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Monday, February 9, 2009


By Shel Silverstein

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


An Outside Look

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a childcare worker at a local church where I usually look after anywhere from three to seven three-year-olds. I love my job, which includes such interesting responsibilities as Dragon Slayer, Scary Monster, Paper Airplane Maker, and Distributor of Snacks. Of course, it also has some not-so-fun responsibilities which include Potty Accidents Cleaner, Putter into Time Out, and Clean-up Time Caller. But for the most part, my group of kids is very good, and they are all as well-behaved as three-year-olds can be.

Some days, however, things can get a little hectic, especially when I have a lot of kids. Take the other Wednesday. I had a full house – two girls, C and Md, and four boys M, J, L, and B – and everyone was wired. On Wednesday night, I’m in charge of feeding everyone dinner, an event that pretty much didn’t happen this week. No one would sit down and eat, and once M announced he was done, everyone else followed suit and threw out their food (except C. She’s my best eater and always clears her plate).

Things just got worse from there. After music time, a High Schooler comes in to help me for about an hour. I took advantage of having another worker to run to the restroom, only to find a little girl from an older class who was sick. Her teacher was with her, but needed to go find her mom, so I stayed with her until her mom and the teacher got back.

When I made it back to the classroom, my helper had to leave, and I was left with the kids again, who decided to stop a nice quiet game of dress up to one that primarily involved running in circles and yelling. I had already stopped them several times, reminding them to use “inside voices” and “walking feet”, but to little avail. It was finally getting bad enough that I was about to go flick the lights (this is a very serious thing. It has the magical effect of getting every kid to stop and listen to what I have to say. But the power only works if I use it sparingly).

While I was debating if the situation was bad enough to merit light-flicking, M’s older sister came in to get him, looked at the wild group of kids that just about had me pulling my hair out, and said, “Aren’t they so cute?”

I stared at her dumbfounded for a moment, then turned and looked at the kids, and suddenly saw what she was seeing.

M wasn’t so much running as shuffling, wearing cowboy boots from our dress-up box that went past his knees and carrying a large purple purse.

C and Md were taking turns being the Prince and the Princess, and at the moment, C was wearing an apron-like dress, and Md had on over-sized men’s shoes, a sparkly vest, and a dressy cowboy hat. They were currently holding hands and spinning in a circle while “singing” (making high-pitched noises).

L and J had on safari hats and B the last cowboy hat. They were running from M who was pretending to be an alligator.
Despite of myself, I smiled. Yes, they were “so cute”.