Clouds, May 2010

Clouds, May 2010

Saturday, October 8, 2011

a day to remember

Yesterday, Friday, I took the day off from work. It was the annual ME Day for kindergarten. Each child could have one guest to watch them participate in performing songs, completing various activities in small group "centers", and sharing their Me Book with their special guest.

I chose cookies from the refreshment contribution list. Thursday night I baked two dozen oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and layered them on a faux silver platter with wax paper in between, so they wouldn't stick.

I left the house with my platter in one hand, my keys in the other, my purse on my shoulder, and my chin up. I was proud. I was on my way to support my kindergarten student!

If I only had a video camera in my hand when Hayden saw me walk into the classroom. He was elated, and quite vocal about it. There was not one student or parent in that room who did not know that I am Hayden's mommy. The students were already positioned in a semi-circle formation along the back of the room, ready to perform. There was one boy on the end in a rifton chair, his Aide standing behind him. Having the biggest smile among all the other children (13 or so), it was his enthusiasm that really made him stand out.

Hayden's smile can not be missed.
Even though he did not recite most of the lyrics along with the other children, he clearly knew the songs. He was so excited to do some of the signs and hand gestures, that his timing was a little bit early. Then the children formed a single file line in preparation for another song. Following prompting from his Aide, my happy boy stood and joined them.

They walked in a circle around two small tables, and sang along with the music. At one point there were lyrics to which they stopped and crawled around the tables, and another point when they jumped around them. Hayden accurately, and appropriately participated as I snapped away with my camera.

Following the song and dance it was Center time. There were three tables set up as designated areas for Snack, Reading, and Writing. The fourth Center was on the area rug where the children would share their ME books with their guest.

Hayden was directed to the snack table first :). He ate veggie chips that I packed from home, and then his Aide asked if there was any other refreshment that he may like. I surveyed the choices and noticed a cheese and  cracker platter. I grabbed a few crackers for Hayden, and then picked up a couple pieces of pepperoni.

He ate them!

He asked for more crackers, and I picked up a couple more pieces of pepperoni.

He ate those, too! WOW

Then he was directed to the writing table. Each child was given a sheet to draw what they like best about kindergarten. At first Hayden did not want to participate, so his Aide showed him two little cars. She said if he did his work, he could have them. In seconds, he sat and attended. He was given a picture to cut out and put on his page. He accepted hand-over-hand assistance from his Aide to cut out the picture, which showed friends playing outside.

He used a glue stick to affix it to the page. Then it was time for shapes. Instead, Hayden removed the pieces from the tray and then used it to play a version of peek-a-boo. We both tried to encourage him to do one more task. He was not interested.

Finally I said I would give him money. Sure enough, the teacher asked for the yellow shape and Hayden handed it to her. Then his Aide asked for the red shape, and Hayden handed it to her. Then he was prompted to count, and then he was done. I handed him some coins. He wanted cash. Three dollars later he was exuberant.

It cost me, but he finished his work! (Earlier that morning, I also ended up paying Hayden to get on the bus. He put three dollars in his Yankees wallet and then he finally sat down and allowed me to buckle him in.)

Hayden didn't want to go to the Reading Center table, so we proceeded to the area rug to see his ME book. The very first page says, "I am happy when...", and Hayden apparently asked the teacher to write, "...Pop Z picks me up." (Dan and I aren't even mentioned until page three where there is a drawing of family.) The pages that follow highlight activities such as blowing leaves, eating chicken, and playing on the playground, to name a few. Hayden's ME book is quite accurate.

When we left the school, Hayden was clutching his wallet (with three bucks in it), and the other three singles I handed him in the classroom. As we pulled out of the school, Hayden sat smiling with his six bucks. 

He asked me for "Gonalds" (McDonald's), and I thought about it for a minute. I was very proud of his big day, and it would be convenient for me to head in that direction. I needed to stop at the bank anyway, and then I could get gas on the way home. So I passed the turn I'd normally take to get back to the house, and changed course towards Gonalds.

I do not remember specifically what prompted me to turn around, but when I looked at Hayden he was holding a dollar bill out the window. I immediately told him not to throw money out of the car and I put his window up. I slowed down looking for a place to pull over. I had to drive at least a quarter mile before I found a spot. I put the truck in park, turned the flashers on, looked at Hayden and said, "where is the rest of the money?" I think he said something along the lines of, "me not have it." I grabbed his wallet and it was empty. I scanned the back seat and there was no money in sight.

Following at least ten minutes of driving up and down that road, trying to find the money by surveying along the roadside, even getting out the truck a couple of times, I ended up recovering just one of the singles. The other five were no where to be found.

By this point, Hayden was quite frustrated because of all the back and forth, and the waiting. As soon as I turned down the next road, he realized we were no longer heading to Gonalds and started to get upset. By the time we pulled in our neighborhood, he was crying.

I told him that I'd give him something to eat when we get home. Once in the driveway, he caught his breath and (for as long as I live I will never forget this) clear-as-day he said, "I'm sorry Mommy."

That was the first time he has ever voluntarily apologized for anything, without any prompting. I thanked him several times.

I walked around to the other side of the truck to get him out, and he did not want to leave his seat. He muttered something about Gonalds again through his crying, and I said I'm sorry we're not going there but I will give you whatever you want to eat when we get inside.

I let him be for a couple of minutes, tried to allow him to calm himself down, and eventually when he was ready he came inside the house.

It never ceases to amaze me that just when I think I am going to remember a big day for one reason, I will never forget it for a completely different one.

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