Today was my first foray into the world of VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL. Okay, well, that's not exactly true. My Mom, being the devoted mother that she was, used to sign my brother and I up for every single damn bible school within a fifty mile radius when I was a kid so she could go shopping and watch soap operas unencumbered. Despite being an on-again/off-again Baptist, I attended bible schools of every denomination we have near Cleveland. (Which isn't much--trust me. To this day, as far as religions go, I know.....um....a few Catholics, one non-practicing Jehovah's Witness, a whole slew of BaptiMethoPresbyPiscopalians, lot of Church of God worshipers, one Wiccan, and three Jews. Nope, wait. That's not true. One of the Jews was only Jewish by marriage and is no longer, and according to my friend Erin, the other two don't count, as they are technically Blaker's friends, not mine. Instead of six degrees of Kevin Bacon, I have two degrees of Jews. And they don't live anywhere near Cleveland.)
Back to the point. I was contacted and asked if I would help teach Vacation Bible School this year at our lovely United Methodist Church. My response? "Do I have to?" Yes. Yes, I did, apparently. And I was assigned to the Pre-K group.
Kids freak me out. Little kids, babies, toddlers, whatever--they all freak me the hell out. I don't sing kid songs, I don't think Play-doh is really fun, I hate Band-aids, and I think the phrase "Let's all sit Criss Cross Applesauce" is about the most ridiculous damn thing I've ever heard. So you can imagine how the idea of walking into a den of germy, drooly, semi-potty trained little monsters sits with me. My own children (yes, they freak me out too) had spent the night with my in-laws last night, so I was planning to meet them all at church (my MIL works there), get the kids signed in, and go volunteer my stellar Pre-K, Jesus-lovin' services to the masses. Per the usual, things didn't work out quite that easily.
Here are the things that I learned today at VBS:
A DAMN GOOD LIST OF REASONS WHY I WILL NOT BE RETURNING TO VBS TOMORROW OR EVER AGAIN, AT MY CHURCH OR ANYONE ELSE'S (AND NO, JACKASSES, I DIDN'T GET FIRED--THIS IS OF MY OWN CHOOSING) AND WHY I FEEL NO GUILT ABOUT THIS AS ANYBODY WHO KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT ME WOULD NEVER HAVE ASKED ME TO BE AROUND CHILDREN ANYWAY BECAUSE IT'S JUST A BAD IDEA
*Please keep in mind that I showed up hungover and with 50 Cent stuck in my head, though I feel that that did not in any way, shape, or form affect matters either positively or negatively.
1. Kids are messy. I am not. I spent a lot of time cleaning up spilled red juice (Kool-ade?) of some sort when I, being the stain avoider that I am, refuse to give red juice to children in the first place. It was sticky and gross, and I had to touch the little monsters' faces and hands and whatnot, which are just havens for all sorts of nastiness.
2. Four different "teachers" hassled me about not dancing and singing and doing the hand motions to the music. When my response was, "throw a little Lady Gaga up there and I'm all over it," I got only blank stares and snide looks. Get over it, people. Some of us don't want to spend an hour pretending to be an alligator or singing about how Jesus is always there making things better, particularly when we're kind of on the outs with Jesus at the moment.
3. Some punk ass kid stole my jelly beans out of my purse. I don't even LIKE jelly beans, but, dude. It's CHURCH, for Christ's sake. Jesus.
4. One of the ladies running the show mentioned several times that the kids in the music videos looked so happy because they were CHRISTIANS, and they know that they are safe and chosen. I'm so damn glad that somebody FINALLY pointed that out. It's past time that all those Jews and Buddhists and Muslims and the myriad of people of other religions are aware at last that THEY ARE NOT HAPPY, even if they think they are, because only Christians are happy. Duh.
5. When asked by one of the other "teachers" why I didn't seem more excited about VBS, I answered, "Dude. Kids freak me the hell out." That was not met with open arms. Hey, I was honest.
Needless to say, VBS was a wash. To make up for the whole week of plans for the kids down the drain, I am devising a "Camp Mommy" as a replacement. As soon as I get the shaker and bar utensils organized and the cleaning supplies out, we'll be good to go. I'll fill you in on how things turn out.