Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Next to mothering, the very best job in the world is...

reading to kids. I cannot say enough about how much I love my storytelling gig at Ben's old nursery school. I spent the morning and afternoon yesterday, and the morning today, reading "Caps For Sale" by Esphyr Slobodkina to some very lively and beautiful 2,3,4, and 5 year olds. Aside from this being one of my all-time favorite children's books, interacting with those kids has got to rank up their with the greatest moments of my life. Generally, when I am planning the time I spend with them, I try to choose books that have a lot of repetition, in addition to characters whose quirks I can give life to. In "Caps For Sale", the peddler, who is the only human in the story, gets very angry and begins yelling at some monkeys who have stolen his caps-"You, you monkeys you, you give me back my caps." So, for the last two days, I've been hanging with the little people, encouraging them to conjure up their favorite toys, then imagine how angry they would be if someone took them- then having them repeat the peddler's lines throughout my reading, with all the anger they can muster. We growled, hollered, and stamped our feet together and not once did I ever get bored- each new class who walked in the room, brought shining new faces, funny answers to the question of their favorite toy (lots of batmans, spidermans, hello kitties and webkinz- but then there were the ones where you were holding your stomach so you didn't burst- like the boy who told me today that his favorite toy was the twenty hockey teams he has in his bedroom, including the Pittsburgh Penguins- especially Sydney Crosby and some buy named Malkin, and the other boy who said he had 900 million garbage trucks that he loves, and the little girl who said that her Nintendo DS was her favorite toy but then she admitted that she didn't actually have one but she was hoping her Grandmother was going to buy her one and the other little girl who said that Batman was her favorite toy but her Daddy hates batman so she didn't really have one but her mother said she might let her read some of the books) and pure joy for me in making them laugh (especially when we sang "head and shoulders, knees and toes" and I would forget what the nose was called and mistake it for a belly-button or an armpit).

Like I told my guitar teacher last night, if you can make a kid laugh- you've had a good day. So I'll chalk it up to two good days for me- and I'm glad for them both.


Bonnie said...

Josie came home bursting with the news that you came to class this week- thank you so much for doing this for the kids at the preschool- it really means the world to them!

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Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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