Friday, May 21, 2004

Nursery School Notes

Our trip to the JCC went well. As soon as I walked in and put Bee down, she ran across the room and eagerly joined a little boy in stacking and knocking down colored wooden blocks. We stayed there for nearly an hour, during which she barely acknowledged me, so busy was she with flipping through dozens of board books, trying on dress-up clothes and attempting to ride the tricycles outside.

Her poor friend Peanut did not fare quite as well. Peanut is smaller and more tentative than Bee and has no brothers or sisters to teach her how to defend herself. In the space of an hour, she was pushed down several times, had toys yanked out of her hands, and was almost strangled by a wayward lunchbox strap. In the end, J. decided she couldn't feel comfortable with plunking her daughter in the midst of all that chaos.

And it WAS chaotic, no doubt about it. I think that, ideally, I was hoping to see an organized group of cherubic children gathered quietly around a table putting the finishing touches on a fresh-baked apple pie or something. Instead there were kids whizzing every which way, getting paint and Magic Marker ink all over themselves and flinging toys around with abandon. The reality is, no matter how the JCC might tout their wonderful curriculum, with the art and the songs and the gross motor activities and the Jewish holidays, with this age group often the best you can do is pen them up in a safe place and let them be.


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