Sometimes the best laid plans... well, you know. This actually happened about a month ago, but it's too darn good to pass up.
During our trip to North Carolina this summer, my mother-in-law Mary gave me a clip from the local paper with a great at-home make-your-own ice cream recipe for kids. I immediately thought of doing this with Riley's Daisy troop, of which I'm the leader (and that's a whole other story.) Anyway, during a summer planning session with our sister Brownie troop, the one Logan belongs to, the idea was accepted and we chose this for our craft at the first meeting in September.
Allow me to set the scene: 24 girls arrive at our gorgeous neighborhood clubhouse - they have not seen each other in three months and are VERY excited. While they cartwheel and scream and laugh, I sit behind one of the kitchen counters with two other moms measuring amounts of sugar and cream, salt and ice in various sizes of ziplock bags. I realize now that I should have found some way to do this ahead of time.
I don't greet even one of the new Daisy members or their parents and as our precious hour ticks away, I have yet to complete the prep for our craft/snack combo. The girls are literally WILD. I am sweating. The room we are in has a migrane-inducing echo. Moms are throwing each other eye darts like nothing I've seen and finally.... we finish. We hand out the bags.
What ensures is nothing short of a horror movie, with the most unruly girls (who are always the same and shall remain unnamed) banging their ice-filled plastic bags over the high-end furniture, into the ping pong table, rolling it onto the couch. The idea of "kneading" seems to not have a home in their 8 and 6 year old brains. And then the bags start popping.
Salt water is EVERYWHERE - 24 bags full of it. As soon as we get one cleaned up, another pops, flooding the ping pong table, shimmering on the floor like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Some girls are laughing, others are on the verge of tears. Forty five minutes in, I'm hoarse, breathing like I've just finished an Insanity workout and I literally want to die. But even with the holes, at least half the girls are sitting and enjoying their DQ-style masterpiece, and liking it! We have a two minute break to clean before all hell breaks loose again.
While the older girls go completely bonkers on the indoor swing set (why are they on it? No one knows, but they are outside my jurisdiction), I try to wrangle my Daisies into a circle so I can at least introduce myself and my awesome co-leader, Jennie, to the girls. These sugared up 6 year olds do an amazing job of getting focused and we have a few "normal" moments together. As we walk through the 8 year old circus in the adjoining room to hand the Daisies over to their parents, I almost die of embarrassment and I'm certain they will never leave their children with me again. (As much as I hate my failure, the thought of this thrills me to the core!)
After an hour of rubbing salt water off every surface in the rooms we inhabited that afternoon, I drop my kids off with Mike and run to Jennie's house for respite and a recovery libation.
This job is driving me to drink.