I have been teaching summer camps like a madwoman this year. I have switched off between doing theater camps with my "big" kids, exploration camps with my "soon-to-be-kindergarteners" and Montessori camps with 3 year-olds. I have enjoyed most of them, but I have to say, the group of three year-olds I have this week has been so much fun.
I have one little boy whose father is a pastor. He is the same boy who, when asked what the name of his church was, answered, "It's the Church of the Absapositootie" (although now he says it is the church of "Mary had a Little Toot.") Every time this child goes to the restroom, he calmly announces that he has "emptied his bladder."
I have a pair of fraternal twins. They are brother and sister but the sister is more dominant and calls all of us "her people." Their cousin is in the class also and snuggles up with my assistant. Today as he was snuggled into her he kept rubbing her legs. Suddenly he announced that her legs "feels just like my daddy's face!"
These kids are so cool. At the end of every day we do yoga together, only a few of them can't pronounce their "Y's" and always yell that they're ready to do "Oga." I find myself getting into their speech patterns and forgetting my own rules of grammar. Plus, a few of them have very strong southern accents. I myself have a blended accent. For the most part I have the bland midwest tone to my voice, although I do mispronounce my "o's" in that Ohioan kind of way. But I also say "y'all" and "fixin' to" and "showin' out". Just little things southern things, nothing too pronounced.
I really surprised myself today, however, when I noticed the tree on our playground had started to drop its nuts. Being the environmental teacher that I am I called the kids over to show them what I had found. I kept saying, "Look everybody, our PEE-can tree is dropping its nuts. Can you believe it? Who eats PEE-cans?" And after a minute or two I heard what I was saying. I wasn't saying peh-cahn like I had been taught, I was saying PEE-can like I was a character in Mame or something. Good Lord, what these kids have done to me. Next thing you know I am going to be saying BAM-byou-lance or Sigh-reen like they do around here. Maybe I just need to do more oga.
***Just a sidenote to my post from yesterday. I woke up to my newspaper's local headlines announcing that the police were searching for a man wanted for 8 counts of attempted murder. He was also charged with a drive-by shooting that almost killed a toddler. This man had just been arrested 3 months ago in a drug sting and was a known associate of the Bloods leader who had been living catty corner across the street behind me. They listed the man's name and address. His address was 1400 BEHIND MY FRIGGING HOUSE STREET. I mean the house RIGHT BEHIND MY HOUSE. I can look into his back windows! And the church says I am lying, gossiping and making up stories about the dangers of my neighborhood. Argh!