It was a softball night at church. Normally I don’t even like to go. I don’t like bugs, sweating, or anything that has the word “ball” in it. I don’t run, and I can’t hit a ball with my foot or hand, much less a bat. I only went because my husband begged me to, and I figured I could get next year’s seniors’ graduation requirements updated inside the office, so I went.
Things went pretty well. I was inside in the air conditioning, and it was quiet until . . . The Invasion of the Toddlers. Here they came, three of them, and each one had a ball. Bounce, bounce, bounce, thud, bang, whack. Kick, hit, roll, bounce, bam, bounce. I tried to work for awhile but it was useless. And I already explained how much I love sports. So, I got out a few puzzles, some dominoes, and then my daughter found a few farm animals. (I specifically keep these things in the office for the preschool-aged children. Whenever the little ones are in the school building, they know where to go.) I gave a puzzle to two of them. I showed them how to find the biggest or most obvious piece first, and then how to spin it around until it fits in the right place. Next, the third little boy and I made a domino train. Then we made a fence with the dominoes and put the farm animals inside it. The play dad fed them while the play daughter climbed up on the silo. Then the other two wanted to switch puzzles so I helped them again. It was beginning to get a little boring over at the farm, so I decided that part of the fence would break and all the cows and horses escaped. I was having fun now. Forget the seniors’ paperwork. We had cows to bring home.
So, we played for an hour or so. They were having fun, thinking, figuring out how to stack dominoes, fit puzzle pieces in the right places, and how to get the cows back inside the fence. By the time the softball game was over our little playgroup had doubled as a few of the older children wanted to join in the fun. These little ones are going to be ready for school when it is their turn.