Saturday, August 25, 2007

How Could Anyone Teach Pre-School?

What do you call 20 toddlers, all accompanied by their parents, and one over-caffeinated instructor in a tiny 90 degree classroom waaay too close to dinner time? Kindermusik Demo Days!!! I'm not ready to put Landon into any preschool programs, but I thought 45 minutes a week in a group setting (complete with dancing, singing and playing with instruments) would be the perfect cure for his end of a hot-as-crap-summer boredom. So, on Thursday, we ventured out to Piano Central for a trial run. We got there late (typical, if you know us) and the place was CRAWLING with toddlers. Landon doesn't usually do very well in crowds and, since we haven't vaccinated our son, I of course, slipped into my "Every kid is infected with some mysterious disease" mentality. Upon entering, I thought I heard a "pertussis-y" sounding cough--and WAIT! "Are those Chicken pox! Oh, they're mosquito bites? Sorry, ma'am, I'm insane." My first instinct was to turn around and run from the too-crowded room, but before I had the chance, "Miss Heather" and a large circle of other chipper people were waving to us through the window that separated the lobby from the classroom. I put on my happy face, tucked away my paranoia, and joined the circle for the "Hello Song". Landon (who usually loves a good tune as much as the next two year old) just stood there glued to my side, dumbfounded, looking at the singing instructor like she was one sandwich sort of a picnic basket. (Uh oh--this wasn't going well.) Just as the thought was crossing my mind to sneak out the back door when no one was looking, Landon did the strangest, least expected thing. He quietly walked into the middle of the circle of people, head looking straight at the floor, meek and shy.....and then, out of no where, he began DANCING like crazy. Looking quite like his father (the original Whitey McWhite Boy), if I do say so myself , my son spun around, arms and legs flying every which way, his whole body bouncing and gyrating to nothing but the music in his own head. I couldn't believe my eyes! Who was this child? Eventually, a few other toddlers ventured to the center of the room to join him, and before long, there was mass chaos. No matter what Miss Heather did, Landon and his posse would not stop dancing and screeching. The poor instructor (smile glued onto her stressed face) finally had to incorporate wild dancing and squealing into all of the games. The kids were all having a blast, the parents were cracking up and giving me those "Man, your kid's a wild one" looks, and Landon was flashing me the smile that ate Pittsburgh, feeling like a star.

During one activity, the other parents and I were trying our best to listen to what the instructor was saying over the noise, when I looked over to see three little heads congregating suspiciously in the corner--Landon and two other boys were trying to sneak into a giant pile of boxes by the wall. We got to them just in the nick of time, (locking the boxes out of the room before they could fall and squish a bunch of curious pre-schoolers), but more drama ensued. Two of the kids escaped through a side door while another was looting things from the cubby holes. Several kids were tackling each other--And the parents were all encouraged by the staff to sit back and watch their children "experience" Kindermusik rather than interfering--Ha ha! Phew! The whole evening was exhausting, but definitely entertaining.

Will we be signing up for a 15 week session? Maybe. It was great to see this new side of my son--I have never known him to just go up and hug a stranger, but he did at Kindermusik! He even sat right on the instructor's lap for a story! I loved seeing him dance and clap and smile (and plot and plan and connive...) like that. But before I make my final decision, I'll have to make sure that there are significantly less than 20 kids enrolled first (I'm sure Miss Heather will see to this, poor girl) and then I'll have to convince myself for the millionth time that it's safe to send my unvaccinated baby out into a sea of runny-nosed toddlers. LOL!

Always something for the worry wart to ponder!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Poem

"I got two A's," said the little boy, his voice was filled with glee.

His father said, "If you studied more," "You might have gotten three."

"Mom, I've got the dishes done," the girl called from the door.

Her mother answered sharply, "Well I hope you swept the floor!"

"I mowed the grass," the tall boy said, "And edged the sidewalks too."

"I hope you improved," his father said, "On the job you usually do."

The children in the house next door, seemed happy and content.

The same thing happened over there, but this is how that went:

"I've got two A's," the small boy said, his voice was filled with glee.

His beaming father said, "That's great!" I'm so proud you belong to me!"

"Mom, I've got the dishes done," the girl called from the door.

Her mother smiled and softly said, "Each day I love you more."

"I've mowed the grass," the tall boy said, "And edged the sidewalks too."

His father answered "Thank you!" "For all the helpful things you do!"

Give a hug, or thanks or praise, for the tasks your children do.

If they're to lead a happy life, so much depends on you.

~~ Author Unknown ~~

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Wired World

Okay, so my friend Sharon came to town for a visit with her two precious boys and it was JUST what we all needed. Well, it was just what I needed (someone who's patient with Landon, even when he's sitting on her child....while I'm taking pictures of it. Yeah. Ummm...Oops. Doesn't look so great in print.) Aidan (3) and Landon (2) became instant buddies, running all over the place and shrieking and laughing in those carefree little boy voices, organizing little games between themselves. Sharon, Andy and I passed her sweet, sweet little baby, Brennan back and forth (okay, okay, so he cried when I held him and LOVED when Andy held him--I admit it, Andy! You are the Baby Whisperer. There. You happy, fool?) We attempted to talk throughout the visit, but, it was like attempting a phone conversation (pointless, distracted and filled with interjections directed at the hyper kids-LOL!). I realized how LUCKY we are to have computers. Really-Think about it! While it was ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL to be able to see Sharon and her family in person--I wouldn't trade hugging Aidan and holding Brennan for all the e-mails in the WORLD and would visit with them any day of the week (and twice on Sunday!)-- it is so great to know that we have BLOGGING. Not only can I keep up with my friend's daily life at my own pace (on my own messed up schedule!) without having long trips up the map or coordinating our mom-calendars enough to have a phone call (nearly impossible on most days), I can also see pictures of her family and check out websites we're always passing back and forth. We can share recipes and jokes, parenting advice and funny kid stories. I always feel bad that we live so far away from each other after growing up together...but I have to admit that we actually get to spend more "quality" time together this way. I keep in touch with Sharon better than ANY friend I have right here in town. Don't you guys love being able to get online at midnight and be able to catch up with all of your friends through e-mail and blogs? Isn't it great to sneak away during naptime and know that the timing is always just right for "visiting"? And isn't it great to say what you want to say and know that there are people who will read yourposts just to gain support...not just to contradict you? I am so thankful for the little bit of technology that I know how to use! My "online friends" are quickly becoming my favorite people. They understand me better and appreciate my values more--they're always there to listen to me whining and they celebrate with me when something great happens. I am so glad to have bumped into you all in the blogosphere (Ugh! I still feel nerdy using that word!) and I want us all to move to the same city so we can hang out every day (a la "Sex and the City" or "Friends")....although who am I kidding--with our kids around, we'd NEVER be able to get a word in edgewise, would we? Ha ha ha! Let's stick to blogging and be glad we have it! I love you guys--all of my bloggy friends and, of course, you Sharon! Thanks for the visit...Now, let's e-mail all of the stories that we didn't tell in person!