Thursday, November 20, 2008

Playground review

Today I arrived at Gannon's preschool about 20 minutes early, so I decided that instead of rushing to get him, that I would relax and observe his class on the playground-from the comforts of my car-for a bit. He has a large class; about 20 on average, so I sometimes wonder how much he's really getting out of it. But, that's another topic, so I'll move on... I'm observing/spying on the kids and their teachers, and one little girl caught my eye. I've noticed her before, but I've only ever seen her at her seat or walking in the hall. Today she was swinging. This wouldn't be unusual, except she is missing her entire left arm from the shoulder down. She was the only child playing on the swings, and she was really giving it all she had. I observed her not only climb into the seat by herself, but also begin to swing herself. Can you imagine trying to swing with just one arm??? She had a clumsy system, with swaying her torso and kicking off the ground with one foot, but by golly she was swinging herself. And she did it with no help at all, and she didn't even ask for help! I was simply amazed at her tenacity and perseverance.

Meanwhile, my son is making the rounds for the slide. Up the stairs, through the tunnel, down the slide...repeat. Not nearly as amazing as his little classmate, but he is cute nonetheless. At one point he walked over and tackled another little boy. I was horrified at first, but then the other boy turned around and tackled him right back and they both went about their business ("being lions" as I was later informed). Dynamics between boys is so different than for girls! You can tackle your buddy and still be buddies. If a girl were to tackle another girl, not only would they discontinue their friendship for the next 30 minutes, but they might just go and tell everyone else about it (i.e. gossip).

Gannon comes home every day from school with rocks in his shoes. Yes, the school playground has rocks for the nice, soft padding on which our little babies fall. So not only does Gannon have rocks in his shoes every day, he has also come home with scrapes and cuts from when he falls down. I haven't figured that one out, yet. WHY did they choose rocks instead of mulch, or something softer?? It's beyond me, but today I thought that it would be nice if all the parents had a fundraiser for the preschool to raise money to replace the rocks with a softer surface. I mean, when you have kids age 2-5 playing out there, they are going to fall down! Who wants to fall on rocks?

Okay, I got off on a soapbox there. Isn't it amazing all of the things one's mind can think up during 15 minutes of playground observation?

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