Sunday, January 02, 2011

our little sunbeam


in prelude to this post i feel it necessary to remind you all that it was only one short post ago
that i mentioned the whole "i love my calling as the primary chorister" business

well that was 2010 people
2011 brings new challenges
atticus as a sunbeam

he got rave reviews from his teacher after class
he played the games, he listened, he didn't send any of the other children to the hospital
this did not surprise me

what also did not surprise me was that he was something along the lines of maniacal
during singing/sharing time before class.

so let's picture this together:
i'm in front of all the junior primary
singing, dancing and otherwise entertaining as these are the requirements my calling entails
atticus: running, laughing, drawing on the chalkboard, pounding on the piano, talking into the microphone, let your imagination soar here
all the other children: sitting quietly, paying attention, whatever is the opposite of atticus

so this is quite the conundrum
i did my best to keep him reverent, get him to sit down, all that jazz
which he did part of the time, but it was the rest of the time that had be feeling trapped in a perpetual try-to-keep-my-child-under-control-alla-sacrament-meeting-style fiasco. i mean an hour+ in sacrament meeting is tough enough but now to keep him reverent and engaged for the second hour of church while also trying to do my calling is more tough. i've chatted with other peeps who have had my calling and we've compared noted and i've discovered that different wards use their primary chorister differently. and my ward uses me a lot! i'm busy almost non-stop for the two hours of primary. and when another leader is doing sharing time i'm in the nursery singing with them, so it's real busy, not a lot of downtime. i'm also kind of the impromptu fill-in-the-extra-time person too so at any time a primary leader will ask me to come up and do some extra singing, get the kids reverent, get their wiggles out, whatever. as i've said before - i love it but it's also a lot of work. and now i'm also chasing atticus which = a LOT of work.

this isn't meant to be an whoa is me pity party
and i realize that the passage of time is going to help this situation
but in the meantime, any bandaid solutions you could throw my way?
perhaps just a bit of sympathy?

and while we're at it
i'm planning on revamping my sacrament meeting bag of tricks
to keep the kids happy and quiet for the hour+ sacrament meeting circus
do you have any must-have secrets for making sacrament meeting less circus-esque?

thanks for letting me pick your brain

note: this is not meant as a rip on atticus post. i'm very leery of labeling children
and i'm actually very pro-mania when it's appropriate but i'm just looking for tips on teaching him reverence, etc


Crazy Lady said...

candy. suckers for sacrament meeting. and stuff from the 99 cent store. when jason was in the bishopric i was like no rules apply i just got to manage.

that stinks about singing time, that is a hard calling for sure, my friend and i joke that its like the one-woman circus act. and i was super jealous of my friends whose primaries did it differently but mine was like yours.

no advice for atticus ...maybe he could lead with you? like the whole time. i tried the whole 'treat my kids like everyone else bit' but then i realized what worked better for mine was ' i get special treatment cause my mom was here' cause then they didn't resent it and so i let them pick first. hey those are the perks.

funny that he is a sunbeam cause baylie is too and they seem so different ages, that is the difference of a birthday near the beginning of the year vs the end. but i'm sure if i was there she would be much less manageable and needy.

don't worry about labeling. its purely an age thing. he will grow out of it and i wish someone would have told me that with luke. just got a ride it out. now when luke gets annoyed at a little kid being wild i just tell him thats exactly what he was like and he turned out fine.

your description of what was happening was hilarious by the way and i can picture it cringing :) sorry

i don't know why this is just a long comment but now i just think its funny. should i just keep going? blessings. you are getting oodles and blessings.

any way darek can come in and sit in with atticus sometimes when he isn't teaching? thats my vote

Crazy Lady said...

lets plan for jason to come out and him and brandon can do ya'lls yard. it will be easy peasy lemon squeezy. lets put it on the calendar.

mlk day? presidents?

Amy D. said...

Oh is he a Sunbeam?? Isn't he like 2 months old? Ethan just went into sunbeams today too!! Our ward has 2 choristers, one of junior, one for senior. Maybe you could suggest that??

