Wednesday, April 4, 2012
We Are Not Amused
That is a picture of Owen at his first library preschool story-hour.
It did not go well.
As you can see, he is lying under his chair on my sweater but let me add that he is facing away from the story-teller lady. I don't think he was expecting the sort of foolishness he encountered in that room today. I am not sure what he expected, but it was not the horror of what he found there.
First off, there were other children there. Polite children who sat on their chairs and paid attention. Mostly. They trained their eyes on the story-teller lady as she led everyone in songs with attendant hand-motions and so forth. This, to Owen, was the horror of which I spoke. The songs. The singing. The flying of the hands through the air to accompany the songs like birds, like bunnies, like the wheels on the bus, oh my god, the sheer horror and mortification!
When we sing, Owen does not like it. If we try to dance in his presence, he will die. "Stop! Stop!" he will beg us. And we will laugh because it's so funny but I guess it's not funny to Owen.
At the library, he took one of his mother's hands and one of mine in his own hands to prevent us from making the hand movements. Literally. There was nothing he could do about the rest of the people- the polite little girls, the goody-two-shoes little boys, the chortling babies who bounced up and down on their grandmother's laps, the other mothers all sitting in a semi-circle and being serious about the singing, the bunnies, the birds. But he could prevent his mother and me from wiggling our fingers. Oh yes. He could. And he did.
One song ended with the question, "Can you sit very still with your hands folded in your lap?" or something like that.
Under her breath, Lily said, "Probably not," and Owen repeated her loudly. PROBABLY NOT! he said and I think that is when he crawled under the chair.
The book-readings were not quite as agonizing as the songs but frankly, he didn't care much for those either. "Look- a dog!" Lily and I would say and Owen would glance up at the page being pointed to and look away as if to say, "Oh please. You call THAT a dog?" No, he didn't care about the dog or the sunflower or the sheep or whatever the hell the other book was about. Not. One. Bit.
He may have been rolling his eyes.
And then, as if to say enough is enough, he got up and went to the door and opened it.
Lily and I gathered our things (Gibson slept through it all in the little pack thingee on his mama's bosom) and followed him out while all the other children were still paying attention, still being good little boys and girls.
I tried to interest him in the library in a book about a chicken but again, he had no interest whatsoever. I was telling Hank about this and he said, "Why would he need to read a book about chickens? He HAS chickens."
Quite frankly, I was completely amused by the whole experience. I thought it was great. When Lily was Owen's age, she would have acted the same way, except that instead of quietly going to the door and opening it, she would have thrown a leg-kicking tantrum in the middle of everything and I would have had to lift her bodily and haul her from the room myself, feeling judged unfit as a mother by all of the other mothers and the story-teller lady AND the other children.
So I just thought it was funny and an indication that my grandson is not like all the other children, which I already knew, and Lily wasn't upset either. It was, after all, his first experience in a room full of other kids and throw in the mortification of GROWNUPS SINGING IN HIS PRESENCE and well, it just wasn't his cup of tea.
Later on though, we asked him if he'd like to go back next week.
"Oh sure, sure," he said.
I can't wait. I wouldn't miss that for the world.