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!


Sharon said...

How fun! Go Landon!! lol. Wait, are there no pictures?!

Aidan would love something like that. He'd love it even more w/ Landon. ;) As a treat (and experiment), we're trying to get him enrolled in an all-boys tap class this coming winter. He loves to shake his booty!

Just send Landon our way and they can do it together. :)

Jennifer said...

They really should be able to take tap together--I mean come on! It's almost 2008, aren't we supposed to just say, "Beam me up, Scottie!" by now and fly around in hover-crafts? We should work on that to make the transportation easier! (Landon talks about Aidan all the time and he refuses to sell out and invite his other friends to do stuff--he just says he wants his best friend, Aidan--awww!!)