Sunday, November 2, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Ahh, November.
Month of my birth. Month of pumpkin pies and football games. Month of fall leaves and crisp mornings.
Month of my responsibility for Sharing Time....
The first thing I asked the kids today was "What holiday do we celebrate at the end of November?"
Immediately, I was bombarded with answers, none of them the one I was looking for. Who knew Election Day was considered a holiday by CHILDREN? And who knew they even knew what Veteran's Day was, much less that it was in November? I applaud them for knowing these things.
But what about my favorite holiday? You know, the one where you overdose on tryptophan and then fall asleep on the floor with the top button of your pants undone?
After some coaxing, they got it.
Ah, yes, Thanksgiving, my young friends. Thanksgiving.
"And what do we do at Thanksgiving?" I asked.
"Remember the pilgrims!", they cried, "Remember the Indians! Eat food!"
"Yes, yes, yes, my dears...and what else? "
Silence.
Nary a word escaped their young lips.
I prodded. "What about giving thanks? "
Oh, yes, NOW they remembered. Give thanks indeed, uhhuh, of course, pass the gravy, uhhuh, I'mthirstyIneedtogopottyCanIhaveaTREATnowplease?

Next it was on to the relationship between commandments and blessings. I asked the kids what commandments we had been given. I should have had them draw these out of a hat instead of yelling them out willy-nilly at me. I should have known that children are incredibly intelligent. Curse the smartness of seven year olds! Curse it!
To my great consternation, the first answer I received was "Don't commit adultery!"
I momentarily froze, then I wrote it on the chalkboard and tried to move on as quickly as I could. But I wasn't quick enough.
Little Adam in the second row sweetly asked, "What's adultery?"
I must have looked utterly bamboozled. I felt bamboozled anyway, I felt like a sick chicken.
All the teachers (mostly males) that had been checking the game scores on their palm pilots perked up and stared at me intently. They grinned demonic little grins to see one of their own on the spit, roasting in the flames of embarrassed, awkward silence.
I tried to answer. "It's...uh...ummm....it's...."
One of the teachers tried to help me out. "It's when you cheat on your spouse."
I breathed a sigh of relief. "Yes, it's that, Adam. Now, what other commandments are there?"
But I was not to be let off so easily. As I tried to move on yet again, another child piped up.
"But what does cheating on your spouse mean?"
I wanted to run straight out of that primary room. Go jump through the nearest window, something. Anything to escape being asked sexually related questions by children other than my own in a room teaming with grinning, expectant faces. Not to mention the fact that some of the teachers were the parents of some of the kids.
Finally I said, "Cheating is when you date someone else who is not your husband or wife."
I think they finally got it then, because the girls blushed and looked down at their patent leather shoes and the boys made faces, jabbed each other in the ribs, and said, "Eww!" and "Gross!". The teachers looked around at each other and raised their eyebrows.

The last part of my sharing time involved having the kids draw what they were thankful for and then share their drawings with the rest of the primary. I don't know what I was hoping for, but this is what I got.

I am grateful for:
Grapes
Surfing
Being baptized
Dogs
Bananas
and
My muscles

Amen.

13 comments:

Kimba said...

OHMIGOSH.Laughed the entire time. You poor thing! But you answered excellently. :)
Though my experience wasn't NEARLY as bad as yours, my sunbeam asked me, while I was giving a nice little lesson about the Proclamation to the primary, "but how do you GET a baby?". The entire bishopric were in the room. It was silent. I almost died.

Kids.

Kaylynn said...

You are making me miss Primary!

Jack & Lindsay Chang said...

I LOVE IT! There is never a dull moment in Primary!
I don't know what I would have said if I was asked to define adultry to innocent little tots. Maybe I would have said something like, "It's something that ADULTS are not supposed to do." Ofcourse, that probably wouldn't go over well with the curious tots. Then I would probably say, "Ask your parents about it." But then you get into the mess of if they even have a mom and dad at home. Such a confusing time for kids these days.
I admire you, Abby. Well done.

Tara said...

Thanks for the laugh!!!

Liv said...

hee hee kiddos are great.

tom, lisa, jack, and lucy said...

Are you serious??! That is absolutely hilarious! I can't believe the other teachers didn't chime in more and just left you frying up there in front of everybody. You handled it well though. Thanks for the laugh.

Oh yeah, love the low-cost room make-over too... it's hard to tell from the pics, but are those by chance Paul Lanquist prints? I just picked up some the other day.

cabenelson said...

(Father) "Billy what did you learn at church today"

(Billy) "Sister Roberts taught us how to cheat on your spouse and committ adultrey!"

(Father) "Psh... Typical"

Tanya said...

oh my gosh i can totally see it! love those kids!

Leslie said...

Ok, I almost peed my pants reading this! #1- because it was hilarious, #2- because I love to laugh and others' experiences in Primary, and #3...I have totally been there. Not only IN sharing time, but in my own house. Kids are hilarious. And sharing time never seems to go in exactly the direction you would want it to. Kids are too unpredictable. Thanks for giving me a good laugh.

Abby said...

I'm glad I could provide all y'all with some laughs at my expense.
I will admit that I was laughing as I was writing the blog post, but in the moment it was not amusing.
Not to mention the fact that the stinkin' sunbeams kept getting up out of their seats to lift up my skirt or draw on the chalkboard. This is what happens on the Sunday after Halloween, though. They turn into little sugar monsters!
And Lisa, yes, those are Paul Lanquist prints. I picked them up in Jackson Hole a few years back, and since then have seen them at frame shops around here. I love his style. Which ones did you get?

Abby said...

I know, Cabe. I felt like I was contributing to the dilinquency of American youth.

heather said...

Yikes. That is brutal. Glad you came out seemingly unscathed. Well all except for the ridicule you've gotten from the post. I just love you!

Lloyd said...

You are gifted. Better than Kirby (Salt Lake Tribune) ever thought of being.

I love you. Dad.