I survived my last children's choir session of the year last night, and it was a challenge because one of the preschool teachers is out of town, so since we're singing together Sunday we decided to just combine the two groups. I never had them still long enough to count them and each class took their own roll, so I'm not sure how many there were, but most of my kids were there, so we may have had more than twenty, ranging in age from three to six. We had three teachers, three teen helpers (though all of them were sixth graders, so rather young), and two parents hung around because their children were being clingy (I think one of the preschool kids whose dad stayed is special needs and he always stays). In the 45 minutes we had them, we needed to remind them of the song we're singing in church Sunday that they haven't practiced since before Thanksgiving, then rehearse in the sanctuary with the pianist. And then they went stark raving insane. There's Christmas excitement, there's the fun of that many kids in the room, and a number of them had younger siblings in the other group, so when the siblings were together they went crazy. My plan was to do a Christmas carol singalong, but after we tried a couple of songs without getting much attention from the kids running in circles, my co-teacher suggested we go caroling.
So we headed out to the fellowship hall to sing for the people getting dinner ready (and a few of the parents who sit out there while their kids are in choir -- a lot of phones came out to record them). We sang for a couple of Bible studies. The kids suggested singing for the babies in the nursery, so we went there, too. But I think they mostly wanted to play with the toys in the nursery. Some of the toddlers just went about their business of playing and didn't pay us much attention, except for the one with an older sister in our group, who gave off the "don't cramp my style, sis" vibes. There was one infant who just stared at us with wide eyes and a hilarious "who are these people and what are they doing?" expression. Then I had to confiscate nursery toys from my kids as we left. We got back to the room just in time to pass out candy canes and hand them over to their parents. I think I got bonus points from a parent for telling a kid who asked if she could eat the candy now that she needed to talk to her mom first and let her mom tell her when she could have it (the mom mouthed a "thank you"). The kids were surprisingly in tune. I started them off on each song, then backed off and sort of whisper sang so they'd be the ones heard, and they sounded pretty good.
And then I went to dinner and collapsed before having to go to my own choir rehearsal (there was some wine when I got home). Next week I just have to go to choir rehearsal, and then the following week it will be Christmas Eve. Yikes! Where did this year go? I do have my Christmas stuff up, but I still have shopping to do and some baking to do. I should know by now that starting a book at this time of year is not the smartest idea ever. I should let myself slow down a bit and enjoy the season. But first I have to get through this crazy weekend -- possible morning hike, mid-day get-together with friends, and evening party on Saturday, children's choir in the early service Sunday, my choir in the late service, then Christmas concert that evening, with "dress rehearsal" beforehand (since the choir hasn't practiced with the orchestra) and the choir's Christmas party between rehearsal and concert while the other groups in the concert do their rehearsals and sound checks. For some odd reason, the sopranos always get assigned the appetizers. Cookies, I could have handled easily because I'm already baking. I think I'll just pick up a cheese ball and some crackers at the grocery store. Or does being a second soprano mean I'm almost an alto, so I can get away with bringing dessert?