I told the fairy tale version of the harvest festival below, I now realize. I love my cousin Annie's mommy blog as she is willing to tell the good, the bad and the ugly side of her life. It is so reassuring to read about someone else's baby poop fiascos or early-riser/short-napper/late-to-bedder triple whammy. So in that spirit, here are some more details from the harvest festival.
So I was excited to hang out with Lucy and her kindergarten class for the whole morning. I'd never done that before. Granted, they were not doing any of the usual things since it was a special festival day, but I was still looking forward to it. And it was fun. But kindergartners are an interesting breed. I couldn't be a kindergarten teacher - I'm too sensitive and take things personally and they are a fairly brutal lot. At one point, teacher Mary gave me the highly undesirable task of policing the swings. Basically making sure that each child swang for only a few minutes, that no one jumped ahead in line, etc. Most of the kids are fairly civilized about this. They take turns and they wait in line, standing on a row of stumps. But one girl just stared at me as I asked her to relinquish the swing to the next person in line. Her look said "who are you and why should I do anything you say?" I got as creative as I could, tempting her with other activities and she eventually got off. One boy wouldn't get off the swing. He had run on, completely bypassing the line, and then I held the string of the swing and tried to entice him into getting in line, a real winner of a proposition. He wouldn't get off; a whole crew of children are watching the drama unfold. Defeated, I eventually had to go get one of the teachers who in about one second got the fellow back into line, so to speak. Very humbling.
Then there was Lucy who coudn't get her groove on, apparently. She had three meltdowns in the first hour or so - she lost her special stick, she hit herself in the face with a glass jar as she was making cream, and she bonked herself in the head somehow another time. Each time, tears ensued and much mama comforting was required. And then the rest of the day, Lucy didn't really seem to engage in the way I see her engage during playdates or imagined that she did during school. Friends would look for her and want to play, but it just didn't take off, and I'd see her later way up in a tree by herself. Teacher Mary later told me that Lucy is usually much more integrated with other children and generally had a much different gestalt with me there then she usually has. I am relieved, but also kind of surprised that my presence at school (which I tried to keep low-key) impacted her so much.
Finally, towards the end of the truly lovely harvest feast at the big red tables outside, with all the children happily munching on dragon bread, sipping the last of their cider, or scraping out their bowl of vegetable soup, I hear teacher Mary say "Hannah just threw up." And indeed a glance towards the table revealed a pile of puke in front the tiny sweet girl. Talk about keeping it real.
15 hours ago