Twice a week, Henry and I go to a pretend pre-school called “Terrific Twos!” Actually, I think it might be called “Terrific Two’s!” (Bad apostrophe. BAD.) When I signed him (and by extension, me) up for this, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was what two women in the neighborhood told me--that it was a fun way to spend a couple of mornings. The class description in the brochure didn’t sound promising. Alongside other courses, such as cooking (“Watch your wee one learn to chop and dice—safely, of course!”) and art (“Explore different media with your toddler—and have fun, to boot!”), the “Terrific Twos!” description was decidedly frosty, with only a few lines on teaching the toddler to “negotiate transitions” and “manage group interactions” as well as “deal with separation issues.” No mention of arts and crafts, exercise, singing, or human warmth of any kind. I pictured a bare, windowless room, the children huddled in a corner, a woman wearing a severe bun and a unitard (Why a unitard, you ask? Why not?) barking orders. “Henry, hand this ragged doll to Emma. Emma, return the ragged doll to Henry. Good. Here is a nutrition pellet. Now I will leave. Then I will return. Do not cry. Or else.” But hey! Wouldn’t that be a good story for the blog! And we needed something to get us out of this vermin-infested dust trap, so I forked over the cash.
Turns out there are snacks and Play-Doh and hugs a-plenty, and the teacher wears her bun very loose and is warm and amiable, although way too young. Not too young for the kids—too young for me. Also too cute. Henry and five other kids play in a small room, while the mothers try not to hover too close even though there’s nowhere else to go; we also try to come up with something to say to each other, and usually fail. Then we all go downstairs to the gym, which is a couple of playschool slides on some gym mats in an auditorium, and Henry goes apeshit for ten minutes. Then we sit in a circle and sing idiot songs for idiots. Or, I guess, children’s songs for children, if you want to get technical about it. All I know is, we already take a music class, and that class has songs I can stand to hear, and a teacher who can sing, and really hot parents who make me feel less than hot, but at least they’re easy on the eyes. And, let me not be modest about it, I’m a singer. I can belt a tune, my friends. I got me the training. I could get operatic on their asses, if I chose to do so. So the whiny half-hearted off-key “Wheels on the Bus” each week—it hurts, is what I’m saying. But then comes “Where is Thumbkin?” and also the reason I’m not an adult. Because I seriously have never sung that song past the thumb, so when the teacher trilled, “Where is Pointer?” and started the next verse with her index finger, all I could think is “Oh my god she’s going to do the middle finger and her middle finger is going to be pointing at us OH MY GOD” and, indeed, she sang “Where is Tallman?”, with her middle finger right out there, and no one cracked a smile. Of course.
No one except me, I mean. I laughed. Out loud. And now every time we sing it, I start to laugh when my middle finger starts to make the trip from behind my back to the entire class. I can’t help it. Tallman! Ha!
Anyway, that was my point.