Friday, May 21, 2004

PreSchool Commencement.

Yes, it's as silly and adorable as it sounds.

It started with the kids marching in, fully decked out in their blue caps and gowns (handmade by the class aides). Then when they all hop on their marked spots, we had a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner followed by a touching Pledge of Allegiance. What can I say, I'm a sap. To see my boys turn to the flag with their hands over their hearts and sing, to hear them try to say "allegiance" "republic" and "indivisible" and have them participate in the ceremony with its handshaking and bowing, yes I'm definitely a sap. Fully and completely, tears and all.
I'd come prepared with the still and video cameras only to discover the video camera was quite dead. It had been left on all night and that was that. But some of the stills turned out well, so go check them out. The focus of the exercises was of course receiving a certificate and shaking the hands of the AmeriKids board members. Then each child stepped onto a box and took their bow while Teacher Nympha said what role they played in the class. Jonathon earned "Little Man" status and Nicholas was dubbed the "Calculating One". Little Man because he is one of the smallest but carries himself like a big kid. Calculating because Nicholas always stands back to assess a situation before jumping in.
It's always interesting watching a group of fifteen 2-5 year olds. At one point Jonathon was yelling at Stephen Lee to stand up. Stephen Lee would shout back he didn't want to. The twins were making faces, Sunshine would hop every time she had to say something, and Morgan and Megan were so tired they just shut down entirely. Controlled chaos would be a good description of most of the hour.
Part of the evening involved a play based on the book about Grandma Tildy and her elephant who want to attend school (the sequal to _But No Elephants!_). Jonathon had the part of the turtle and was supposed to slide around on his tummy but he was too busy fighting over a plastic apple and chasing some of the other kids. Nicholas had the notable part of the bus driver and he sat perfectly in his chair. He even had a line and said it clearly. Quietly but clearly. The kids are done with their lessons when the bus driver announces "The bus broke!" That's my boy. During the part in the classroom, the kids danced, counted and showed off their regular, speed and rap versions of the ABCs. It was quite a performance. [In case you're wondering, the kids get home via elephant.]
A song and poem and then we learned that the 2 aides are leaving the school.
One of the reasons I enrolled the boys now at the end of the year rather than start fresh in August, was so that they would become accustomed to the classroom, the procedures and most importantly, the teachers. It came as quite a blow to learn that two of the three would not be returning next year and that we now have the responsibility of finding a replacement. I'm glad that the main teacher will remain, but I worry about the additional adjustments Nicholas and Jonathon will be making in August. Maybe it's my own adjustments I'm actually worrying about. I don't like having to worry about who is watching my kids when I'm not around. Yes, I was actually thinking of pulling them out, and I haven't even met the replacement yet, or even potential replacements.
Several people said some words about the aides and then Nympha opened the floor to the rest of us to say anything about them. Can you guess who's arm shot up? Katherine bounced onto the floor and said that she would miss Teacher Djoni because she had been a helper at Camp Critters last summer. It was very sweet of her.
Of course to finish off the evening there was food, and enough to feed 100 people. It was all good. Rebecca almost literally ate her weight in junk food. I was thoroughly embarrassed. We'd had dinner at the Seafront Club right before because I didn't know about all the post-ceremony victuals, so by the time we dug in dessert was all she wanted. A dessert would have been fine, she had 6. That would give me a tummy ache for sure.
The boys were absolutely exhausted by this time and completely hyped up with all the excitement. Anyone with kids knows that's an interesting and volatile mix. Jonathon was out by the time we got home.

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