Friday, December 21, 2007

pre-school overachievers

Yesterday I went to my daughter's preschool holiday party. About ten little ones, plus their parents crammed into the tiny but sweet room. I managed ot avoid having to sit on one of those little chairs (you know, the kind where you derrier hangs over all sides?).

The "show" the kids did was too cute for words. Miss Emily, the teacher, led them in Christmas and Hannukah songs and dances. Jingle bells all around.

The most adorable part was when they sang The Twelve Days of Christmas. Miss Emily gave each child a laminated picture of a Partridge, or Maids-a-Milking, or Lords-a-Leaping; so that each had their own special part in the song. When the song got to their part, they were to raise their picture above their heads and then put it back down. It went pretty well until Four Calling Birds.

Five Golden Rings completely forgot to raise his picture. And from then on it was bedlam. Kids just couldn't stand to wait for their part and ended up raising their picture whenever anyone else did. Or they did get that they were supposed to lift it. Or they didn't want to. Which is what my daughter did. Every time it came to her turn:

MISS EMILY: "Eight Maids-a-Milking.... Marie! Marie! Raise your picture"
MARIE: Thumb in mouth, looking back skeptically.

I stayed out of it. I just laughed my head off. The scene of little kids raising their pictures and putting them down chaotically while most of them sang their heads off was too precious.

When it was all over, and the kids had been sufficiently filled with sugar, we began to leave. That's when I saw with a sinking feeling, all the other mothers popped up with baskets full of wrapped presents for all the kids.

What? Presents? Preschool kids exchange presents? Since when?

There were cookies, bird feeders, candy canes, picture cards....oy! I felt like such a shmuck. Did I have anything for anybody? Of course not. Because, aside from the fact that I wasn't let in on this little secret, Marie is my 3rd child. My attitude towards preschool is: I just drop her off and pick her up. I don't want to volunteer. I don't want to bring snacks. I don't want to go on field trips. I don't even really want to go to all the parties. I just want to get back home to have precious alone - school time with my big kids.

So, I prodded Marie to say "thank you" a million times and then ducked out of there with my tail between my legs.

Happy Holidays!


Mike said...

Kids get too many presents anyway. My daughter tends to get kind of jaded by the end of the season.