In Which No One Got Dead At Church.

Peanut started preschool last Wednesday. The Wise One has been nannying for years and was always able to take him with her, but when she started her new job last month, he had to stay home with me.

We tried to get him into the preschool where Chester went, but we couldn’t until we knew what TWO’s job situation was going to be, and by the time she got her new job, the school was full. So for a couple of weeks in the mornings after dropping Chester off at the bus, Peanut and I would come home and do “school” while we waited out the waiting list.

The librarian at Chester’s old school recommended starfall.com, and each day we did a couple of letter activities, a worksheet or two, including some of the listening exercises at the bottom of the printable pages, and some games like “What is in this room that starts with ‘S’?” (“Strawberry yogurt that Chester didn’t put away after breakfast!”)

It was fun, but it got a little tougher as we went along because the 4-year-old attention span only holds for so long, especially when it’s just one-on-one (and as a rule, mine isn’t much longer), and working nights and then getting up and doing school with him made for some long days . . . so we checked out the preschool at our own church (duh!) and got him enrolled this week!

Wednesday was his first day. Already having failed at homeschooling a preschooler, my father-of-the-year star was further tarnished by not being able to find our camera on his very first day of school ever. I did get him out on the stairs to take a couple of pictures with the built-in webcam on my MacBook (as my little sister put it, “Poor second kid gets his pics taken on a webcam . . .”). He’s loving his class (“Chester, my school is also my church . . . parrently”) and loves that they have a bunch of cars there in the classroom.

The school being in a church, there are inevitably other functions happening in the building during school hours. Thursday I picked him up from class and we went to the office and visited for a few minutes, then exited the front doors of the church . . . where a hearse (not to be confused with my employer) was parked with the back door wide open. The casket was inside the sanctuary where a funeral was taking place, and not having any idea what was going on, he just wanted to look at the really cool car.

We looked for a minute, then went and got in our car. Sensing a teaching moment, I tried to explain to a four-year-old death, burial rituals, etc.

Yeah, that teaching moment sensor needs a tune-up.

“That’s called a hearse, and it’s a special car for carrying coffins. Do you know what a coffin is?”

“That car is cool!”

“A coffin is a special kind of box. When someone dies, even though their spirit goes to heaven, their bodies are sometimes put in a special box called a coffin and they’re buried in it. Like when we went to visit Grandma Dianne in the cemetery a couple of weeks ago, she’s buried there in a coffin.

“When someone dies, their family and friends sometimes have a kind of church service to say goodbye to them. It’s called a funeral. They’re having one right now, and inside the church is a coffin with a dead person’s body inside.”

Pause.

“Someone got dead in the church?”

“No, they died somewhere else, and they brought the coffin here so everyone could say goodbye before they bury the body.”

Thankfully, at that moment, the pallbearers walked out the door carrying the coffin and we watched them put it in the back of the hearse.

“Daddy?”

“Yes, Peanut?”

“Can we go to McDonalds?”

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