Phoebe went to nursery with Rachel for the first hour and did fairly well, but one hour is about all she can handle in there. She refuses to go to nursery alone and needs to be with momma.
(Interestingly, today she played with Zoë for somewhere along the lines of nine hours while we were working on the basement and she did just fine without me. Of course, they had unlimited snacks and TV and trampoline time, so it felt like a party. But still...)
So she comes to my second hour class—Holiday STEM—with me. I'm one of three co-teachers (in addition to the head teacher) in that classroom, so it's not like my presence/attention is 100% necessary and I can easily split my energy between the students and Phoebe.
Because we're so close to Halloween and it's a holiday STEM class, the activities were all centered on Halloween. We did some apple-themed activities in September and some leaf-themed activities last time we met. I think it would be neat to see some other holidays factored in there because I know we had, like, Sukkot at the beginning of October, and Diwali is coming up in November. But, I get that while we're a non-denominational group we are also a de facto Christian group. Personally, I think some awareness of other religions would do us some good...and thus the reason for my thesis...and perhaps PhD.
Evidently I should suggest a world religions course for our kiddos.
Anyway, we were doing Halloween-themed STEM activities and one of the projects was to figure out how to stack candy corn to see how tall of a tower they could make. The kids were very excited about this—because candy—and kept asking whether or not they were allowed to eat it.
To be fair, I'm pretty relaxed about these things and probably would have shrugged and told them to make their own choices. But the mom in charge was like, "Oh, goodness, no! You've all been touching them! They've been on the table! They've been dropped on the floor! They're filthy! We'll throw these away and I will give you some clean candies—if your moms allow you to have sugar—on the way out the door."
So that's what happened.
At the end of the class period we swept all the candy corn off the tables and into the waste basket. And then we started breaking down* tables and putting away chairs.
I started hauling a table off to put it away in the storage area and left Phoebe behind. This is not usually a problem because she's such a little duckling (when she's in an environment that makes her feel uncomfortable, such as our co-op) that she will follow me around wherever I go.
But on this particular day there was a waste basket full of...candy.
And, as Andrew is known to have so wisely said (because he finds the phrase "waste not, want not" to be a terrible tongue twister): "Waste not, want, want!"
Phoebe didn't want to waste and she certainly wanted, wanted.
Phoebe did not follow me down the hall and by the time I arrived back at our classroom to find her, I found her leaning over the garbage can, shoveling candy corn into her mouth with both hands as fast as she could. She'd stuffed her cheeks full like a little chipmunk and wet, partially chewed candy corn was dripping out of her mouth even as she was stuffing more in.
It was hilarious.
Part of me wondered why none of the other mothers present thought to intervene...but not because I annoyed at them per se (I mean, it's my baby), but simply because I imagine that if I were in a room with a strange (as in "unknown to me") baby eating fistfuls of food out of a garbage can I might just...you know...step in to do something...take the garbage can away or something. Mostly, though, I just thought it was hilarious and so totally Phoebe.
*In order to put them away. I don't know why we say "break down" when we mean "collapse." These tables are foldable, so we must collapse the legs in order to fold them up properly. One time we hosted a party outdoors and when it was time to clean up some of the neighbours were helping, and one of our Russian-speaking neighbours asked me if there was anything he could do to help. I said, "Would you mind breaking down those tables for me?" and he was like, "You want I should break the tables?!" And I was like, "Not break them, no. I would like you to break them down, which means..." and I explained to him everything that I just explained here. Like, he knew how the tables worked and all. He just wasn't sure about that wording, which feels fairly standard to me, but which is certainly a colloquialism (I suppose).