Last week Gary and I volunteered at an end-of-the-year event for Sunflower’s class. It was a beach theme, and the class had 10 different fun activity tables the kids rotated through in small groups.
Gary was in charge of a water activity, and I took the lead in making a huge mess at a sand-painting table. I was soon regretting the sweater and black pants I wore in anticipation of heading to work after the event, because it quickly got stiflingly hot under that unforgiving sun. (And I soon had paste and sand all over my pants and even in my hair, too, thanks to wayward little second grade hands.)
I had just launched into my instructions lecture for one group of kids, demonstrating the fine art of sand painting and how to scatter mounds of colored sand all over the pavement, when one little girl simply couldn’t contain her all-important, urgent question and burst out with, “Whose mama are you?”
I told her I was there with Sunflower. The little girl looked startled, sized me up questioningly, then said hesitantly, “But I thought Sunflower’s mama was…” She made an unsavory face like she had just stepped into a huge, steaming pile of manure and bit into a sour lemon at the same time but couldn’t quite find the word for the dinstinctly distasteful sensation. “Um…I thought Sunflower’s mama was…”
“A nutcase?” I wanted to offer, but I bit my tongue and shook my head. “No, I’m not that mama. I’m Sunflower’s stepmama,” I explained.
The little girl smiled with relief, mystery solved, and turned happily to her blank canvas to start painting. Apparently, so long as I wasn’t that mama, I was all right.
Gary was ambushed by a SWAT team of children intent on soaking him through to the bone, and more water ended up on him at his station than in the buckets set up for the water race. He claims I merely laughed at his predicament and encouraged the children to misbehave and torment him. Now, really…would I do that?