World's Most Chaotic Birthday Party

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14 five and six year old boys running in a big field with sticks. Need I say more?

This was my Saturday...up at 7, baseball game at 9, Fun Fair at the local pre-school at 11 and Birthday Party from Hell at 2.

Actually, the party was great. The kids had a blast and the mom provided some really cool activities...minus the running with sticks and shooting each other part. They had a treasure hunt to search for Dr. Claw (inspector gadget theme), then they did a pinata, made t-shirts by coloring a picture on sand paper with crayons then ironing it onto the shirt, Inspector Gadget Bingo with prizes, then cake and presents. They ended by playing on the playground. The party wasn't the was a certain few children who needed some Nanny 911 help.

3 boys in particular. The first two were older siblings and COMPLETELY WILD!! Jumping up and running across picnic tables, knocking over small children, turning on the water and flinging mud on kids who weren't looking. And these children had parents there watching this the whole time!! I finally turned on my teacher voice and firmly and rather loudly, asked them to stop, when they ignored me, I took them both by the hand and sat them down at a nearby bench and told them they were in time out. I wanted to smack the living crap out of them, but ...well that wouldn't be appropriate now would it?

The parents were completely stunned. Neither one of them said a word to me, but I was waiting. I was ready to tell them that if they weren't able to parent their child, I would. Someone had to. Unfortunately, this seems to be becoming the norm these days. Too many parents, at least while I was teaching, expected the teachers to "handle" their kids. I remember one such father joked "Got a baseball bat?". My response was, "A ten year old with $100 tennis shoes? Take them away."

Now, I realize that many of you can do this. Work, run a household, raise children, be there for your husband, and many of you are damn good single parents and have no other choice. But you my friends, are not the norm and it's terribly unfortunate. I admire you all for what you do. Even the little bit of work I'm doing now, while envigorating, balancing it with the rest of my life is exhausting!

I speaking about the parents whose jobs are more important than their kids. They use television, computers and video games as baby sitters. They can't go to the baseball practices or soccer practices because they have to work. I'm talking about the parents who have time off from work and leave their 6 year old in daycare til 6 pm anyway. I'm talking about the parents who let their kids do whatever the hell they want to because their children might not like them if they discipline to harshly. I'm talking about the parents who feel so guilty working 60 and 70 hour work weeks that they buy their children anything they want to make up for the time they are missing with them. I'm talking about the parents who want kids, but don't want to raise them.

It angers me that their are so many of you who appreciate what a family is and work to hold it together and that there is always the yang to counter act that. I started teaching because I wanted these kids to have some structure, something constant in their lives. Someone who would listen to them, and not succumb to their every whim. I stopped for those very same reasons. I needed to be that for my own children. They do not live in a bubble, and I am certainly not the perfect parent. I have a temper, I scream, I yell, I cry and I love my children to death. They have their place in our family and they do not get everything they want. They will learn to respect adults, no matter who they are, they will learn to question authority appropriately. They will learn to be good people and get by honestly in this world. They will learn how to pretend the floor is hot lava or water and jump from couch to couch. They will learn to make forts out of cusions and blankets. They will play in the dirt and get dirty. They will learn to talk to strangers and listen to their senses about them. They will learn to talk to people they know, and listen to their gut about them. They will learn to have their own minds and appreciate the things they have and conversely what others don't. They will learn these things because this is what my family is about. This is what my family is about and if your children do not want to learn these things too, or if this is not what your family is about, then your kids do not have to play here.

I am a passionate person and there are few things that really get me going this was obviously one of them. Perhaps this is why I have spent my life with children in some way shape or form. Next Fall, I will start teaching preschool. Big jump from 7th and 8th graders, but perfect for me at this point. It's a couple of days a week, J-man #2 will be going to excellent preschool, I can still volunteer in J-man #1's classroom, be home for the bus and make some extra money. We'll worry about laundry, vacuuming and dinner later ;0)

And somehow this all started from a birthday party...

I know I can't save the world, but I will certainly die trying.