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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2007


39-year-old body, preschooler mind

Tie-dye preschool project
Originally uploaded by marytsao
Yesterday morning I helped at Emily's school; her teachers needed a parent to assist the kids while they tie-dyed T-shirts. I had the time of my life. I love hanging out in classrooms, watching teachers do what they do and observing how activities are organized. Plus it was so cool to see Emily in her preschool environment. She loves story time and sits in the front row, hanging on the teacher's every word--eventually actually hanging on the teacher--while she reads the story. Yesterday she made a few comments about things in the picture book that weren't necessarily part of the story, and her teacher would make it a point to reinforce her observations and point them out to the rest of the class. I hung out in the back, bursting with pride. It was a great morning.

Yesterday afternoon I had a short parent-teacher conference with Thomas's teacher. She remarked that he's a great kid to have at school, that his speech has improved dramatically since September, and that he's recently started making friends and showing empathy when other kids are feeling poorly. His "issues" are how he reacts to unpleasant situations (with tears and lots of them) and his inability to correlate misbehavior with punishment unless it's staring him in the face. For example, if you tell him he needs to sit down or he won't be able to pet the dog, but the dog is not in the room, he may or may not sit down. However, if the dog is in the room and you tell him to sit down, he'll most likely sit down. He's not yet three so both of his "issues" are understandable and will likely pass as he matures. Although that loud-and-vociferous crying habit has been a part of his personality since the moment he left the womb, so... we'll see. His teacher joked that he may have a career as an actor ahead of him.

Grammie Martha arrived yesterday evening and right after picking her up, we headed out to our first Halloween party of the season. Emily went as Dora the Explorer and Thomas went as James the Red Engine, part of the Thomas the Tank Engine gang. The party was at our local rec center and we managed to run into several of Thomas's preschool classmates and their families, although the party was unbelievably crowded and we didn't stay long.

I can't get over how cool it was to hang out at Emily's preschool yesterday. I love four-year-olds; they're so unpretentious and utterly lacking in self-consciousness. I want to be more like that. I want to scratch myself in front of people and wear pants that show my underwear and make my butt look funny. I want to sit "criss cross applesauce" and listen to stories as if my very life depended on it. I want to be like the little boy in Emily's class who grinned wildly at me and yelled, "my toenails are painted!"

Preschoolers are the coolest creatures on earth. I'm glad I get to live with two of them.

James and Dora