I am not a Sunday school teacher. Nor do I aspire to be one. I have, however, helped out with the nursery Sunday school class at camp meeting in years' past, many, many times. I always categorized the children in my mind: a) those who listened and were angels (very few); b) those who sat by themselves and did their own thing; c) those who bullied others; d) those who had to be the centre of attention; e) those who talked too much and knew even more; and f) several of the above but excluding "a".
I've discovered my son falls into the "f" category.
I signed my kids up for recreational soccer once a week on Thursday evenings. With the kids being homeschooled, I realize the thing they miss the most about school is physical education, so I decided to start with this. This particular class just concentrates on the basics of soccer for 4-6 year olds and then lets the kids run around kicking the ball, getting exercise.
They were very excited. We walked into the gym and saw several kids kicking balls, so they both just plunged right in and starting kicking. It took no time at all to see that Seth had to kick and talk, kick and talk. He's kind of into talking right now. All day. He rarely comes up for air.
The "coach" is a third year kinesiology student at the U of S and has been volunteering for that particular community association for ten years. He told the kids to put the balls away and to come and sit in the centre of the gym. Seth, being caught up in his kicking, was one of the last ones to return the ball and sit down. The coach then went around asking the kids to raise their hands when he said their name. Some of the kids did. Others were too shy (like Hannah). When the coach said Seth's name, he said, "THAT'S ME" (after he clued in anyway, because initially he was in la la land).
It started with the coach explaining the rules and what to expect during their sessions. Seth felt a need right in the middle of his speech to interrupt. I was too far away to hear what he said, but it was the first time (of a couple) that he had to tell Seth not to talk while he was talking.
The coach started out after his little speech by telling them to stand and follow him, and to repeat what he did. He started out jogging around the gym. Seth followed perfectly.......right to the bag that carried out the balls and took one out, because he..... didn't....... quite..... hear...... correctly, I guess. He was told to put the ball back and follow the teacher.
I was so proud.
They jogged, marched, kicked up their heels, and walked, and most of the time Seth was not behind the coach, but beside. I guess he felt a great need to make sure the coach noticed him. When they kicked up their heels he looked more like he was monkey dancing, but at least he was trying. And I was laughing.
The coach told them to take a quick drink and come back and sit in the circle again. That is when he first went through some of the proper techniques of soccer. He first showed them how to kick the ball properly on the side of their foot. He then gave them a chance to try it out. He then showed them how to kick the ball from the inside of their foot to the other foot, inside their legs. This was hilarious to watch Seth try and do, but again, he was trying and I was laughing. He was also touching the ball constantly when it just would not listen, and thus began the first of many instructions from the coach not to touch the ball at all. Seth never did quite get that.
As the evening progressed, they learned how to stop the ball with their foot (with Seth trying to stop the ball, not succeeding, and picking it up to put it in place only to receive the 79th admonition from the coach), and eventually learning how to stop the ball, switching off feet. Seth got smart. He put the ball against the wall by the stage and held onto the stage while changing his feet. He made sure the coach saw this as well.
He also took some time at intervals to perform some short comedy routines (making funny faces and doing funny dances) to whoever was fortunate enough to witness the act.
I was suspicious at the beginning of the session that when the coach remembered Seth's name right off the bat (I think it was the first name he remembered) that it likely was a bad omen. My suspicions proved correct.
I spent the evening laughing and hiding my face. I got a good idea of what his Sunday school teachers face with him. The class clown, nonstop talking, smart aleck remarks just to be funny, and selective hearing. The rascal even gave the odd rebuke with a major 'tude and dirty look to the kid whom he felt did something not quite right (like he was an angel himself). He got the ability to give major dirty looks from his Auntie Lana, the queen of dirty looks.
I told him tonight after it was over that he needed to stop touching the ball and to kick it only. This was met with, "But I did kick the ball, mom!" I am convinced the kid really hasn't clued in yet that this means he is to NEVER use his hands. NEVER and SOMETIMES mean the same thing to him.
I also got a sneak preview on what it will be like to homeschool him. I'm sure glad Hannah was first. Like the parent who says they would have only had one child if their first child was as difficult as their second, it might have been like that in homeschooling if Seth was first.
I'm looking forward to more chuckles next week, and more learning for Seth. This will be good for him, I'm convinced.
That's my boy. I'm so proud.