Saturday, February 23, 2008


Today I was at church helping prepare for the next quarter of Sunday School. It was assembly line-style at its best, and it was fun to chat with education-minded folks (who know MUCH more about the school district than I do!) while another kind soul watched my own kids.

The tools of our trade involve large paper cutters - the ones with scary looking blades. And those weapons brought back this memory...

Back in the old days (before Leah was born and I was still teaching), we were required to watch a blood-born pathogen video twice a year. It was always the same video, so it was THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEMESTER. As you can imagine.

At one particular point in this wonderful video, a teacher is using a paper cutter, and needless to say, does not notice that there is a GUARD. They slice their thumb.

This is the only part of the video I remember. But even MORE clearly I remember how the entire staff cowered in dread of that particular scene, and as it happened, a collective groan effectively blocked out the lecture afterwards.

And that is where anticipation comes in, folks. It's a double- edged sword - scratch that - a catch-22. It's what makes Christmas and birthdays so much fun. It would be quite different if out of nowhere your folks just said Suprise! It's your birthday! Here's a bunch of presents! I mean, it's not like I wouldn't take them. But still.

At the same time, it's also what makes kids (and moms) dread shots. Our pediatrician says kids usually aren't wary of shots until they are about 3 or 4 - and unfortunately, age 5 is when they get the most. Moms of new babies go through it, too...every 2 months. The best system is when there are two nurses and they do the shotes at the same there's no more anticipation than necessary.

Or how about going to the dentist, or vacations, or childbirth, or moving, or a new job, or the first day of school....

Anticipation is the only reason I went through this elaborate process for the happiness of my child. A couple years ago we got Leah a play kitchen. We didn't want it to be a Christmas gift (that's another post, folks), so we gave it to her between Thanksgiving and the 25th. I felt like it would be highly anticlimatic (after all the sneaking we did to actually buy the thing AND get it home WHILE SHE WAS WITH US) to just say Here you go! Have fun! So I made Aaron go along with my crazy plan. I wound red yarn through the house, starting in her room and going upstairs. While Aaron was helping her follow it, telling her there was a surprise at the other end, I put the kitchen in her room and ended the yarn there. And when she made her way back, she had a big grin on her face...It's a Kitchen! Like, JUST IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW.

I like to think it made it much more fun for her. It definitely did for me.

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