I spent the day in Child 2's class today. The whole day. By about 2:00 I was reminded of that scene in Kindergarten Cop where Arnold comes back to the hotel room, falls down on the bed and says "They're horrible. They're like little terrorists!" I swear, I don't know how you teachers do it every single fucking day of the week. Anyway, here are some things that I have learned as a result of my experience today:
1. I have the perfect kind of sense of humor for a group of 5 year olds. All I had to do was make a weird noise and flail my arms wildly and I was IN.
2. There is no other place in the world where you need to watch your language more than a Kindergarten room. So, when it's rug time, and only the teacher is talking, softly, and you're cleaning up after breakfast, and you spill a carton of milk and yell "SHIT!" without thinking? Yeah, try not to do that. Seriously.
3. 5 year olds talk a LOT. And most of what they say makes no sense, but as long as you pretend you understand, you're good. So when one says to you "HEY YOU KNOW WHAT MY HERP DERP HERP DERP HERPY DERPY MOM SAID THAT I WAS GOING TO HERP DERP HERPITY DERPTIY HERP DERP AND THEN I SAID I WANTED THE GREEN ONE HERP DERP HERPSTERS DERPSTERS HERP DERP?????" and you just nod and smile.... no problem.
4. If they tell you jokes, every single one will contain the word "fart." Girls, boys, doesn't matter. And they will be the funniest jokes EVER. And no matter what, you must laugh. And if you don't, they will tell you to until you do.
5. Milk cartons are hard.
6. I'm not always sure if my parenting/supervision style is appropriate. I mean, I was pretty sure when they started throwing the chalk at each other that I needed to make it stop, but were they supposed to be drawing on the trees with the chalk? It will wash off, right? Would another, more responsible adult, have put a stop to that? And when they were drawing on their faces with it, and then on my face (and my arms, and my shirt, and my feet, and my legs), was that okay? It seemed okay to me, I mean, they were just expressing themselves creatively, right? But sometimes I just don't know. I wish there was a manual for these things, at least then I would know that I was being an irresponsible adult instead of just wondering if I was. I always expect some other, more responsible person is going to come out of a doorway and yell at me, and them, about our inappropriate activities, but nobody ever does. I think that's probably because I'm the only adult in the area and not because what I'm doing is okay. Oh, well, they lived through it.
7. An hour long assembly when the whole school is crammed into the auditorium is too damn long for a 5 year old to sit through.
Okay, that's all I can remember now. The one (real) thing I did take away from today was that my child does not benefit from my presence in the room. He refused to do anything unless I was sitting next to him; things that he's perfectly capable of doing, like cutting and gluing. Today was the first day I have ever spent in the classroom of either of my kids; I already knew that Child 1 doesn't do well when I'm around, and I wasn't yet sure about Child 2, but now I know. So, even though his teacher was very happy to have me there, I don't want to spend the whole time, every time, just sitting next to my kid and enabling him when he can do these things independently. It only helps him and it doesn't seem fair to the rest of the kids, so, I will likely not do this again. Too bad, though, because I have the perfect sense of humor for a group of 5 year olds and it's pretty awesome when you can make an entire group of people laugh just by making a weird noise and flailing your arms wildly.