I periodically teach the two and three year old Sunday School class. (By teach I mean keep them from throwing baby dolls at each other and otherwise tearing the church down.) I love this age... especially for a couple hours every week. Don't hold me to that statement when I have a two or three year old of my own. Life is so exciting to a two year old and I never leave the class without a fun story or two... or three.
This morning I was on duty once again. Church starts at nine, so the parents with young children all start filing in at about 9:15.
"Good morning, Karsten!"
"Uh oh! Are you a tiger today?" (He was a tiger a few weeks ago.)
"RRRrrrr... a monnnssterrrrrr!"
So, I had the theme of the day. Karsten's imagination usually leads the other kids as they bounce in and find their favorite toy. Soon the girls were running back and forth from the kitchen to him with monster juice, monster chocolate milk and monster fried chicken. Karsten could be on Broadway solely on the expressiveness of his eyebrows and was a very convincing monster. Faith, however, was a little less convincing as she squealed, "I'm scary!" through a wide grin.
I was able to teach them about the angel visiting Mary. This involved a flannel board. I can always keep their attention with a flannel board. Once I asked some teen girls to find some characters for the kids to play with and they apologetically came back with a bag of yarn and random scraps of flannel. Unfazed, I assured them there was no need for an apology as I set the kids up. Twenty minutes later they had created balloons and various Picassoesque creations with the same gusto that they had used sticking the animals by Adam and Eve a couple weeks earlier.
Today we ended with Duck, Duck, Goose. I've worked with some who worry about rules with this game. I quickly assure them that a child young enough to enjoy this favorite doesn't have to have a reason for rules. This group of youngster know somebody picks a goose, but that's about as far as they've gotten so I've figured out a pretty good system. They all sit on randomly scattered carpet squares (I gave up on the sitting in a circle idea pretty early) and I pick who is "it". At two and three being "it" is one of the highest honors you can attain so me choosing keeps them from breaking out into any tribal wars over the decision. All eyes are glued to the chosen one as she taps heads and they wait for the goose to be declared. The kids get so excited at the word "goose", they just can't remember who's supposed to run so they all run every time. I used to try to keep the kids sitting so the goose could chase the "it" around the circle but after a few futile attempts I realized I was just distracting them from their fun. Now, they all jump up, giggle and squeal and run in all different directions until I shout, "Quick! Find a carpet square!" At this, they collapse in a heap on the nearest one and begin to tell me that it is now their turn to be "it".
Wow, the terrible twos. Terribly exciting, enthusiastic, imaginative and, well, pretty chaotic... in a good way... um... for the most part...