Gabe’s end-of-the-year party was today. Sabina offered to watch Ollie and Carina while I went, but I just used her on Monday for Colin’s party, and this was supposed to be an easy-going little get-together, so I opted to take them with.
I loaded our sit-and-stand stroller with cupcakes for Gabe’s class, cheerios, a sippy cup and toys for Carina, and of course Carina and Ollie, and hauled it into a spot by a little table in the back of Gabe’s class. The teacher started out by having the kids sing, and soon she brought the kids to the front, one by one. They read from a portfolio in Chinese and everyone clapped. Cute, fun, very nice. Only this: each one was taking almost 5 minutes. And she wasn’t going straight through. She stopped every two or three kids and had them sing two or three songs. There are 25 kids in the class. You do the math.
Carina was great for the first half hour, which for her is almost amazing. The second that she wriggled out of her straps and stood up in her seat, I knew we were in trouble. The stroller spell was broken and she would never ever sit still again. And then she:
Screamed when I tried to help her with her cheerios.
Screamed when I tried to help her sit in one of the little chairs.
Fell out of the chair.
Screamed when I tried to help her drink a juice box.
Threw the juice box on the ground.
Got happy when the teacher’s assistant got out a puppet to play with.
Screamed when she saw there were dolly puppets she wasn’t playing with.
Screamed when I only gave her two of the those puppets.
And on and on and on for two and a half hours. I tried to think what I could possibly do. I couldn’t leave until Gabe was done because he was coming home with me. I couldn’t take her in the hall, where her screaming would interrupt the rest of the classes. I could only give in to her screams and try and hard as I possibly could to keep her lips zipped.
And so I was that parent today, in front of a dozen other parents. I will do whatever the heck you want, dear child, just shut the heck up.