I take my two younger children to our library's story hour every week on Thursday mornings. This is the first year that my youngest meets the age requirements (the library website specifically says 'ages 4-5') and probably the only year we'll be able to attend (unless I go by myself next year!). But I enjoy being able give them weekly activities to look forward to and the opportunity to practice their manners (don't I sound like a mother? Who cares about fun! Let's talk 'please' and 'thank you'!). But I do have a slight beef about story hour: kids not in the age group.
Have I already commented about this? Why are there children there that are younger than even two years old? They aren't paying attention to the story. They mostly wander around the library causing trouble while the day care provider reads a magazine. And yes, children who are technically older than the requirements may be able to attend occasionally when school is canceled for the day, but does that mean that they get to boss the little kids around? Yes, you're twelve, we all know that you'll best the five-year-olds when it comes to the bean bag toss and musical chairs. Aren't you a little too old to be playing? Shouldn't you be slightly ashamed that you're taking prizes away from the kids for whom the games were intended? It makes me feel sad for my kids, getting bossed around by people who shouldn't even be there.
Okay, rant over.
Yesterday I was waiting anxiously for the afternoon bus to drop Boy One off from school. The minutes kept ticking by on the clock until it read twelve minutes past the normal drop-off time, at which point I came back inside and Girl and I found our shoes and coats while I scrounged for the school phone number. At this point, the phone rang: could I come down and get Boy One? He had a melt down at the end of school and was so upset that he wouldn't even sit down on the bus. Girl and I ran the quarter mile to the school where we found said boy, asleep on the floor of the bus with his head in a teacher's lap.
The teacher, bus driver and aid all assured me that he was still breathing, but had this ever happened before? Apparently he had a difficult afternoon and chose not to join closing circle, thus he didn't receive his licorice treat. Nothing makes him more upset than not getting his treat, and since he had to leave to catch the bus he didn't even get to tell teacher he was sorry so he broke down in hysterical tears, finally working himself into exhaustion. After a few minutes we woke him up and he was all smiles, but all of us adults were standing around asking each other, "what do you think we should have done?" He did, later, get to go back in the school and apologize to his teacher, who gave him a hug and his treat. Thank the Lord for such compassionate teachers at this school.
As it is the end of October, this morning I had parent/teacher conferences to attend for both of the boys at their respective schools. I ended up arriving at the elementary school ten minutes early (and staying fifteen minutes late) for my meeting, which allowed me to talk with his regular aid and the learning specialist (as well as his teacher). It ended up being a terrific meeting, as there were so many good things to share! The marks he received on his progress report were all in the top two of the five levels - the best marks he has ever had! I cried. Also, he is too advanced for his reading group! Amazing! The samples of his writing and illustrating were so detailed and show so much improvement. There is nothing more exciting than seeing your children develop their abilities.
I skipped down the street to the kindergarten (where I showed off Boy One's progress report to all of the teachers, aids and office staff I could find. No, really, I did.) and met with Boy Two's teacher, who also had nothing but good things to say. About him being an example to the other kids about how to behave, about having compassion on his classmates and helping them when they need it, about how responsible and respectful he is. Wow! Nice to know he behaves so well at school - can't he do that at home? Even the P.E. teacher stopped me the other afternoon to tell me that Boy Two had picked right up on Chinese jump rope (?) and then helped the rest of the kids to learn how. He's coordinated, too! What great kids I have.
As a special treat, I have a little anecdote I've been saving for a few weeks.
My mom and I went to the Mill End (fabric) store a few weeks back and I happened to overhear a tiny exchange that I will never forget. The customer was at the cutting counter talking with the employee about the material in front of her and the kind of cut she needed. Then she tried to be cute and made a little quip about the fabric, telling the employee that she needed "...the better part of valor."
The employee deadpanned right back, "Actually, it's pronounced velour."
I loved it so much that I wrote it down on a paper in my purse so I'd be sure and remember it!