Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Spring Concert

Today, we were at the very first school concert for our youngest daughter, who is two. Actually, she is just a little bit over two-and-a-half, and I know this because in Ontario, a child MUST be a minimum of exactly two years and six months before they are allowed to attend a registered nursery school. My daughter and I started nursery school together in September-- the very kind staff allowed her to begin with her peers, providing that I stayed with her until she came of age. This turned out to be of tremendous benefit to both Tiny Two and me-- I was delighted to be able to "ease" her into the new environment. We were able to get to know the other children and parents in the class pretty much from the get-go. It's thrilling to work with very small children and watch all their "lightbulb moments". I hope that I was able to help the teachers get all of those delightful little kids off to a really good start.

By the end of December, my baby was ready to be left "alone" in the classroom, and I had gotten to know the school and the teachers so well that we had absolutely no qualms about it... Our favourite teacher still scoops Tiny Two up every day and carries her to the "goodbye window", which is the window where the children wave to their parents as they depart each morning. I leave with a full heart, but knowing that she is literally in loving arms.

Today, Tiny Two dressed for school with special care. We managed to talk her into a beautiful little corduroy dress with flowers all over it, rather than the frilly little organdie number we had chosen back when it was still SPRING around here... When we arrived at the school, she was a picture straight out of Mary Engelbreit as she waved to me at the window.

My husband and I arrived back at the school an hour later, armed with the usual parental parephenalia of a camera and videocam. Tiny Two is our baby-- our LAST baby-- and we're not going to fall into the "third child" trap and miss out on it.

As soon as she saw us, our little daughter leaped from the chair where she was sitting "on stage" with her classmates, and instinctively rushed towards us. And why not? This is the way she always greets us-- arms wide open, grin so big it could bust her little cheeks. Her favourite teacher caught her just in time, gave her a cuddle, and seemed to be re-explaining the concert procedure. Our little girl sat back down, looked at us wide-eyed, and gave a teeny wave.

The concert was wonderful. There was plenty of good, loud singing, lots of action, and great costumes (including hand-made bunny ear hats and little cotton-ball tails fastened to behinds with big safety pins). Everyone clearly had a super time.

Throughout all of this, however, our Tiny Two stayed silent. No singing, no actions-- just big, wide shoe-button eyes taking us all in. At one point, she rolled up her skirt in her hands, but that's about the most she did. The teacher she was sitting next to provided plenty of encouragement and reassurance, but our girlie remained the best little statue on the stage.

We videotaped it all, anyway. And, on the way home in the car, I held up the camera and said, "Hey! Why don't we watch this on tv, and then you can show Daddy and me how you sing and dance, WITHOUT all those people watching you? You could teach us how to do all the songs, too!"

It was then that she revealed that she had NOT, actually, been nervous about performing in front of an audience. She proudly said, "Teacher said I had to sit down on chair and NOT MOVE! I NOT MOVE, Mum!! I did it best of all!!"

My baby. My daughter. An absolutely perfect "chip of the ol' block". Above all else, she does as she's told. And she'll follow instructions to the letter, no matter WHAT other people are doing around her.

"Poor little kid," muttered my long-suffering husband.

Oh, well. At least we've got ONE obedient child...

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