Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fruit Loops and Crotch Tags

* Names have been changed to protect myself.

My boys were lucky enough to be awarded a scholarship for preschool this year, which was the only way we could afford to send two kids to preschool at the same time.  They were very excited.

The preschool they are attending is a Cooperative preschool...which, for those who don't know, means that it is a joint effort between parents and staff to run the school...which means the parents are required to be put on rotation to help in the class on a monthly basis.  Their first full day happened to be my work day.

I have done the Cooperative thing before with Irelynn...but it was with slightly older children.  The difference, as it turns out, is quite significant between 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds.  Think Toy Story 3...the Caterpillar Room versus the Butterfly Room.  That is actually a pretty accurate depiction of preschoolers of the two age groups.  I was dealing with the Caterpillar Room.

The first thing the other helping parent and I were assigned to do was to man the project table.  At this table we were to take cardstock with the children's names written on them, put glue on the letters of their names, and let the children glue Fruit Loops to the paper.  Now, before I continue...does anyone see what problems might arise with this project and 3-year-olds? 

First I bring over *Anthony.  I excitedly tell him what we are doing.  He stares at me...smiles...and begins eating the Fruit Loops.  As it turns out...most of the children wanted to just eat the Fruit Loops.  Except my Connor.  Connor wanted to eat the Fruit Loops...and see what else he could glue to the paper...namely his arm.  We had to pry the paper off of him a few times. 

Owen came over and began attaching his Fruit Loops to the letters.  I am suddenly proud.  MY child is the only one who is not trying to eat the cereal...he GETS the project.  My smart little man is carefully following directions.  I smile, as the other parent is obviously noting the intelligence and creativity my child is exuding.  I look at the names we have left.  We still need *Billy to come do his name.  I set off in search of Billy.

I am glancing at name tags, and find one child who doesn't seem to have one.  Upon closer look...he does, in fact, have a name tag...hanging from his crotch.  Now,  at first glance, I am picturing this kid as being quite confident, naming his crotch and all, but as it turns out...Billy is very sensitive.  Billy cried at everything.  He cried when playtime was over.  He cried when the teacher read a Barney book (to be fair, I almost cried myself.)  He also cried at snack time when someone asked if he was going to eat his granola bar.  Right now, though, Billy wasn't crying, and followed me to the table.  There I found Owen...my bright child...with tears in his eyes. 


I look at him, his eyes watering, and his mouth pursed, like he just ate a lemon...or perhaps a jalepeno pepper.  I see the other parent smirking.  I look down at his paper...which now has no Fruit Loops.  My son did his project...and THEN ate the Fruit Loops...glue and all.  He began to cry. 

By the end of the day, the teacher had them (mostly) sitting on the carpet, repeating her song (with Billy in tears.)  The grown-ups came to collect the kids, and the teacher and working parents breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to dropping the boys off on Thursday and leaving them there...without me.  While it was quite entertaining at times, I deal with enough 3-year-olds on a normal basis here at home...where the cereal is left for eating...and the glue is hidden.

Monday, September 19, 2011

We Interrupt This Blog...

...to bring you a blatant plea for votes.  I normally hate to ask for votes...or for people to buy stuff from my children's fundraisers...but I'm really hoping that I can get a few more.  Parents.com is hosting a parenting blog contest, and this blog has been nominated.  So far the person in the lead in my category has over 600 votes.  If you click on the icon on the right of the screen, it will take you to where you need to vote...voting ends October 15th.  Thank you!

Spiderman and the Litterbox

"EW!  MOM!  EW!"

This is never a good thing to hear when you realize you have lost track of your children. 

I walked (quickly) back to the laundry room, where I found the two boys facing each other, looking down at a puddle on the floor between them.  The kitten, looking confused, was on the floor to the side, making movements to try and cover up the puddle with the small trail of cat litter that was on the floor.  Owen's pants also looked wet.

"Owen...what happened?  Who did that?"

"Maggie did it.  Ew, Maggie."

I stared for a minute, wondering why Maggie would have peed on the floor...she has never gone outside the litterbox before.  Then I glanced at Owen's pants again.

"Owen...did you pick Maggie up while she was in the litterbox?"


Commence the explanation of where kitties go potty and why you should not disturb them.  When I finished, I asked if he understood.

"Yeah.  Bad Maggie."

The thing that makes moments like this tolerable is the fact that they can also be quite cute and entertaining at times.  Such as their enthusiasm for Halloween...which I'm not even sure they completely understand, other than they get to dress up like their favorite super hero, Spiderman.  Both boys decided they want to be Spiderman this year.  I bought the costumes, and despite numerous attempts to explain to the boys that they should save them for the holiday, they broke me down.

"Pweeeeaaaase, Mom?   Pwease?  I Spiderman?" 

Those big eyes.  The use of the word, "please," (which is very rare.)  Mom...melting...

I didn't know what I had gotten myself into.  The boys refuse to take the costumes off.  They run around making web noises.  They only answer to "Spiderman."  They cry when I make them take them off for such things as leaving the house, bathtime, or bedtime.  I've created little mutant monsters.

They're pretty cute monsters, though.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Big Bang Theory

I have this theory about children.  I began pondering this strange phenomenon with the older children when they reached Middle School.  I would go to a parent/teacher conference, bracing myself for what would surely be a lecture on behavior, attitude and listening skills.  Instead, the teacher would make a comment like, "your child is very quiet and respectful."  I would then ask if we were, indeed, talking about my child...because this quiet, respectful child would come home and throw his or her school stuff on the table or floor or couch and commence making rude comments or arguing with his or her siblings.  I began wondering why my children obviously suffered from some sort of Jekyll and Hyde syndrome.

The twins have started preschool.  Yesterday was their first day without parents there.  Every time the phone rang, I was certain it was the school, calling to tell me they had destroyed something, scaled something and wouldn't come down, or knocked another child unconscious with a Thomas the Train engine.  There were no calls from the school, however, and when I went to pick them up they were both sitting quietly at the table looking...sweet.  The assistant teacher told me how well-behaved they were...how they cleaned up at clean-up time and were the first to sit down when instructed.  I looked down at my boys, who looked at me with wide, innocent eyes. 

Upon returning home, the pixie dust that teacher must have sprinkled on them wore off, and Owen was throwing a temper tantrum because he wanted to go anywhere but home.  He screamed.  He hit Connor.  He threw his beloved Iron Man action figure, which Connor then picked up and took off with, causing Owen to explode. 

Connor found much delight in this, and began terrorizing his brother, and his older sister upon her return home from Kindergarten, who suddenly had the attitude of a 16-year-old.  All chaos broke out.  Children were jumping on the couch...pillows were being flung across the room.  The noise level had me concerned about neighbors calling the cops.  I called my husband...or maybe he called me...I don't remember...but I do remember telling him that I was not making dinner that night.  While all of the chaos was going on, our oldest son had gone upstairs to take an hour-long crap.  Our oldest daughter was in her bedroom.  My husband, being the kind, understanding man that he is...brought home dinner.

I'm beginning to think that children have this strange ability to conceal their powers of badness...they squeeze it into some small, unused portion of their brains and hold it there while at school.  Perhaps it is because even at a young age, they are socially aware and realize that they do not want to draw attention to themselves.  Perhaps teachers have some strange voodoo that they perform, causing children to want to please them.  Whatever it is...this badness becomes bottled up during the day.  By the time they get home, they can no longer contain it....and BANG...they explode. 

I am currently in talks with the military on how we can use this powerful weapon against our enemies.