeded to continually turn all the paintbrushes upside down in the paint pots so that when an unsuspecting preschooler came to paint they would get in their palm instead of the stick part of the paint brush the brush part thickly covered in paint. Delightful!

Then he found some asparagus in the play kitchen and realised that was the perfect size to fit in the paint pot too and proceeded to complete a painting with an asparagus tip before I even noticed. Which leads me to wonder why paintbrushes were ever invented at all because an asparagus tip is a perfectly wonderful alternative.

Obviously the session wouldn't have been complete without Eli inflicting purple paint highlights on his inexplicable head of hair.

You imagine a one year old (almost two) would feel a little intimidated in the presence of these older kids. Did Eli? No. In fact he managed to make two 4 year olds cry like babies (that sounds more dramatic than it was he really isn't that much of a hooligan, one boy cried because Eli snatched something from him and the other because Eli laid on him while playing trains). Without exception the staff asked me when Eli would be joining them for playgroup and they all looked relieved when I informed them they had until January to brace themselves for his arrival.

So my turn on the rota is in a couple of weeks. Will I be taking Eli with me? Nope, he'll be going to Grandma's house instead, if only to help preserve the asparagus.

2 lovely comments:

Heidi said...

Hilarious--that Eli is a handful. If he were to get together with my Spe, we might have a glimpse of how the APs felt when it was their turn to interview US!

Priya's Mommy aka Bree :) said...

lol - good times :)