Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back to Preschool

I survived the first night of children's choir, and most of the twitching has even stopped. It looks like I'll have about 10 preschoolers, depending on who shows up. We had a couple of serious separation anxiety/shyness cases whose moms stayed in the room with them and who ended up leaving early because the kids just clung to mom and cried or tried to hide behind mom. What's funny is that both of them had younger siblings who tried to participate with the other kids while the older sibling who was supposed to be in the choir just hid. One was a little girl of maybe 2-3 who raised her hand to be called on and answered questions and did everything the bigger kids were doing. I'd invite her to join us, but I suspect that would just make things awkward for her big brother. The other was a toddler just barely old enough to walk on his own, but boy, did he try to clap and dance along with the music while his big sister hid behind her mom.

I can already tell which one is going to be the biggest challenge. There's one boy who's the first to raise his hand and who has all the answers and learns things quickly, but he also doesn't do well with being at all still or following directions, and his idea of moving with the music is running in circles around the room. So I'll need to come up with extra challenges for him or find ways to make him be the helper so he has a task at all times to keep him too busy to run around in circles.

Otherwise, they seem to be good kids, and they make me feel old because many of them are the younger siblings of kids I've taught before, so I'm getting all those toddlers who used to stand in the doorway and watch wide-eyed as their older siblings came to choir. Then there's the one girl who, when she was a baby, was known for holding her arms out toward me and screaming, "Mama!" when she saw me, even if her mother was right there. And I look nothing like her mother. That got awkward if we were in the parking lot and I was parked near them and her mother was trying to get her in her car seat while she was crying and calling out for "Mama!" while waving at me. It looked like the poor woman was kidnapping my child.

Meanwhile, I've been brain thunderstorming the new book (when it's more than just a brainstorm). I realized that one major event I was building this book around might be better suited to its sequel, and then I realized that the sequel I'd been planning probably hinged on the wrong events and there was a much more dramatic way to do things. So now I feel a little unmoored and have to figure out how to fit in all the other events I came up with. This is the exciting part of the creative process.

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