Monday, August 1, 2011

Sometimes I don't feel like a bad mom

I can learn a lot by watching other moms with their children.  Sometimes I learn good hints and techniques.  Sometimes I learn what not to do.  Sometimes I learn about the children, sometimes about the mom.  Sometimes I learn about my daughter and sometimes about myself.  Today was one of those days that I learned a difference between being a preschool teacher mom and not being one.  And I realized that for all the times that I feel like the bad mom, today I was not.

Today Lilly and I went to the preschool story time at out local library.  There were many children and their caregivers: moms, dads and grandparents.  The librarian, though kind, is also a bit stern which is okay in my book.  She is fun when it counts - when she is reading stories and dramatic story telling with puppets!  The stories today were about elephants in one way or another.  So the craft, naturally, was to make an elephant out of paper plates, construction paper cut outs of ears, trunks, legs, etc and decorations.  The librarian showed all of the children the finished product and then taped it to the wall so that we could all see it.  It was right behind me.  Lilly and I did not so much as glance at it after the initial look see.

What was shocking to me was how every single parent looked at that elephant and then guided their 3 and 4 year old children in making the proper elephant.  They all had the ears, eyes ( 3 part eyes!), trunks, tails, and legs in the proper position.  I did help Lilly glue the paper plates and ears together because, frankly, it was not sticking.  But Lilly added everything else, wherever she wanted.  She knew what it was going to be and had a vision of what it was going to look like.  I saw a couple looks from other moms and then from the librarian.  All responses?  Oh, very nice - said in a very bland sort of way.  Between the lines?  That is not what an elephant looks like!  One remarked that it was colorful.  What 3 year old wants a plain gray elephant when they can create a sequined, colorful elephant?!

I think it is a beautiful elephant!

Lilly's elephant.  She wrote her name on the left ear

p.s.  I did say at one point that I was a preschool teacher and so I believe in letting children create in an open way and express themselves.  But I did not want to come across as snooty.  Maybe just seeing Lilly's will be the push they need to let their children create.
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