Thursday, January 08, 2009

Reticence is not her problem

Yesterday the Hatchling and I went to tour a possible preschool for her for fall (because, yes, you have to start at LEAST this far in advance if you want to get your choice, which is kind of giving me hives. Not to mention figuring out how we'll pay for it, which is also giving me hives.) It was a great place, very welcoming and kid-friendly, a really nice director, great activities, etc. - I hope we can swing it, because the Hatchling would just thrive on it and it might keep me from losing my mind. Anyhoo. We we touring with another mom and little girl and let me tell you, they were a study in contrasts. The other girl, Grace, was very nice and friendly, but she also was perfectly happy to stay close to her mommy for the duration of the tour, a concept which the Hatchling completely fails to grasp. From the Hatchling's perspective, this was clearly a place designed with her in mind, so why would she have any qualms about, you know, just joining in? She wouldn't! We visited one classroom where they were having story time, and I whispered to the Hatchling that she had to be very quiet in this room, because other kids were listening to the story. Riiiiiiiight. She marched right up to the back of the group, sat down on the mat next to the nearest kid, and in her usual enthusiastic voice, said, "Hi, kids! What's goin' on?" I went over to try and shush her, and the little kid sitting next to her asked the teacher "Why are there some kids in here who don't belong?"

I got her out of there without too much further disruption, and in the next room we visited, they were having open playtime, with lots of different stations for the kids to choose from. It was nicely chaotic and I imagine most normal children would have opted for Grace's strategy of watching the action safely by her mother's side. I, however, do not have a normal kid. The Hatchling zipped right into the middle of the room where a teacher was preparing some craft supplies, took the cup of glue and paintbrush out of the teacher's hands, and started making her own collage. She was perfectly polite about it, she just wasn't at all shy. The teacher looked up at me and said "she seems to be right at home!" and indeed, she did. It didn't make for the most, uh, relaxing tour of the facilities, and I think Grace was appalled, but I guess it was good to see that the Hatchling would fit right in. I'm glad that she's so outgoing - makes it easier to make friends - but I don't know whether to be hopeful or fearful of the inevitable time(s) her friendly overtures are rejected. I don't want her to steamroller over the other kids, but I know her little heart will be broken if someone doesn't want to make friends with her. Sigh.