I Can Be Such A Child...

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , ,

Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam

Change is good, right?

As you can see, WindySydney has another new look to it.  I am not sure why that other layout grew tiresome to me so quickly, but it did.  I really like this one, and I should have my links and photos back up by tomorrow afternoon.  I will have more freedom with this one .  The old one wouldn't allow me to change things around, and it blocked my creativity.  I was put in a box.  I hate being put in a box.  Boxes are bad... unless they are full of chocolates or daisies... anyway...

Yesterday I shared my thoughts about what the church was teaching the children.  Some of it made me feel as if I were six years old again, sitting in a freezing cld classroom, starving, daydreaming about the moment in Sacrament Meeting when I could partake in a yummy (teeny-tiny) square of (hopefully crust-less) WonderBread.  You know, when you are that hungry, that piece of bread tasted soooo freaking good!

As un-funny as the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, I found myself laughing at the way the lessons were written for the little ones.  

Okay... imagine for a moment you were in my class... the teacher, no doubt, the typical Molly-Mormon Primary Teacher, complete with blue and pink flowered dress with white lace trim. Remember the ultra-modest frocks with the piece on top that makes you look like a pilgrim?  All my teachers would always wear those!  One of them always had this pink lipstick on her teeth. It is amazing if I learned anything from her at all, because I couldn't keep my eyes from the cosmetics on her teeth...

So... imagine, if you will, my teacher, leaning forward in her chair, eyes open wide... as if to emphasize that she is saying something very important, saying:

"Satan was a baaaaad man."

*nods sincerely*

Don't get me wrong, I loved it when they pulled out other kid-loving tricks like the ever popular felt board... I was never once asked to be the class helper who got to place the little cut-outs on the felt board.  I remember learning about Noah's Ark on the felt board.  I was annoyed that a little girl named Melanie got to be the helper again before anyone else had a turn, and I spent the rest of my class time trying to figure out what the poorly illustrated animals were. 

"What is that," I thought to myself, "a llama?  A Tyrannosaurus Rex? A Cricket?"

Who do you have to sleep with to help with the felt board?  Jeez...

We had the tiny chairs to sit in, and they were made of the hardest plastic man could make.  How is it that they think children (or anyone for that matter) can absorb anything in the lesson plan when their asses hurt that bad?  Kids can't sit still to begin with, it's going to be a million times worse if they can't get comfortable.  Could you imagine classrooms with bean bag chairs and loungers?  I could have handled that.  Instead, we dealt with stark white walls and icky beige carpet.  Those colors don't help the learning process... they help put you to sleep... or in a trance... hmm...

As I mentioned earlier, it was always freezing in our ward building.  If you know me well, you understand that I am not a girly-girl.  I am not a tomboy, just somewhere in the middle.  How is it that you expect a little girl's feet to stay warm, in the dead of winter, when the only things on her feet are white tights and mary janes?

My toes felt as if they would freeze solid, and that is when I would invent a little dance in my head for my feet.  I would sit in my chair, on my hands (my fingers were cold, too!) and my legs would dangle.  I would point my toes to the left, then to the right, and then jiggle my feet like crazy.  I would add steps as I went on... in my head, I would be thinking, "left, right, left, left again, right-cha-cha-cha."  I am surprised the teachers didn't ask me if I had to go "potty."  It must have looked like I was trying to "hold it."

They knew I wasn't paying attention... they knew many kids were not paying attention.  That is why some of my teachers and leaders bribed us with treasures...

One teacher promised us real toys if we participated in class.  We earned tokens if we answered a question correctly and we got to choose from a bag full of stuff you might normally find in the toy section of a small grocery store.  Jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, and my personal favorite... popsicle molds.

One weekend my brother and I stayed at my grandparent's house and I brought along my new popsicle stuff.  I couldn't wait to turn myself into a frozen dessert chef.  I froze everything I could get my hands on, including watermelon chunks with lemonade, small pieces of Hershey's Kisses inside orange juice, and I can tell you from experience never to try to freeze carbonated drinks.  The inside of their poor freezer was covered in drops of frozen root bear and Dr. Pepper.  I never cleaned the thing, either.

Grandpa stopped freaking out about the mess when he found out I got the popsicle stuff because I paid attention in church.  He didn't care that his kitchen was a mess if it meant that I was becoming a good Mormon girl.  Grandma cleaned it all anyway, it's not like my grandpa had to lift a finger...

Another thing about staying at Grandpa and Grandma's was that my mother, an absolute saint, would often let me "forget" my Sunday clothes.  He only made me go a couple times.  I had to wear my cousins dress a couple times... and I would like to add that she is five years younger than me.  Yeah... if little kids were able to make the Worst Dressed List, I would have made the cut.

The girls in my Grandpa's ward were rotten.  They certainly knew that I was the outsider and they quickly shunned me when they realized I didn't carry my own scriptures (complete with Molly-Mormon frilly-flowered scripture cozy).  They were little snots.  We assembled for testimony meeting after my super-fun class and their mothers would thank the Lord Himself for their sweet children.  The girls would also take their turn on the microphone giving the standard: 

"IwouldliketobearmytestimonyIknowthechurchistrueIknowJosephSmithwasatrueprophet..." How lovely, even as a kid I would see the hypocritical crap.

I know most of the teachers really tried.  It's hard as hell to get a group of little kids to listen to stories about translations and scary stuff like Holy Ghosts.  It doesn't help any that they tell you that God knows every little thing they do... even when you didn't pay tithing on the five bucks your Grandma and Grandpa left for you in your birthday card.  Cheat on a test?  Yeah, you will burn Hell, kid.  That aint Freddy Kreuger in your dreams... that's the "CREATOR!"

As hard as it is to get through to kids this age, it's done.  It happened to me.  I "knew" Joseph Smith was a "true" prophet before I even truly understood what it meant to be a prophet.  I knew that challenging anyone over it would result in bad things.

Yes, my internet friends, imagine again the Molly-Mormon looking at you with her eyes open wide with her frilly white-laced dress staring at you..

"It would result in baaaaad things."

Excuse me, Sister Young? You have... um... ya know... somethin'... right... nevermind.  Sometimes staring at lipstick covered teeth is more entertaining than getting brainwashed... right?

I "knew" that Jesus wanted me for a Sunbeam, and I "knew" I was a child of God.  Not because I actually felt it in my heart, or believed it in my soul.  Only because everyone I knew told me so.