Friday, April 27, 2007

Smile and Nod: More Pictures that Speak for Themselves

I mean, not that I’m going to let the fact that they do speak for themselves stop me from having my say…

I noticed this toy while looking at Playmobil for my son. I love Playmobil. I understand that they have a worldwide market, and perhaps there are countries and/or communities where children pine for toy port-a-potties to supplement their budding sense of bathroom humor.

Still, I noticed that this toy is sold not as part of a larger set, but as a stand alone plaything. I’d understand needing a port-a-potty for a rock concert Playmobil set or street festival Playmobil set, or even as as an accessory for a construction site set. But who decided enough children would want to buy this separately to make it worth producing? And let’s not even begin to think about why they would need a wheelbarrow:

This is my favorite coffee mug. It’s true that it can’t always be true, but I find “smile and nod, smile and nod” definitely has it's purposes:

This is exactly the type of thing I’d bring my kids to on vacation. Aren’t you glad you’re not my kid?

According to the truck owner, this is what retired plumbers do with themselves after moving to Florida. Maybe he’s the target market for the Playmobil port-a-potty set?!?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

On to more wholesome topics (a day in the life of a preschool teacher)

I LOVE teaching preschool. I like to say that teaching preschool is the only occupation I know where you can actually get paid to sing and dance all day regardless of whether or not you have any talent.

And, as if umpteen preschoolers weren’t enough to keep one in stitches, I am lucky enough to have a co-teacher who keeps me laughing all day long.

Some days can be tough. 

Take school picture day for instance. We had one child who spent the entire session alternating between trying to remove his shirt and poking the child in front of him in the shoulder. Another kept busy throughout by slapping himself in the face. Meanwhile a girl in the front (when she wasn’t attempting escape from the picture) sat in her pretty pink skirt with her legs as wide open as she could manage. 

And that’s not to mention the everyday hyperactive energy of the other 12 children.

The photographers freely admitted that we got the gold star for most difficult class in the school and asked us at least twice if we drank heavily after class. (As a matter of fact...oh no wait! I already did that post...).

It’s hard to process much of anything while fifteen three and four year olds run every which way but loose through the classroom. 

For example, my co-teacher and I had this conversation just after a teacher we’ll call Amanda left our room, having checked with us on some scheduling changes for that day:

Me – Did I hear you just tell Amanda that we both understood why we weren’t having snack in our classroom today?
Her – Yeah.
I totally don’t get that.
Me – Me neither.
I don’t understand at all.

I find spending more time living on this planet tends to make humans MORE confusing rather than less, as the adults involved in preschool seem to be even more perplexing than the kids.

My co-teacher and I had this conversation about a week ago. Keep in mind that the original story told by the parent was done so in a room full of preschoolers:

Co-teacher – I didn’t understand that story Jimmy’s mom told us at all.
Me – Yeah, I didn’t get that story either.

Her – All I know is she said the word f*ck a lot.
Me – Yeah, that’s what I got from that story too.

The parents can be quite baffling even one on one without any children in the room. 

You know you’re in trouble when a parent spends 20 minutes graphing his concerns about his child, with the X and Y axis flip flopping throughout the conversation and with no discernible reason for a line on the graph whatsoever.

I do love it though. Where else can you do the chicken dance and call it work?!?!

Friday, April 06, 2007

For the Love of Bars...or something...

I love bars. I don’t get the opportunity to go to them all that often, which may be why they remain appealing. Why would anyone willingly give up visiting a place with music, beer, dancing maybe, and big guys named Lewis who won’t stop following them around? Oh, wait, maybe I just answered by own question.

I thought for a moment or two, maybe even an hour, that I might have a split personality. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I was born to hang out in bars now and again AND be a Sunday school teacher all at the same time. Well, not at the exact same time, but at least within 48 hours of each other.

But I suddenly realized, it isn’t a split personality, I just like people…little people in preschool and grown up people in bars and people of all sorts and in all kinds of locations. I don’t actually know a single person that I don’t like, although I have *heard* of people I might dislike if I ever did meet them.

I told my boss once that I thought he disliked more people than I actually knew. Probably I should have nabbed those words before they escaped my mouth, but he’s a great guy and…well, took it in stride as far as I know.

Anyway, Dad always told me, “Don’t meet men in bars.” But my friend Chris met her husband in a bar, and they’re still married a decade and a half later. I, on the other hand, was introduced to my ex-husband through his cousin, so you never can tell. Although I guess you can hedge your bets. Dad probably feared just this type of thing, a conversation I had a day or two after spending an evening at a bar:

Me: Lewis is a heroine addict? How could you tell?
Amy: (says something that makes me realize she was talking about a different guy)
Me: Oh, you mean Shannon!
The skinny guy who kept offering to pass around xanax?
Amy: Yeah, that guy.
Who was Lewis? I think I missed Lewis.
Aunt Lynne:
These people have NAMES?!?!?!
Me: Lewis was that big black guy that kept following me around and telling me that he was going to make me feel things without touching me.
And he kept saying he was a cook and he was going to make me breakfast.
He was going to make you feel things without touching you!?!? Like REVULSION?!?!
Me: Revulsion, yeah, must be.
He wouldn’t leave Gigi or me alone. But he was adorable, in a pathetic kind of way.

So yeah…people are interesting creatures for sure. But I always like them anyway.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Happy Passover!

I dunno, hiding the former secretary general in your living room might be just as much fun as hiding a matzoh. You never can tell about things until you try. (*shrug shrug*)

The Passover story is a really complicated one for the six and under set to processes. (Actually, it’s a little complicated even for grownups. I’m pretty sure the goal is to serve a meal without using any actual ingredients, but one can never be certain.) It’s always fun to see how the six and under set regurgitates…well, just about anything really. But listening to them attempt to make some sense out of the complexities of Passover is particularly amusing.

This is the Passover story according to my daughter when she was three:

The king was very bad. He wanted to take away all the baby boys. But baby Moses’s mommy didn’t want him to be taken away. She put him in a basket and took him to an ocean and put him in. Another person found him.

Then the burning plant was God. God told Moses, “Here. Have a stick.”

Here’s another version told by my Kindergarteners:

The princess got Moses and raised him for her son. The king had Jews so they had to work for him. God had to send Moses to let the Jews out of Egypt. God sended ten plagues. Then Pharoah said “No, no, no!” God sended 10 plagues to let the people go in Egypt. Then Moses let them out.

I think between the two stories they more or less have sort of a basic outline at any rate.

Happy Passover! Oops! I think I was supposed to be cooking or something…