Saturday, September 29, 2007

Notes From a Young Anthropologist

The One who is constantly reminding me that she is the Boss, aka Mom, has begun sending me off daily to a fascinating and noisy adventure called Kindergarten.

Gun' ... gun' ... gun'! I like to sing this note. Maybe some people would say it was F sharp. I need to sing it some more to see if I remember it correctly. This is the loud song that the Kindergartners hear in the morning while they are lined up in a row on the sidewalk. When they hear this, they immediately follow their Teachers into the classroom. Then the Teachers demand that the Kindergartners put their lunches onto a cart. This is the first of an interminable number of demands the Teachers put upon the aforementioned children.Mom sends my lunch in a paper bag (today it was an apple, grape tomatoes, cheese crackers, a drink and a plain, crunchy granola bar) and I am allowed to eat in a quiet room. This is my favorite part of Kindergarten, some days.


When I get home, I review the customs of Kindergarten so that I can memorize them and categorize them. I create my own re-enactments of the day. This helps me to deal with the overhwelming amount of new information which I receive on a daily basis. For example, this afternoon, on the playground, I practiced the incantation which the music teacher uses every morning over the loudspeaker: "I regiayegancetothedog .....uninintatistaysameriga......." I think I got her rhythm down pat, but Mom might have translated the incantation differently: "I pledge allegiance to the flag ...." When I find a Kindergarten moment interesting, I re-enact it, and try to share my game with Mom: today I showed her that I had made a pretend "campfire" out of grass on the playground, and then "Miss Kathy asked. If it was a campfire. I said yes."

Each Kindergartner owns a packet of colored cards. For some reason, the Green card is considered the best one. At home, I created my own cards, ripping pieces of white paper and gluing them onto the kitchen cupboards, but in my Kitchen Kindergarten, the most important card is Blue.I have begun gathering a bag of my train toys and taking them to the Kitchen. I announce that "it is free choice time and I will play with trains." I usually build a nice figure eight. Don't think that I don't notice that my sister takes the whole thing apart while I am at Kindergarten.I do not need to practice the poems that are sent home in my backpack. I can read most of the words, and if it wants to, the poem will erupt out of my mouth: "Three little kittens they lost their mittens and they began to cry ..."

But the really fun poems those Teachers have taught us are ones like this: "A dot, a dot, a dot will do. More than a dot is too much glue." I know that if I repeat that one enough times my third sister will howl at me with frustration. But if I sing out, acting out a zipping movment in front of my lips, "Zip it up, lock it up and throw away the key," my mother will giggle. I like it when she giggles.While the whole class painted Gingerbread Men with smiling faces, I was the only one who painted a Gingerbread Man with a frown and lots of tears peppered all over him. I told my Mom, when she asked about this, that "he had lost his bu'n (button)." But really, painting tears is so much more fun than painting a smiley face!

When we visited a friend's new house, which was almost empty of furniture, and had tall white walls, I remembered running back and forth with Mr. B in his big room which they called the Gym. "Between two walls, between two walls!" I yelled, and ran back and forth in joyful recognition.

And now, I'm going to get back to a truly important activity, like spinning around as fast as I can on my new indoor swing.

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