We had a lot of fun at Field Day, overall, but it was interesting to see that this class, my loveliest ever, was the also the class most overhelmed by our Field Day activities.
Lemon’s mom came to help, and Lemon immediately got super-anxious every time she couldn’t see her mom, starting at arrival time. If her mom was in the hall, then Lemon couldn’t go into the classroom without her, without starting to cry. Finally, I had to pull her aside. “Honey, your mom isn’t going anywhere. She is staying here to help us with Field Day. She will not leave the school without you, and she will not leave you here by yourself. She’ll be here until it is time to go home. However, if you cannot stop crying and clinging to your mom, then I will have to ask her to go home, so that you will be able to calm down and participate in Field Day. Do you understand.”
Lemon nodded, and stopped crying. “One more thing, I want you to remember that if you can’t see your mom, it means that she took someone to the bathroom, or she is helping someone else out. It will not mean that she left, okay? She will be here with you until it’s time to go home. Can you handle that?”
Lemon nodded again. I dropped the class off with the prep provider, Lemon’s mom, and Miss Slinger, and ran around madly during my prep to get things organized. When I went to join the class, Lemon was sobbing, and so was Plum. It turned out that Lemon BIT Plum! I don’t think she had any idea why she did it, and poor Plum didn’t, either. I think Lemon was just overcome by her anxieties, which usually only show up when her mom is there. Neither Lemon nor Plum would participate in the activities as we went station to station for at least another 20 minutes.
One of the boys started running wildly on the playground while waiting his turn to throw the basketballs in the garbage cans, and fell — of course — and screamed at the top of his lungs. It took a trip to the nurse and quite a few bandaids to get him calmed down.
Plenty of girls were shy and wouldn’t try anything. Finally they all warmed up, and we did have a good time. Then we tried to do the Balloon Hop, which I had been hyping all week. There were no balloons, just little heavy rubber balls! (Our usual gym teacher left a few months ago, so our new gym teacher was in charge, and he had never done Field Day before.) So that was a disaster. None of the kids could keep the rubber ball squeezed between their knees AND hop at the same time. I had to give up and let them carry the balls, and then jump all the way to the finish line.
Strangely enough, the one new station that I was dreading — tug of war — turned out to be a great success. We finished with 9 pairs of kids on 9 ropes, giggling hysterically and having a great time. Phew!
I was utterly exhausted when they went home, though.