I help out in my daughter Berzo's kindergarten class once a week.
Today, the kids harassed me the entire period to go out to recess afterward to push them on the swings.
The first recess I spent with her kindergarten class, Berzo and I went to the swings and I gave her a push. I offered a push to Berzo's two best friends too. Suddenly all the swings filled up and hung still (the ones that were already swinging stopped) as the rest of the class sang out, “Push me! Push me!” Ug. So I do. I push each kid in turn, as the ones not currently being pushed yell at me.
Berzo loses interest and wanders off with her friends. I finish up, wave goodbye to all the yelling kids and follow after Berzo . A flock of kindergarteners comes with me. Berzo isn’t amused. *sigh*
Soon recess is over and I walk Berzo back to her class. I give her a hug and tell her good-bye. All the other kinders crowd in for hugs too and their teacher tries not be annoyed by the distraction.
So I usually avoid going to recess.
Today, in a moment of desperation, I said I would go to recess if they were extra good for the teacher while I was there. They weren’t, but I went anyway because they are adorable little tyrants.
They all ran for the swings and hung there shouting at me to swing them. I faced each kid on their swing, pulled them towards me, and let them go.
Berzo says, “I don’t need a push because I know how to pump!”
She’s going pretty good by the time I get to her so I skip her by and swing the rest of the kids. I come back to Berzo and ask if she's sure she doesn't want one too.
She says, “OK...” (Like not really, I was doing good on my own, but whatever…)
So I catch her swing and pull her towards me to let her go. Her body weight was already shifting back and plop she falls right out onto her back and bottom. Essentially, I jerked her right out of her swing. I let go of the swing and she’s lying flat, saying, “I’m OK. I’m OK." The swing passes right over her. Then she sits up and the swing clocks her on the back of the head. She’s still trying to keep it together as I scoop her up and take her over to the bench to sit down.
The rest of the dangling kinders kept yelling, “Swing me, Amy!”
Berzo said into my shirt, “Why did you have to swing me? I was rocking it on my own!”
Her back is all scratched up, her head is bonked, and worst of all she’s super embarrassed.
I did all that to her.
She is angry with me as she clings to me for comfort and uses me as a shield so no one can see her tears.
Soon her friends run over and check on her, she puts on a brave face. Then she gives me the what-for a couple more times. I give her a last hug and flee the playground.
Whatever they pay kindergarten teachers, it’s not enough. They are miracle workers. I’m with the class one hour, one day a week, and I leave with a headache. Every. Damn. Time.
Where’s the chocolate?