So, the nerd herd meeting didn't go well today.
As most of you know, I coach a team of smart kids (kindy kids and 2nd graders) and they come to my house each week and make me insane. As individuals, they are adorable, they are brilliant, they are funny and they are wonderful. (Most of them.) As a group, they're just freaking crazy.
So today, knowing that painting would be a disaster, I carefully taped down drop cloths on my driveway. This was no easy task--it was windy, I was alone, the tape wouldn't stick, people were jogging by and giving me weird looks; it sucked but I got it done.
Then I went and volunteered in Big Kid's classroom. Doing math. And I don't even know 2nd grade math. I encourage the kids to help each other, secretly count on my fingers and flub my way through. When they cry about the subtraction 2-minute timed tests, I agree that it sucks and secretly thank God that grown-ups get to use calculators.
Then I pick up the nerd herd in front of the school and walk them across 2 lanes of busy traffic; usually begging them to not get killed and pantomining suicide to the crossing guard who pities me with my unruly herd.
I do have a co-coach and she meets me on the other side of the street. (I actually have 2 but one doesn't do much. At all. Ever. Up to and including showing up.) So we take the kids home (to my house) and I give them cupcakes and lemonade for behaving so well on Saturday (I had an all day thing with them in another county--yeah.)
Then we break out the paint and ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.
In spite of the drop cloths, they start getting paint all over my driveway. I move them into the grass where they get paint and grass mixed up on their boxes and create multi-colored patches in my yard. They paint each other. They bicker. They get paint all over their ridiculously expensive designer clothes because their parents didn't get the 4 emails and 3 verbal reminders about bringing paint clothes.
They are terrible painters.
People were not listening, people were running around, people were getting time-outs. During clean-up a full bowl of paint was accidentally dumped on the driveway, despite repeated instructions to keep the paint away from the driveway. It dripped down the concrete in a dark river of blue. I told them all to sit in the grass and NOT move. I lectured them on not listening and the mess they had made by not following instructions as I tried to scrub the paint away. The paint would not come up.
Coach Ashley was tired. Coach Ashley was not happy.
"What are we going to do next, Coach Ashley?"
"You're going to sit on the grass and wait for your parents to arrive." And that's what they did. It was only about 10 minutes but to them this is an eternity.
It was not a stellar day. I feel bad that I got so crabby with them, even though they deserved it. My co-coach is one of those sweet as sugar types so I'm embarrassed she saw me ready to wring their necks.
Tonight I told Big Kid, "Sorry the meeting was so stressful today."
"I'm sorry we got so much paint on the driveway." (It was a lot of paint.)
"It's no big deal, you guys are little and accidents happen. The not listening was the big problem but whatever, next week will be better. Soooo, did I seem a little crabby and crazy today?" I asked, wondering how my fed-upedness had seemed to the little people.
"Just a little. I'd say about 5% crazy and that's not even very much. It was an okay kind of crazy." He assured me.
I can live with 5%.
Soooo the nerd herd won't be painting again, nor will they be having cupcakes ever again. The moral of this story is (as always): DON'T VOLUNTEER. Ever!