Sunday, March 11, 2012

Knox's Play: Team Big Balls

Friday was fun! 

On Friday, March 9th, Knox had a performance at Compall Hall with his preschool, Woodstock.  They have been working on their end-of-year celebratory plays since January.  I took off of work on Friday and went to see it. 

First of all, I started getting sick over a week ago, and I was really down for the count, so my time with Knox was fuzzy and struggling last week.  I was determined to have a great day with him.  I was still sick on Friday, but I got up really early to go eat breakfast with him and take him to the hall.  We parked right next to the Woodstock bus, which Knox spotted way before I did.  He pointed and yelled out, "Mommy!  Bus members!"  They call the kids who ride the bus "bus members" and Knox rides the bus to go on field trips and sometimes to hang out with Peter while he helps on the bus.   It was raining and Knox wanted his yellow umbrella, which I found in the car and we used to get inside, and which was subsequently stolen by the end of the day; in Japan, leave your wallet wherever you will, but we wary of your umbrella.

We all met on the 4th floor of Compall Hall in a large tatami room with a nice stage.  All in great spirits, parents settled their piles of jackets and bags and set up tri-pods while kids ran around and got dressed for their performances.  There are three age groups at Woodstock; the Sugar Bunnies, the Busy Bees, and the Funky Monkeys.  Knox is a Sugar Bunny.  They performed first, doing an exhibition of their English skills and dancing to a song with verses about oranges, bananas, potatoes, guitars, and big balls.  That's right, Knox was Team Big Balls.  Yep.  He wore a red cape kinda thing and a picture of a basketball on his head.  And of course he was perfect and adorable.

He sat so well for the other teams, I was amazed.  I kept looking over at him and he was just sitting in his chair where he was supposed to be, waiting for instructions to go do his little dance and answer questions in English for the parents.  I remember when we got to Japan and went to these kids groups and Knox would never sit still in his chair; he'd be the only kid up and running around the room, but now he is much more disciplined.  He's doing so well.  He learns a ton at preschool.  I think it's really good for him.  I really wish I could stay home with him, or at least be the one to drop him off at 8:30 and pick him up at 2:00, but this is a good thing.      

After his performance Knox sat with me to watch the Busy Bees perform The Three Little Pigs.  Knox was really into it, watching and quoting the lines, and one of his favorite kids, Masaya, played the wolf, so Knox was entranced.  For months it seems I have been reading Knox The Three Little Pigs, playing "hide from the wolf," and listening to Knox talk about wolves and piggies.  He likes to say, "The wolf is coming!" and run to hide under the covers.  Under the covers, we talk about whether or not the wolf is "out there" and then we throw the covers off and scream, "Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!!"  Then we run to the kitchen and hide behind a cabinet door.  Then the cycle starts again with, "The wolf is coming!"  Sometimes there is tickling thrown into the whole mix.  Yesterday he was eating animal crackers.  He held one up and said, "This one is a piggy, and I'm the wolf!"  And he ate it.

Following the Busy Bees, the Funky Monkeys performed The Little Mermaid.  All the kids did a great job.  By this time Knox was eating his fingers and his shirt and my hair, and I was happy for lunch time to come.  Lunch was slight mayhem after a few minutes.  Once the kids were fed, they started running around like the wild animals they are.  Several kids brought Knox cookies and chocolate.  I was on mommy alert trying to keep track of where Knox was as he flew back and forth across the room, in and out of sight, and I saw a string of kids run out of the room and not reenter any of the other doors, so, in my sick state, I took off after them.  The bigger kids had run the circle of the whole floor and made it back around to our room.  Knox was nowhere to be seen.  I was calling his name and following in the direction that some other parents had pointed.  I found Knox shuffling toward my voice, and when he saw me I could tell by his voice that, although he had only been alone for a few moments from the time the other kids ran off to the time I got to him, he was getting scared.  I know he got carried away and was just running with no thought.  That's why Mommy must be ever vigilant...

Actually, in moments like that, I witness a dichotomy in my perception of things.  On one hand, I think that he should know not to leave the room, and I know that I charge him with that responsibility; on the other hand I know that a 2-year old cannot be held responsible for anything.  I think that's what a parent has to do though:  I have to make him understand what is expected of him (don't leave the room), and give him the space to achieve personal responsibility (let him run around like a wild animal), while being ready at every moment to swoop in and set things straight (chase him down) while he's gaining the tools he needs (awareness, in this circumstance) to achieve self reliance.  Yeah, yeah, he's TWO.  I'm goal oriented, I guess.

Anyway, At the end of the performance and after lunch, there was a ceremony to celebrate the graduating students, who got big awesome toys, and a chance for each of the teachers to speak to the parents.  The whole day I felt like I could possibly lose consciousness, but I was making it.  Then Knox and I went out for celebratory ice cream!!  We got to Baskin Robbins and it was being remodeled!  Ugh.  I was really disappointed, but Knox didn't care.  He was just focused, like, follow mommy, get ice cream, follow mommy, get ice cream... since we did not yet have ice cream in our hands, that just meant we had to keep going until we did.  We ended up just going to the freezer section of this big store and getting ice cream bars on sticks.  It took us forever to check out, considering all we wanted to do was get ice cream and eat it.  And finally, we sat and ate ice cream.  Knox ate this entire huge ice cream bar.  It was his special day, and he had a lot of fun.

Finally, finally, we got home and lay down for a nap.

It's now day 11 of me being sick.  I went to the doctor again on Saturday and I have a new round of medicine.  I really hope I get better this time.  I'm worried, because even after a full day of the new antibiotics for an ear infection and a sinus infection (I think, it's Japan, I have no idea what's going on when I go to the doctor), I was up in misery at 3 o'clock this morning.  Knox is still quoting the plays, and changing the lines to fit new scenarios that he is coming up with.  We have been reading 101 Dalmatians, and we watched the movie for the first time last night, so this morning he was changing the lines from the play so that we were calling the police to report stolen puppies.     

I had a great weekend with Knox.  He is growing out of the Terribles Twos, I think.  He likes to hold hands when he is going to sleep.  His favorite movie is Peter Pan.  He's my little bubby boo boo. 

From Japan,

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