To date, I have sat through 10 preschool programs with only two more left until my days as a preschool mom are over. That’s right, one more year until all my kiddos will be in elementary school together. I am both crying my eyeballs out and simultaneously popping open a bottle of champagne over this situation.
My emotions as a parent are bipolar, forever playing tug of war with the heartstrings of my soul (that was way too deep for this blog post but I’m leaving it).
I am so ready for only one drop off and one pick up. So ready for one, corresponding school calendar where everybody is on and off at the same time. Beyond ready for a little more time to get stuff done around the house on the days I don’t work.
However, I am nowhere near ready to give up the absolute adorableness that is the whimsical world of preschool. Crafts out the wazoo, themed parades, nature walks, overly enthusiastic teachers who sincerely love my kids better than I do on many days. I mean, could it get any cuter?! And the thing I am going to miss the most? The sweetest thing of all? The preschool programs.
It doesn’t get more precious than one hundred 3 and 4-year-olds dressed up in costumes or fancy outfits precariously positioned atop rafters in front of an auditorium full of proud parents and grandparents armed and ready with their smart phones to record their child’s every move.
Aside from watching my own kids perform, the best part about these recitals is watching what the other kids are doing… or not doing in some cases. There is some high-quality kid watching to be done at these events and I don’t mean that in a “I am making fun of your kid” kind of way. No, no my friend. My mindset is more, “your kid is cracking me up and it’s awesome.” Here are the 10 kids you’ll find in every preschool program:
THE NOSE PICKER
With their finger shoved three feet up their nostril the entire time, this kid is digging around in search of some serious nuggets of nose dirt. Bonus points if they go for the gold and eat their booger bounty. Could someone please get them a tissue?
Bring your ear plugs everyone because this kid’s volume is well over the recommended decibel level for human ears to take in. They’re not holding back, belting out each note as loud as his or her vocal cords will allow. It also always seems that this little performer usually wins the “monotony award” as they tend to lack any semblance of inflection in their notes. Singing Wheels on the Bus with all the pizzazz of a plain paper towel.
THE DEER-IN-THE-HEADLIGHTS KID
You better slam on the preschool performance breaks you guys because this kid is terrified… or mesmerized… or perhaps just really confused as to why they have been placed on a stage in front of people. Poor thing. Maybe they missed the previous day’s dress rehearsals? Regardless, this youngster is frozen in time, eyes wide, unable to blink or move and about to be bulldozed by an 18-wheeler of peppy sing-a-long songs.
Ah, the twins. I love these little rascals. Always mischievous and naughty. These pairs are either basking in the spotlight, aggressively smothering each other with sibling affection or beating the crud out of each other right in the middle of Jesus Loves Me. Either way, they usually end up center stage and tangled in a ball. At the last program I attended I noticed that one of the moms (who was also a teacher at the preschool) separated her twins on opposite sides of the stage. Smart lady.
THE BATHROOM EMERGENCY KID
Desperately clinging to their private parts and frantically looking to the sidelines for an attentive teacher, this kid needs to take a time out and visit the potty. When asked just minutes before the show started if anyone needs to use the bathroom, no doubt they swiftly answered with an assured, “Nope! I don’t! Not me!” But now they are tap dancing in place and only moments away from an on-stage accident.
THE BOUND-FOR-BROADWAY KID
The cast of Hamilton better watch their backs because this sassy singer has some spunk. With a booming voice, lively facial expressions and overly-animated body movements, this tiny entertainer has seen the bar of carefully choreographed hand gestures placed before them and soared way, way over it. Their energy level rises above the other performers and much of the audience lives in fear that Bound-for-Broadway Kid is going to accidentally poke an unsuspecting Deer-in-the-Headlights Kid in the eyeballs with their jazz hands.
Nope. Not gonna do it. No way. No how. With arms crossed firmly over their chest, scowling out at the audience, this annoyed adolescent is 100% refusing to participate in this melodious display of nursery school nonsense. They may have even taken their protest to the ground, sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the stage. Or perhaps they have turned their back to the crowd. Either way, this kid’s not havin’ it.
This cutie is so excited that Mommy and Daddy and Big Sissy and even Grams and Gramps have come to cheer them on in their big musical debut that they just cannot control their excitement. All their joy is bubbling up out of their tiny soul and manifesting itself in an uncontrollable flapping of their hands. With a big, proud smile plastered to their face, they spend 5% of their time sort of singing and the other 95% of the time frantically waving at their adoring fans.
With big, alligator tears streaming down their cheeks, this poor little one is just beside him or herself. Why they are crying? Maybe they’re scared or nervous or tired or over-stimulated or under-stimulated or sad or really, really happy. Maybe they need to go potty and are about to evolve from Cryer Kid to Bathroom Emergency Kid. The world may never know the real reason for their tears because, you know, 3 and 4-year-olds aren’t well-known for their communication skills. But whatever the reason, they are going to snivel and snuffle their way through those songs to the best of their ability until curtain call.
Whether your child is one of the nine, previously described performers or is the angelic little cherub whose singing and hand gestures are flawless makes no difference because they are YOUR kid. And that means they are the cutest kid of all. It doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do because, to you, they are perfect and adorable and the best preschool performance participant this world has ever seen. Hands down.
Enjoy every moment of these preschool years, parents, because they really do fly by!
What other type of preschool performers have you seen in action? I’d love to know!