Random Person: Do you like children?
Me: …from a distance.
I had this conversation quite a long time ago…but it's still basically true.
I do like some children.
In small quantities.
And despite this lukewarm attitude, I somehow find myself on the toddlers rota at church.
This is not just hanging out with toddlers. But trying to teach them things.
And teaching less-than-4-year-olds is a serious skill.
*Salute to nursery/kindergarten teachers*
Their attention span is approximately 22 seconds and every activity I can plan still leaves me ending waaaay earlier than the rest of the church.
So it was that time again, me and the small ones.
But this time, I had a plan.
I brought along my primary school teaching friend!
We were doing the story of David and Goliath.
And what better way to entertain kids than to act out the story, right??
So we did.
I'm David, my friend is Goliath.
I'm looking after my sheep, chasing away lions.
Goliath is putting on his armour, being a scary giant.
Then we get to the part with the rock and the killing.
I take out my scarf/sling shot and as the story goes, one rock to the forehead, Goliath falls down dead.
[it wasn't this bad...]
Accompanied by a devastated yell from the audience and floods of tears.
We both pause our performance.
Look at each other - who's crying?
Then at the kids - and why?
It's our youngest boy. Won't stop crying!
Friend: [to small boy] Aww, why are you crying?
Small Boy: [cries some more]
Me: [to father of small boy] Was that 'cos of this?
Dad: [nods and comforts small boy]
We have traumatised a toddler!
Apparently a fan of giants.
A quick switch to the rather tamer activity of colouring in cut outs of David, sheep and lions.
I go to sleep than night feeling slightly guilty for scaring a small child.
But then guess what happened?
I had a nightmare that a fierce lion was chasing me and I had to run away cos it was trying to eat me!!
Clearly not only the child was affected by our violent storytelling...