Monday, November 16, 2009
Today parents were invited to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal in the classroom with their children at my son's daycare/pre-k. In theory this sounds like a great idea but in practice, not so much. The problems began as soon as Dad and I arrived at Mekhi's classroom. We were escorted to the kitchen to pick up our "meals" and Mekhi wanted to tag along because "parents, at school" no brainer. There was a delay with the meals and one of Mekhi's teachers took him back to the classroom while we waited and the water works commenced.
When we returned to the classroom about five minutes later, not only was Mekhi crying but another child whose mother was in the classroom was also crying. There was a general state of disorder and the children sadly were "wandering" and in doing so bringing to life their aptly named classroom -"wandering toddlers." The children finally lined up to wash their hands and sit down to eat. Meanwhile, Mekhi is still crying, despite the presence of both of his parents in the room. When he finally sat down next to me he didn't touch any of the food on his plate but he did manage to commender the roll from my plate of food. Of course, the roll was the only thing that I was going to eat but hey, that is the price of motherhood.
A little girl sitting next to Mekhi (I'll call her Mona) was not very interested in eating either. I think that her loss of appetite had more to do with being alone than anything else. Of the 7 or 8 children in the room, Mona was the only one without visitors. For the entire luncheon her lip was low to the ground and although we tried to talk to her and encourage her to eat she was completely disinterested.
After lunch it was nap time and subsequently departure time for the parental units. I am sure you can see where this is headed - water works again. I was torn between wanted to bring Mekhi home with us and wanting him to stay, nap and play outside with his friends. Dad just left in a huff. When we got outside he said "this is the worst idea ever" and has decided never to participate in a luncheon again.
I have to say I agree with him. Between the joy of seeing parents that quickly turns into disappointment when the parents depart, to the lone child without parents participating and the tears, a luncheon with toddlers is not a good idea. Perhaps an afternoon soiree would be better on a day when all parents can participate and we can take the children home. Otherwise this tortures all parties involved in one way or another.
I think I will provide feedback to the school about this particular event. I am sure it won't change anything but sometimes hearing a different perspective is helpful for future planning. What do you think? Was this toddler torture or a good idea?