Exercise program derailment

So tired this evening I've paged through the Lands' End swimsuit catalog three times. Mental mixing and matching tankinis, but mostly just turning the pages and zoning out. Skipped my evening swim with some really excellent excuses for not going. The excuses were even true.

Worked on a texture mural of Mr. McGregor's garden with preschoolers this morning. They cut orange poster board to make carrots, crumpled tissue paper "lettuce", and made a bountiful bunch of tomato plants.

Growing real tomatoes is a frustrating business in Dallas. The mockingbirds watch the ripening of the tomatoes on the vines. They know within minutes when I will go outside to pick the tomatoes, and they swoop in to peck holes into the perfect beefsteaks to devour them just ahead of me. Mockingbird entertainment value is high, so I can't get too annoyed at the thiefs.

The elementary students used coil construction to make clay pots, and then added noses, ears, eyes, etc. to make "Picasso Jugheads". A rowdy time was had by all. Loaded the clay pieces and the mural-in-progress back into my car and went to my other school. Unloaded everything. Began wishing I had never bought these shoes.

Made pinch pots with more preschoolers. They barely have the hand strength to squeeze the clay. They are very afraid of getting clay on their hands and under their fingernails. At their age I had already learned to scoop the cat poop out of the sandbox before making foxholes for the plastic soldiers. "It's okay to get messy in art!" I read them The Piggy In the Puddle with its wonderful "squishy-squashy, mooshy-squooshy, oofy-poofy" mud puddle. I fantasize about sinking into a puddle of warm mud. Just sitting there. Squinting out toward the horizon through dark sunglasses. I think of the djinn in Kipling's "How the Camel Got It's Hump". The djinn just sitting in the salt pan, behind cheap sunglasses, waiting for the other animals to come bitch and moan about the "humphing" camel that wouldn't do any work with the world so new and all.

I remind the kids of little Jack Horner, and get them to stick their thumbs in smooth balls of clay. Then we discuss quacking like ducks, and practice the universal hand motion for quacking. We put our thumb back into the clay ball, and "quack" our clay balls into pinch pots.

What with all the humphing camels and quacking and carrots and clay, I'm thinking it should be time to go home. Wouldn't that be loverly? Instead, I gear up for creating papier mache dragonflies of Jurassic proportions with third grade girls. Gift wrap cardboard tube bodies, coat hanger wings, lightbulb eyes, egg carton thoraxes, packing tape to the rescue. Slimy papier mache paste transforms kids even more that oofy-poofy clay.

Canned Vienna sausages for toes after a day in these shoes, with the world so new and all.

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