I need one of these


Today I had the time of my life.  I sang nursery rhymes, read picture books, and reminisced about Sonbeam’s babyhood.  I was bitten, vomited on, peed on, and had snot, cookie crumbs and sticky rice rubbed into my blouse.  In between times I took part in intense discussions about life and the universe.  And for one blissful hour, I sat and ate homecooked spring rolls, octopus rice, pumpkin salad, and strawberry blancmange.  In other words, it was just a typical morning at the Little Piggies Cafe.  The mothers were deeply apologetic for the behaviour of their recalcitrant babies (aged 3 to 14 months) and I was happy to assure them that I deeply welcomed the intrusion on my life … as long as it’s only for 4 hours a week!  Any more than that, and I think I’d lose my mind.  Seriously, I am now filled with admiration for full-time mothers, and all that they endure.  How on earth did I ever survive the Sonbeam’s infancy with my sanity intact?  Oh that’s right, I sensibly paid other people to raise him. 

Anyway, I really need a smock or apron of some sort.  Today I went straight from Little Piggies to cram school with my work clothes covered in baby drool.  Not that anyone noticed, or gave a shit.


7 comments on “I need one of these

  1. Karen says:

    Better you than me. Frankly, I have never much liked children under the age of 10. I tried being a substitute teacher in elementary school. I lasted 1 day. After that, I stuck to grades 7 – 12, and enjoyed it a lot.

  2. Miko says:

    I’ve discovered to my surprise that my favourite age group to teach is 1st – 2nd grade. They’re smart and can reason, but still have that wide-eyed wonder. And they still believe in Santa!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Karen I am starting grad school in the fall with the aim of being an English teacher for grades 7-12. I am so over the elementary school kids.

  4. Karen says:

    I loved the kids. My favorite grades to teach were 7th (which apparently no one else liked), 9th, and 11th. It was the administrations I couldn’t stand. So many stupid rules, so much mediocrity at the top level. I hope that has changed and things are better for you.

  5. Miko says:

    I agree with you about the administrative thing. Japan’s even worse, thanks to the centralised system that is run by a bunch of privileged imbeciles who have never set foot in a public school classroom in their lives. I don’t know how Japanese teachers stay sane.

    I admire you both, Jen and Karen. Why do you like that age group? Personally, I can’t stand teenagers, and all the issues they bring to the table. I couldn’t even stand them when I was a teenager myself. The only teenager I’ve ever gotten along with was the Sonbeam (and he was so unusually placid and easygoing that I used to worry about it sometimes – surely we weren’t supposed to be having so much fun?).

  6. Karen says:

    I like teens because by then they have developed a sense of humor and can be very funny. One can talk to them and actually, with some, hold an intelligent conversation. They are not as needy & clingy as younger ones. They can be given simple instructions and be expected to follow them. They can drive themselves places. They like to sleep late. They can forage for food for themselves in a pinch – or go buy it. Yes, they are troublesome, but I even like that. It’s interesting. The one absolute necessity in dealing with teens is a good sense of humor. If one pokes gentle fun at their angst, they often put it in perspective as not the end of the world or even a major crisis.

  7. Miko says:

    That’s interesting. In the West adolescence seems to be a time when young people start to find their way in the world, with only benevolent guidance and minimal interference from the adults in their lives, who seem quite trusting that all will work out in the end. In Japan, exam hell makes the teenage years quite ghastly, not only for the kids but for their teachers and mothers who are under enormous pressure to keep them on the straight and narrow (and the way in Japan is very narrow indeed). I cannot begin to describe the stress and strain. On the bright side, it keeps them off the streets and out of trouble, and it keeps their minds off their problems too. There isn’t too much time for angst when you’re only getting four or five hours of sleep at night. Truly one of the biggest problems I’ve had with teenaged students is keeping them awake and motivated during the lessons. I never have this trouble with the younger ones.

    I’m going to add a sub-section to my lecture, regarding childrearing practices in the West. I might have some more questions for you.

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