17
Feb
10

i’d make a really smart toddler

Boo is one of those kids who attends “classes”…note the plural and feign shock.  One of our classes is at a chain – heavily scripted curriculum, peppy (and sometimes pitchy) teachers, lots of bright colors, constant product placement, and frequent reassurance that your active participation with your (or “your”) child could potentially nab them a spot at Harvard some day…or better yet, whatever the most coveted local preschool happens to be. 

I am getting kind of sick of this class.  However, Boo absolutely ADORES it and they have an awesome open play schedule.  Still, I’ve been trying to convince him that it would be SO MUCH MORE FUN to spend our Tuesday mornings at soccer or art or a cooking class.  The kid’s usual response is to break into one of the songs from this class.  My least favorite involves the instructor banging on the multi-colored mat, while singing a modified version of “We Will Rock You” with lines like “Givin’ you kisses all over yo’ face!”  

Straight from the company’s webpage, the purpose of this class is to: Stretch the imagination through creative play to support symbolic thinking, language development and social interaction. This class is suitable for toddlers. Obviously I’m REALLY good at this fucking class.  Each week there is a theme around which the activities revolve – horses, monkeys, construction, fire fighters, cars, dogs, post office, farm, etc.  There are props and songs and I’m pretty adept at ad libbing and interacting with Boo.  Do you know why?  BECAUSE THIS IS A CLASS DESIGNED TO PROMOTE SKILLS THAT ARE DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE FOR TWO YEAR OLDS TO BE BUILDING.  I was two a very long time ago and have been honing these skills for decades.  Ask me about my musical theater phase sometime.

For some peculiar reason, there is a fascination with this odd ability of mine: my ability to play.  (Aside: Animal Planet is on in the background and I think crocodiles are pretty awesome.  This one is on crocs, not alligators, and I can totally tell the difference.  Well, sort of…but I can explain it and totally can this time!)  I’m constantly getting called out during class – usually something like “Boo’s Mom is doing great!  She makes a great farmer!”  This both annoys and irritates me.  Like, first of all, the class is supposed to be for the kids.  Maybe we could focus on them or at least include them – e.g. “Boo and his nanny make a great farming team!”  (All call-outs in this class end in exclamation points.  It just is.  I mean, it just is!)  Also, is this for real?  “Good job being a farmer”?  Um, thanks.  My imagination play is something I’ve really been working on at home and a skill which I have just begun to develop.  I was really hoping you’d notice that I pretended to put on my work gloves, so as to protect my nails. 

While very nice, it does not help that some of the teachers reminds me of someone who harbors a dream of being on American Idol, but never managed to bust out of the chorus line in their no-cuts-allowed, suburban high school’s annual musical.  There are no small parts, only small actors!  And it’d be really great if we could all focus on the small ones.  Or if we could switch to art – wait until the teachers see me with the glitter shakers!

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