Sunday, December 20, 2009

Musical chairs

Friday afternoon brought the girls' Winter Wonderland party at daycare. The festivities were held inside the classrooms so quickly I made the decision to bring L with me into E's class so I could be with both girls. E would never be agreeable about going into the 2s' classroom but L loves being included in the big kids' activities, and the big kids and their teachers all know L and look out for her, so I thought my idea was a sound one.

I pulled an extra kiddie chair up to E's table and the girls sat and ate their pizza and cupcakes and cookies and brownies and fudge and more cupcakes and juice boxes and ginger ale and muffins and chocolates together. Then, (wisely) the teachers had planned for a massive game of musical chairs to get the sugar-filled wildebeests festively dressed sweeties running around a little.  They lined up a massive row of chairs facing in alternate directions, set the kids to run an oval the length of the classroom, and started the music.

During the setup the bigger kids were eagerly assisting, bringing chairs from all corners of the classroom. L paid no attention and played with the plastic animals from the play corner.  She was particularly taken with the horse and the baby chick.  As soon as the music was playing, of course L was right in the middle of the action. She saw a gang of kids running; she dropped everything and ran with them. When the music stopped, and they stopped, she didn't know what to do but several of the big kids in her vicinity showed her to sit down quickly in a chair. She landed successfully in a blue chair and smiled proudly out at me and the other parents.  Some kid was out, the music started again, and the race track started spinning.

And then, predictably, the music was turned off. L thought she understood what to do so she ran to that same blue chair, which was by then already occupied by a large four-year-old. She tried shoving him out of the way but he refused to move so L threw herself to the floor in a tantrum. The big kids, so familiar with L and her dramatic ways, began stepping over her as the music resumed and quickly L was up and running again.  But then a three-year-old girl landed in the chair L thought of as hers.

Floor-flail, tantrum, music, overstepping, up and running again. Repeat.

Eventually enough kids were out and milling by the toys waiting for the game to end that L lost interest, too, and returned to her baby chick. Some of those kids had taken a few animals and were enacting some elaborate imaginative story in front of the group of parents who were seated on the perimeter of the room to watch the musical chairs. L noticed that an audience was to be had over there, so she wandered off with her baby chick. The kids were calling out to the parents, "Look!" "See!" "Watch this!" So L joined in the showmanship, holding up her baby chick: Look! I got a little dick! A whole row of seated parents, drunk on merriment and chocolate brownies, laughed wildly and L was vindicated for having lost her blue chair.

And that is how you play musical chairs. Pin It