Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kid's College Part 1

This week the girls are attending a week of Kid's College at a nearby community college.

PK is taking a class called "Nurture your Nature," taught by a horticulturist, where she'll get to play with worms, plant plants, examine snails, and discover the joys of dirt.

C is taking an art class, as well as a hip-hop dancing class. More on that later.

Yesterday was the first day, and as nervous as the girls were with a case of first-day-of-class jitters (remember that?), I employed a "getting acclimated to new surroundings" technique which has worked for me in the past. They both behaved liked little ladies and settled right into their routines.

C dove into her art, PK dove into her dirt.

I hung out outside PK's classroom with the latest issue of Hot Rod, and a copy of the community college's schedule of classes -- always on the lookout for an interesting class to take...hmmm, Course 1251 - "Intro to the Windows Operating System"...that could be good for an hour long nap.

While perusing the catalog and keeping an eye on the clock, I got to witness the painful exploits of a father trying to convince, cajole, and con his whimpering 3-year old son into joining the other kids in the $30 class he was signed up for.
Be my brave little guy, will ya.
You'll have fun, look at the other kids in there.
None of them are afraid.
Where's my brave little soldier?
Don't be shy. It's okay to be shy, but this will be fun.
You wanted to take this class.
I'm getting angry now.
Your mommy is going to be really disappointed in you.
Man, this poor Dad tried every hook and crook in the book.

Finally, he resorted to the final of final parental ploys and said, "do you want me to call your mother?" The brave little guy nodded.

After a lengthy talk via Motorola Razr with his working Mommy, the young lad contentedly marched off behind his frustrated father to the waiting pickup truck in the parking lot. Off they went, leaving a little bit of the father's patience behind, as well as their $30 enrollment fee for the class.

The "getting acclimated to new surroundings" technique that works pretty well with my girls may not work for every kid in every similar situation, but it seems to work for my girls and I'm happy to have discovered it.

My 6-year old is at that stage where she is nervous for all of 2 minutes in this situation. After that, she's made a friend and is buzzing in the newness of it all.

When taking my 3-year old into an unfamiliar setting, I ger her there early enough so she can establish her own space. After finding her room, and selecting a chair to her liking, we set up some familiar objects (backpack, jacket, whatever) nearby and she gets comfortable with herself in her new surrounding.

By the time the rest of the kids start arriving, my daughter is acting like the gracious host at a dinner party, inviting the kids in, making them feel comfortable, telling them her name, and ensuring they have a place to sit.

I've watched her do this several times and as long as it works for her, it works for me.

Course, this may be how Martha Stewart started on her road to being the hostess with the mostess.

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