Planning, Preparation, and Improvisation

bear 2This past weekend, my husband and son were out of town on a scout camping trip, so I planned out the projects to be done while they were gone. One of them was preparing for co-op on Monday. Besides the story and activity, I needed to have a snack ready — preferably one that related to Another Celebrated Dancing Bear.

Time slipped away, though, as it always does, and by Sunday afternoon all I had was the book and a plan. My plan was to have the children make their own snack: yeast roll teddy bears. I was going to try a test-run with the rolls Sunday evening — not the best time, but still, enough time.

Or so I thought. It turned out we had purchased the wrong kind of dough (already baked), and I didn’t have the ingredients to make dough from scratch. So Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m., I headed to the store where I developed a new plan. I would prepare the dough for Russian teacakes (cookies), then have the children help me bake them. While we were waiting, I’d bring out some bear-shaped sugar cookies for them to decorate.

I arrived home and went to work. The sugar cookies didn’t turn out at all — they ended up as huge blobs without any bear qualities. Some of them broke, and I didn’t have enough for the class.

I decided just to make the teacakes myself and serve them as a snack and come up with a separate craft. I thought we could make our own dancing bears from paper plates, and I found a good template online for the arms and legs. I’d leave the house early for co-op and make copies of the pattern, as our printer was out of ink. Another plan…

That didn’t quite work. I woke up early and made the teacakes. As I was carrying them in two small containers out the door, the doorknob caught the sleeve of my jacket, and I stumbled over the outside mat. Both containers flew from my hands, one opening and spilling some of the teacakes onto the ground.

I gathered up the rest and headed back to the house. It didn’t look like it would be enough of a snack anymore, so I filled one of the containers with the non-bear sugar cookies and pieces. FINALLY in the car with everyone and everything loaded up, we started down the road. Until…

I realized I had forgotten my purse!  We turned around, now running out of time to make the copies. John and I ran inside to get extra paper and a marker — I’d have him trace the templates in the car. On our way again…

But I still had no purse!  We went home again, and John ran in to grab it. We got as far as the end of the driveway, when we realized he had forgotten a map he had drawn for class!  We went back one last time, then started on our way. We arrived…

Just in time. And class went well — the children made their dancing bears, and they liked the teacakes. Besides, I don’t think they noticed I was so flustered that I couldn’t locate Russia on the map!

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