Day 10: Backs, Books and Pumpkins
I am tired and my back hurts because I am not in a good groove with yoga yet and I keep stupidly waiting to do it until I need it desperately and everything hurts instead of doing it preventatively like someone who is not dumb. My Thursday school's library is also always stiflingly hot and by the end of my shift I am sweaty and uncomfortable, but storytime with my grade ones there is rapidly becoming a highlight of my week.
Sometimes I forget that some kids are just better to read to than others, no matter how good the book is. When I filled in at my kids' old school, one Junior Kindergarten class came in in two groups, to which I read the same story. The first group was engaged and giggly and splendid. The second group sat there (to borrow an expression from my Scottish bookstore colleague from thirty-five years ago) like puddings. I had a great class last year that I read to in French, often quite badly, who were patient and lovely.
This class is just the right amount of interactive - not so much that I can't get through the story, but enough that they make it even more fun and come up with things that even I haven't thought of. Today we were reading this book. This meant I got to do fun voices, which is always good. By halfway through the story a bunch of them had figured out that the 'monster' in the cave would probably be (SPOILER ALERT) 'something tiny' - heads up, kids book authors, they're onto your tricks. It turned out to be a tiny caterpillar, and all the big animals were too afraid to find this out, but a frog who just wanted to get back to her nap got the job done. The frog goes off with the caterpillar at the end so they can both finish their nap. I closed the book and one girl said "I bet the frog is going to eat the caterpillar, though", and I just sat there kind of stunned. I mean, it is a distinct possibility that the frog COULD eat the caterpillar. That was a damned fine extra-textual connection this six-year-old just made.
Before we get too far into November, I'm going to post the pics from the yearly pumpkin patch photo shoot. Eve and her friends started this tradition four years ago, which was when we got this iconic shot:
(That was in one take, these kids know how to pose).
The next year was Fucking Covid AND raining, so it had to be masked, distanced and wearing rain gear, but we persevered.
That was their graduation year, and four of them went off to various other cities/provinces for university. Last year Eve and Davis and Jackson were here, so we did what we could:
And then this year. Eve and Davis AND Alison were home, and Jackson still lives here but had an exam, so we had three girls. I blew off a physio appointment to take Eve shopping before to get a cute fall sweater. I think we succeeded admirably.
Are they not The Actual Verifiable Cutest?
Then they go home to paint the pumpkins and eat candy apples (which have a tiny bit of a dark history, in that one year they stealthily grabbed what they thought were the last five even though there were kids behind them in line - more were brought out, but Eve is at pains to note that they didn't KNOW that was going to happen).
NSFW pumpkin ahead:
The difference in the two groups of 1st graders is something else. For the record, I thought the frog was going to eat the caterpillar too. Does that mean I'm as smart as a first grader?
Bummer that the one library is so hot. I live in fear of cold places. I volunteered to help chat with prospective parents at a local reception for his college a few weeks ago. The AC was cranked up so high that I wanted to cry. I couldn't feel my hands. What on earth?
Two of my kids carved pumpkins this year and the pumpkins were moldy and gross almost immediately, so I am VERY IN FAVOR of the painting idea and will try to sell it to them next year.