Did you know that?
And you know what, I was dang good at it too. I had fourteen four-year-olds, four hours a day, five days a week. Those little buggers adored me. I had boundless energy and inexhaustible creativity. My lesson plans rocked the playground. I loved those kiddos to death.
So what happened?
And I'm not just talking about my suspiciously missing energy and creativity and plans (though I'd like to know where they went, too.) I'm talking about the L-O-V-E.
Pssst. Other people's children bother me. Somehow I've turned into Maxine.
Now, we're talking about generally, here. There are puh-lenty of my friends' kids that I watch on a regular basis, and I love them. Some children just demand to be loved. And of course I'm obsessed with my niece and nephews. (I mean, seriously, it's impossible not to obsess over them. Truly.)
But in general? The rugrat population rather BUGS. Especially if I don't know you and yours.
It used to be that if you got me in the same vicinity with a shortling, I dropped right to my knees and cooed and coddled and immediately became said shortling's best friend. I knew all the right things to say and had endless games and tricks up my sleeve. Yet no longer.
Now, I generally ignore any human shorter than my knee that is not currently clinging to it.
Why is this? Do I have a limited amount of love that is simply poured upon my own posterity and a select few others? Or - perhaps more likely - a limited amount of attention?
Tuesday was my turn in the Institute nursery. Fifteen or so little ones, aged 21 months (my own Mr. Squishy) to not-quite-five. And DUDE, did I struggle. It's like I forgot how to make friends with children that aren't related to me.
By the end of the hour and a half, I had won over most of them. But the Preschool Teacher Within was buried pretty deep down - she was tired and complained profusely about being unearthed.
I think I might let her go back to sleep.