The setting: This morning in the children's building of our church, 15 of our community's sweetest 4 year-olds are putting together angels made of paper bags, styrofoam heads and glittery pipe cleaner halos. We've just finished reading the Christmas story and are hurrying around the room to ensure that each flawlessly-decorated angel is complete in time for these precious preschoolers' parents to arrive.
Background noise: Stapling, coloring, 4 year-old chatter and the crunching of goldfish crackers.
The action:Preschooler 1: (Inaudible.)
Preschooler 2: I'm going to knock your teeth out!
Preschooler 3: (Sitting in between the two. Looks simultaneously confused and horrified.)
Ms. Anne: Preschooler 2, what did you just say? (I was absolutely convinced that the marker fumes were going to my head.)
Preschooler 2: Nothing.
Ms. Anne: Predictable talk of being kind to our friends, what makes God happy and how there are plenty of markers to go around. Don't our craft angels look better when we work together to finish them?
One hour later.
Background noise: Clattering of blocks, happy and rowdy preschool sounds, Preschoolers 1 through 3 playing together amicably as if the previously described scene never took place.
Preschooler 1: Ooh, ooh! My mom and dad are here. Bye, Mr. Bradley! Bye, Ms. Anne! (Pause.) Bye, Knock Your Teeth Out Boy!
Mr. Bradley: Coughing nervously to stifle his laughs.
Needless to say, I was thoroughly amused by the quick change between our loving 4 year-olds telling us how cute their baby Jesus figures are to the (very rare and heretofore unheard) threats of dental damage.
Preschooler 2 doesn't usually come to our class, so his final act of thanks to friends and teachers for a fun Sunday morning was kicking down a house made of blocks he'd been putting together. Better a block than another preschooler!
I've never heard a 4 year-old talk like that and just had to share... I would love to know what would have happened if I'd said something like that in my childhood. Might not be here to tell the tale, friends.
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