The last straw has finally been plucked from my clinched fist. I have lost all hope of patience, and the last little glimpse of composure left me somewhere around last Wednesday night at children’s choir practice.
I used children’s choir loosely because our little choir now consists of ages from two to 22 and it seems that every last one of those precious young voices was being used at once. Now, that sounds about right for a choir but, they were all saying, singing, squealing or screaming different things. I quieted them down for a moment, then it all started up again like a sadly uncoordinated one man band.
In their defense, we were doing a craft. I was cutting out little sock puppet mouths, one at a time. The other choir leader was manning the hot glue gun, so an all out free for all was in the making. We were in a smaller room than usual because our normal space was cold. We thought using a smaller room upstairs in our church would work this one time. We stuffed a relatively small room with young, loud, human, body heaters and proceeded to try to carry on. It was no time before I felt myself starting to sweat. Little children crawled around my feet and pulled on the cord of the glue gun. Big girls did cheerleading kicks. I had to put a stop to those things immediately.  I envisioned someone losing front teeth or being sent to the ER with a concussion or third degree burn. Different little groups chatted about school, braided hair and not eating dinner yet. One kid practicing her dramatics fell in the floor rubbing her belly as she howled, “I’m so hongry!” (not hungry, hongry)
Sad truth, they were being really well behaved. It was I who was about to pitch a temper fit. The walls seemed to move closer to the center of the room and I felt a drop of sweat roll down the back of my neck. I heard a voice inside my head say, “RUN!” I wanted to, I really did. These kids were being perfectly normal. I was becoming a lunatic. The other leader looked at me and asked if I needed to take a walk. She could see the steam starting to come off the top of my head. Once again, I wanted to grab my keys and make a dash to the car. But, I couldn’t do it. I pictured my partner tied to a chair in the middle of the room while the little darlings hot glued puppet parts on each other.
I feel that women of a certain age should no longer be responsible for children’s choirs, but, I speak only for myself when I say that. Kids just need women and men who still have a little tolerance for the loud. I have none, I’ve done my time, it’s gone.
I finally dropped the puppet parts and demanded, as nicely as possible, that everyone stand up and sing; the one thing we all were there for. Then, with some divine intervention, there was silence. All it took was a near mental breakdown.
Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.