Friday, December 12, 2008

Preschool - Educating Mommy, too

So MG is "Helper of the Day" today, which means that I had to bring snack (Red Bull and Sugar Pops, of course - you should've seen the look on the teacher's face when I said, "They were out of Red Bull juice boxes at the store..." HA! She said, "What a coincidence, we're having snack 'to go' today - we'll send everyone home with it." That teacher, she's quick.) Mary Grace had to bring something for show and tell. And we had to bring in the stable for her nativity scene. Other parents made theirs like, for real, with hay and stars and shit. Ours was made out of Lincoln Logs, by me, at 12 am last night. I was going to go with Lego, but thought that the bright colors were a little irreverant...

Anyway, this morning BJ and I were trying to come up with something for her to take for show and tell. We had nothing. Someone else brought cute, brand new puppies a couple days ago (they had brought the pregnant Mama puppy at the beginning of the year... Awwww...). On MG's last turn, she took our photo book from our trip to DC. But with all the stuff we had to do for school today, I honestly hadn't given show and tell any thought.

"I want to take my ponies!" MG said. Her ponies are two identical plastic unicorns from her Happy Meal on Wednesday. She's been carrying them around everywhere, and frankly it's a wonder that we haven't lost one yet.

"No, honey, let's think of something else..." something more interesting, I thought, as I mentally went through our house, room by room.

BJ made a few suggestions ("How the Grinch Stole Christmas"? The earth from her solar system mobile?) and I thought of a couple of guest speakers (Grandpa Bob in his nurse's uniform, talking about what he does for a living... Or could I come up with a police officer on VERY short notice??).

"I really want to take my ponies, Mommy," MG pleaded.

That's when I realized. Show and tell isn't about me - it's not a referendum on how well I'm parenting my kid. It's about her, and what's important to her. It's about the things that make her who she is, as an independent person. It's not about who she is and how that reflects on us as parents.

"Ok, kiddo. You can take your ponies."

Snack, stable, and ponies were delivered on time, along with the kids, this morning. She may have the first nativity scene to ever include unicorns. I figure, if the teachers think I suck because I couldn't come up with something interesting, cute, fluffy, different, and educational for Mary Grace's Helper of the Day day, well, maybe they won't make me do it again.

Everybody wins. It's hard to find Red Bull in juice boxes, after all.


RobMonroe said...

I think that you learned a lesson that a lot of people need, probably most at this time of year. :o) I have a feeling that I'm going to bookmark this and send it to Anny on occasion.

Mimi said...

I've had numerous parents say to me, what can we bring that will top the snake, dog, spider, guinea pig.... The kids are amazing though. They are just as excited about the hamster, turtle, goldfish as they are about the castle made out of paper or the packing peanut. It really is all about what the kid wants to bring and what's important to them! I'm glad you let her take her ponies. :)

Anonymous said...

We had a figurine of a Boxer dog in our nativity scene one year. I doubt you're the first to have unicorns!