Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CROWD (07/06/17)
TITLE: The Tiny Tots Nap Time Rebellion
By Lucy Steel
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The story of the rebellion spread and grew bigger and bigger, like an inflating Violet Beauregarde. Versions of the event vary, and Zac kept surprisingly taciturn about the whole affair. However, the generally accepted story is this:
Zac had held concerns about the practice of nap-time ever since he’d turned two. As he crept closer to three, his questions grew. What did it achieve for a toddler of advanced age such as himself? Sure, it made sense for babies – they didn’t do anything useful. But for a toddler who accomplished so much each day, nap-time was, well, a waste of time. One minute, Zac would be performing highly important tasks - building a Lego township or rescuing snails for instance – the next he’d be bundled into an undignified lump and dumped in a cot.
This must stop. How though?
Even at his tender age, Zac realised that battles are won by armies not loners, and he had a ready army in the form of the Tiny Tots preschool attendees – the Tuesdays and Thursdays crowd like him. Zac’s approach was fourfold– plant the seeds of unrest, communicate the vision, plan the attack and implement.
And so it began.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Zac began sharing some pretty profound questions with the group: Why don’t grown-ups have nap times? If nap-time is so good for wellbeing, why do we wake up confused and sweaty? And why do we so often lose a sock when napping?
These were good questions and certainly caused some unrest. So, Zac went to the next stage. While in the sandpit, he gathered together his three best friends and outlined his plan.
Rory got the idea immediately. “Yeth I agwee!” he lisped excitedly, having just lost a tooth.
Vanessa wasn’t so convinced. “Won’t our mommys be cross?” she asked.
“Our mommys won’t know,” said Zac. He wasn’t completely sure this was true but needed to trigger confidence.
David picked his nose thoughtfully. “I think it could work Ack. Let’s make a plan”. So, the friends drew a comprehensive plan with their fingers in the sand.
The day came. Zac had prepared the wider group and explained the part each would play. All the toddlers, to varying degrees, were on board and ready.
The morning began as usual, with apples and milk for morning tea, then free play and lunch. Story-time was after lunch but the toddlers were so nervous they couldn’t concentrate, despite the children in the Magic Faraway Tree visiting a particularly exciting land that day.
Then, finally, it was nap-time.
The children took their places – or rather were put in their places by the gentle, well-meaning teachers, Miss Collins and Miss Stewart, who carefully tucked them in and distributed dummies to those still using them.
The lights dimmed and Zac gave the signal, which was a piece of apple thrown at Ms Collin’s head. Given his rudimentary throwing skills (being only two-and-three-quarters), the apple fell far short of the target, but it got the ball rolling.
A barrage of apple pieces and carrot and salami sticks went sailing through the air next, having been carefully hidden in pockets earlier that day.
“What on earth…?” exclaimed Ms Stewart.
An avalanche of flying dummies followed. Then Rory rose from his sleep-mat and ran across the room. Ms Collins gave chase, but was stopped by a rocking-horse pushed in front of her by three sturdy boys, James, Joe and Warrick.
Holly let out a piercing yell and ran at Ms Stewart, her head whacking the teacher’s thigh. Julie then ran from behind, grabbing on to the other leg. Five more toddlers followed suit, until Ms Stewart looked like an angry fly caught in a web of excitable toddlers.
By this time, toddlers were running everywhere, a criss-cross of chubby, diapered legs.
As an elated Zac watched the chaos, Ms Stewart peeled toddlers from her legs and hurried to the door, muttering “minimum wage not worth it…” Ms Collins, defeated, sat down and watched the affray.
While nap-time wasn’t fully abolished, the toddlers gained their first experience of the power of teamwork. And Zac began planning his next rebellion – brussel sprouts.
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