As for sacrament meeting..these are my kids favorites that keep them the quietest...
-Where's Waldo (we have the mini book that has them ALL in them and Ethan could seriously do it the whole time)
-Those sticker puzzle things. Match numbers and build a picture.
-An I spy pouch (another ethan fav)
-Liv is now into word searches, but he needs to be older to do those)
-Color by numbers (which you can print off the internet)
Are these too old? I'm going to be to the entertaining stage once again soon..heaven help me.

Mama Thompson said...

Dallin had his first day of sunbeams today too, and with me in charge and up front the whole time he was a bit of a mess (crying, trying to be with me and get me to hold him...really?!). It's probably not possible yet with Beck not being in nursery, but I made David come in and sit with him, so I could teach my lesson to the junior primary kids...maybe someone would be nice enough to take care of Beck and Darek could sit with him...just thinkin'... Even if only for a couple weeks till he gets used to it.

And good luck! We use our chorister A LOT too and really appreciate I'm sure they are appreciating you too!

erica said...

wow to you. primary chorister is the hardest calling of all times, in my opinion.
our chorister had a son that did that. she completely ignored him and made his teacher handle it. if the teacher didn't, the primary president did. enlist their help and make sure you're parent B during that time and your man is parent A. that way, if they need to talk to him, he goes to daddy, not mommy.
it worked for our chorister. I had her son for a while, and I was more than happy to help out.

Jeannie said...

I was wondering how he did today. After a week of Dane being so excited to be a sunbeam, five minutes before church he declared he did not want to be a sunbeam. Joel saved me by taking him to class. Luckily they had all the primary kids together at first and then separated to their new classes. I know if I had taken him he would have cried. Ditto what Erica said. That is exactly what I was thinking. I went through the exact same thing when Kyla was a sunbeam. I was not Mom during singing time. I was Sister Galvin. Just talk to the Sunbeam teacher and get on the same page and I'm sure they'll help you out. My sister in law is going through the exact same thing with her son who just turned three in December. We missed seeing you guys today but I think we'll survive the new ward. :)

Stacey said...

OMGoodness--I don't know how you do it! I'm exhausted after sacrament meeting with two toddlers and no husband...and then I at least get a break from one of them while he's in nursery! Two more hours of a preschooler would push me over the edge! You go girl.

We love crayons/paper, chalk/mini chalkboard, books (I heart the dollar section at Target), and snacks during sacrament meeting. Stickers are another favorite.

See you sometime soon?

Kate Wangsgard said...

Can't believe he's a sunbeam! I'm sure it will get better after a few hard weeks of adjustment for both of you.

As far as Sacrament Meeting stuff goes, when we moved to the new building they instituted a "no food in the chapel" rule, which seemed totally impossible based on my usual strategy of keeping Soren occupied, but was actually much, much easier than I expected. (And I always felt a little iffy about using food as a comfort/distraction since that seems like a bad habit to teach your kids so I was glad someone forced me to re-evaluate my toddler coping mechanisms- but that's a whole different topic...) Anyway, stuff that has worked really well are stickers (sometimes I'd draw circles on a piece of paper and have him put a sticker in each one) books with flaps, pulls, etc., stamps (I found a couple of those little ones with little caps and built in ink in the dollar section at Target), those lacing string things, and a little photo album with pics of his cousins and other family members. I'll hand it to him and ask him to find a particular person, that usually buys us a few minutes... And if things get really bad I put him on my lap and we play I Spy. I whisper things to find into his ear and he searches around the room and points when he finds it. Works great other than when he gets really excited and stands up and shouts "Mom, there's the letter X!!"

I feel like Sacrament meeting with one kid is a circus that leaves me exhausted, I can't imagine it with two kids! Good luck!

Keleigh, Cecilia and Family said...

i didn't read all the comments, but magnets work great and you can make a lot of them to fit different scripture stories. with having 3 kids under three and now, under 5, it has been trying, but we have made it every sunday. get lots of activities with the friend magazine. i have kept it pretty simple. crayons, magnets, magazine and some paper. and we have a strict rule in our stake with no food. so, in the car, the kids get snacks, but nada in sacrament meeting. but the magnets are the fav most of the time!