Why I Could Never Teach Elementary School

Kids are great, aren’t they?

You know what else they are? They are a mess. They are little walking tornados leaving great swathes of mess in their wakes. They drive me crazy.
Today I was a classroom helper during Camille’s school Valentine’s Day party. I momentarily lost my senses and agreed to supervise the finger painting station. We might as well have renamed it a “full body painting” station, because I think there was as much paint on their entire bodies as on their fingers. The table was better decorated than the paper. Paint brushes were discarded on the floor rather than placed back in the paint.
Horrifying, right? I wanted to cry.
The bathroom, where they were supposed to be washing hands, was a disaster. I should’ve taken a picture. Instead, close your eyes. Imagine a crime scene in which the bodies have already been removed, but there is sign of struggle. Of great struggle, and ultimately, defeat. Now you know what that bathroom was like. Paint on the sink, the mirror, the toilet. Red and pink paint everywhere.
I always wanted to be one of those moms. You know what I mean – the kind who celebrate messes, and regard them as proof of joy. The kind who don’t wince when glitter gets on the floor. Who flippantly dismiss the sticky glue in the hair. The kind who allows – nay, encourages – the mixing of playdough colors.
These things make me hyperventilate. 
The thing is, I don’t keep a tidy house. I am far from a neat freak. I live in fear that someone will drop by unannounced and see how messy I actually am.
I can tolerate clutter and dust bunnies and mountains of dirty laundry. If Camille wants to get muddy or sandy outside, then that’s fine. But I simply can’t handle sticky, sandy or gritty messes in my living space. I don’t know where this comes from or why, but there it is. And it is just one reason why I wouldn’t last two weeks as an elementary school teacher.
God bless ’em.
My kid did well on her projects though, didn’t she? They may be messes, but they’re worth it.
Finger Painting Masterpiece

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