Sunday I was asked to substitute in primary. My class was the six year olds. It was delightful.
In sharing time, they were asked to draw a picture of something they could do to keep the sabbath day holy.
One little girl was sitting morosely and not drawing. I asked her, "Do you want to draw something you can do on Sunday?"
She looked at me with a drop dead look (that I hitherto thought only Emma was capable of). Without breaking off the stare, she ripped her paper into two.
It was awesome. Because 1) I'm not her mom and 2) I'm not even her regular teacher so what do I care if she rips up her paper?
One little girl leaned over to me and looked at me suspiciously and asked, "Are we doing anything fun today?"
I nodded enthusiastically because you have to sell it.
Shortly after we made it to class, a little boy bonked his head against a chair and immediately started to cry. "And this is after I got bit my dog Charlie yesterday," he wailed.
I quickly pulled some goldfish crackers out of my bag, placed there for just this sort of situation. "Here," I said, "This may help you feel better."
He smiled and took a few crackers. "They're the snack that smiles back," I said.
That was apparently new to all of them and they found that incredibly wise. All of the sudden their suspicion of me had vanished and they were on my side.
After the lesson, we were playing a game. They would roll the dice and depending on where they landed on the board, I would ask them a question, they would pick a song to sing, or they would draw a picture on the chalkboard related to the lesson. After each turn, I tossed them a goldfish cracker. I said, "This is like at Seaworld, you are the dolphins and I'm tossing you fish."
Well that, my friends, was hysterically funny. I am hilarious (to six year olds). Then they each related their best Seaworld stories.
A little boy told me in great detail about being in the splash zone and getting wet during the dolphin show. "It wasn't a dolphin though. I can't remember what it was."
"Orca?" I asked, "Killer whale?"
"No," he said, like I wasn't very smart. "I'm pretty sure it was a shark that splashed me."
"Maybe," I said and I tossed him another goldfish cracker.