Never Try

Last semester, I asked Lily’s teacher if we could read a story about Purim and eat Hamantaschen. She said it sounded like fun and I promptly forgot about it until I looked at the calendar 3 weeks ago and realized Purim was during our university’s (and therefore Lily’s preschool’s) spring break. Oops! I emailed Lily’s teacher and set up to come in a week late for Purim.

I got everything ready to give a nice presentation to the kids. The only Purim book at the library kind of sucked, so I even went to the trouble of finding a great abridged Purim story online, printing it up, dissecting it, and taping parts of the story to appropriate illustrations. (I procrastinated on this part, but I DID get it done). I made about 50 Hamantaschen and was ready to go. It was going to be great. Or, at the very least, passable.

Unfortunately Rose had other plans about my presentation at Lily’s school.

Rose LOVES going to Lily’s school. Whenever we go inside, she joyfully runs to the play kitchen and starts making food. She loves being there and always puts up a fuss about leaving (thank goodness they offer door-to-door kid delivery service and Rose usually stays in the car!). This time we were staying so I thought she would be good. I thought she could keep playing with food while I read.

I thought wrong.

Circle time happens about 30 minutes after school starts. Rose played happily for the first 20 minutes we were there. She looks like she’s 3 instead of 2 so she fit right in UNTIL…

Another kid wanted to play with a toy that was NEAR her. It wasn’t even a toy she was holding. It was a toy that was NEAR her. This was UNACCEPTABLE apparently and she yelled no and latched on to the toy. I told her she had to share and gave the toy (it was actually an entire basket of small blocks) to the boy. A major tantrum followed.

I tried EVERYTHING to get Rose to stop crying and screaming and throwing herself on the ground. I tried to distract her with other toys. I ignored her. I pointed out the class pets. I gave her hugs. I pointed out the art table. She wanted nothing to do with any of it. I finally offered a Hamantaschen and even that didn’t work.

She cried so long that we had no choice but to move on to me reading the story. I think this made it worse! Rose HATES it if kids her age get near me. It doesn’t bode well for what’s going to happen when the new baby gets here. All the kids were looking at her in my lap and she was still crying. Every time one of them talked to me, she’d wail. It didn’t help that the Purim story is interactive and requires the kids to yell “Yay!” and “Boo!” when certain names are read. Every time the kids would chime in, Rose would cry and tell them to stop.

It was a disaster.

Luckily the preschool kids were so distracted by the promise of triangle jelly cookies for snack time that everyone seemed to still enjoy it. I hope.

But, I’m never trying to be a helpful parent again– at least not until I don’t have a smaller unreliable child I’m supposed to be managing while also reading a story or giving a presentation.

I had good intentions. It’s too bad Rose didn’t agree with them!


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