I got a tiny one-up on a semi-Perfect Mom. She was supervising the sensory table, which today was filled with red-dyed rice and some sand sifters. Katie was enjoying herself and wanted to take one of the sifters (full of rice) and balance it on the edge of the sensory bin, spilling lots of rice on the ground. The mom in charge said, "Katie, please keep this toy inside the table," just like we're supposed to say. But Katie doesn't always respond to this "positive discipline" approach - it's as if she's saying, "But what I'm doing is so much more interesting!" She kept at it, so I intervened. I echoed the "keep the the toy inside the table" but I followed up by handing her one of the plastic spoons that was lying around, and saying "Look, you can scoop some rice into the sifter like this!" (This is known as redirection.) Problem solved. So hah, other mom, I'm not totally useless after all! I guess it wasn't so much a one-up but a demonstration that I am, after all, a competent parent. :D
I also got into some weird conversations with Weird Dad. I've been puzzling about this guy for a while now. He is the only dad in our class, except for some dads who come once in a while when the mom is sick or something. (Which, by the way, is cool - it's great having dads at our school.) He's really nice and super friendly - he always has a smile on his face and he just adores his son Cadence. But he is utterly useless as a supervising parent, because he'd rather talk to people than watch the kids. You can tell that he loves the kids, but he's just so much more interested in chatting than supervising. Usually he can be found floating around, talking to people or following his son, even when he's supposed to be supervising something. Several times I've heard Teacher Donna have to remind him to watch his station. Supervising is kind of a big deal with two-year-olds. You can't just wander off!
He always looks at me and smiles at me like he's dying to be friends with me because he's friends with everyone and why on earth haven't I talked to him? What I mean is, it's not because he thinks we have anything in common or wants to talk to me about anything in particular, but because he's a huge extravert who needs to be talking to someone at every second of every day. The first conversation today went something like this:
Me: (trying to start up a friendly conversation) Isn't it cute how the kids are becoming more friendly with each other? Katie knows Cadence by name because we've seen him a few times at the park.
Weird Dad: Oh yeah, you know, it's funny, we have a lot of people chasing him around the park because he just won't share that toy, it's so weird, I ask him to share but he says no until he's done playing with it, and then half an hour later he's ready to just let it go and let the other kids play.
Me: (puzzled, because we've never had any such interaction with Cadence - there was no toy around and he was just playing like any other kid) Oh, uh…yeah.
W.D.: I don't know why, he just won't share until he's bored with something, and then he will.
Me: Well, that sounds perfectly normal to me!
W.D.: Yeah, i don't know.
<thank goodness something interrupted us at this point>
It's conversations like these that make me wonder if I missed a huge chunk of the conversation, or if I'm visiting another planet? I'm definitely missing something!
The second conversation went like this. It was during clean-up and I was in charge of spraying and wiping down the tables, and W.D. was in charge of mopping the floor.
Me: Ah, just like at home, huh? (Meaning, the constant mopping and wiping)
W.D.: Oh sure, it's so great to be here, the kids love it.
Me: (changing gears) Oh, well, yes, we love it here too!
W.D.: It's so nice that the kids are so close in age and they're going through the same things, which means the parents are going through the same things too.
Me: Yes, it's really wonderful. We love Little Hands.
So you see, he really is nice…I just don't know who he's talking to in his mind. He's definitely not talking to me, at least not in the way I define talking to someone. He's more talking "at" me, if you know what I mean. Weeeird.
Let's see, what else happened? Katie had a marvelous time with paints, her clothes will attest to that. She was covered in pink, red and white paint (Valentine's day colors) from bellybutton to thigh - precisely the height of the crafts table. But hey, at least there wasn't much in her hair this time. Her hands are bright red from the dyed red rice. Interestingly, Teacher Donna had us each make some more dyed rice during Parent Discussion, with the dual purpose of teaching us how to make it, and making more for the next class. One of the moms wondered if it is colorfast once it dries, and I said I doubted it. Judging from Katie's hands, it looks like I was right!
Oh, and the class admin called me out for not turning in a form. I'm both annoyed and ashamed about this. The form in question is a doctor's note excusing me from taking a TB test because I'm pregnant. I told her I'd give her the form after my first prenatal visit a couple of months ago, but my doctor refused to write me a note! However, it's totally obvious that I'm pregnant, so I figured that my growing belly would be enough proof for the school. Evidently it's not, and the admin is really ticked off at me. But I don't know what else to tell her...I'm pregnant, so I'm not going to do the test, but I can't get a doctor's note. I volunteered to give her a copy of my ultrasound pictures, or of the email that Kaiser sent me saying my pregnancy test was positive...ugh. Super annoyed.
But mostly it was a good day at school. It is so cute how much Katie loves it! She totally knows her classmates by name now, and we have a great time during the drive there, talking about who we're going to see. Then on the way home we talk about which kids we saw. And of course she has to tell Dada all about school at dinner. Love, love, love this age! (Well, most of the time, hahaha!)