Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What a Bad Idea

Yesterday Peter and I took Miss A to something called 'The Preschool Wellness Fair'. The purpose is to screen vision, hearing, development and speech/language. And the kids also get a free nutritious snack! Sounds great, right? That's what I thought until we walked in the door. It was pretty much chaos from the very beginning. While I sat down to register her she and Peter were running up and down a nearby ramp. I had dragged Peter to this thing pretty much upon his arrival home from work so he hadn't even had a chance to unwind.

The first (and only) screening we did was speech/language. They had a special room for this and outside the room was a few chairs and a very few toys. Trying to convince Miss A that we should stay in this area was an impossibility. She found the stairs at the end of the corridor which she wanted to 'explore'. I told the people at the desk where we'd be when it was our turn. I felt guilty because my poor husband was pretty much souly responsible for chasing after A since I am still pretty gimpy and this big (massive, huge, enormous) belly doesn't help either.

When it was finally our turn we pretty much had to drag her, crying, away from the stairs and tell her "Come on, we're going to do something fun." We were all supposed to sit at this little table and A was to look at pictures and tell us what they were. Yeah. Right. A table full of toys just behind us was WAY more interesting. I apologized to the girl and told her I was going to get the free snack and see if that would help. It did, a bit. It's always helpful to screen speech and language when you have a mouthful of crackers. When she finally settled down to answer she did great. Except for a part with a small basket and boat. She was asked to put the boat 'in' the basket. No problem. Under, beside, behind? All went 'in' the basket too. Whatever.

The vision screening (which we've basically already done) was in a huge room with tons of play areas. There were craft tables, playdough tables, car ramps, tunnels, you name it. We waited for at least a half an hour until it was our turn. A was happy to play so it wasn't so bad. But when it was her turn... forget it. No way. It was at that point we decided to leave.

All in all it was a pretty frustrating experience. I'm not totally sure what went wrong. I think it may have been a combination of things. I guess A was a bit young. But since she's supposed to be going to Preschool this fall I thought it was a good thing to do. The layout of the 'fair' is a bit overwhelming. Hard for a kid like ours to want to actually do something structured when there is SO MUCH COOL STUFF EVERYWHERE! I don't know. I was very thankful for Peter who somehow managed to keep it together as I was progressively losing it.

I know it's dumb but if I'm really honest with myself I'm disappointed because I know Miss A is really bright and I wanted to see her do well at all of the screenings. The thing is, I already KNOW she's bright. I don't really need proof. This whole thing was probably more of a learning experience for me than anything. At least now I can't say I don't know what that whole thing is about. Maybe we'll try again next year and maybe it won't be such a total bust.

6 comments:

Jenn said...

I'm so sorry it didn't go as you'd hoped. She IS a very bright girl. My girl was just the opposite. She stuck to our sides and didn't want to have any part of it. But we never find these things out if we don't try, right?

Elicia said...

This reminds me of the swimming lessons I'm taking Ethan to. I took him to the pool and he loved it, so the logical thing was to sign him up for lessons, right? Well, we get there and he wants nothing to do with what he's supposed to be doing. He wants the red ball, he wants to go slide down the slide, he wants to watch the other kids in other classes. I try to get him to do what he's supposed to be doing and he throws a huge ear peircing fit! I'm feeling pressure because I don't want my child to FAIL swimming lessons because he can not seem to figure out blowing bubbles and refuses to have anything to do with floating on his back! Sometimes I want to tell the teacher and other parents "really, he does listen to me sometimes! he can kick his legs when I ask him to in the bathtub!" sigh ...

bon said...

yeah. get used to it.

So they had this thing in the evening? That's the first strike right there, and the reason I always request morning ANYTHING where the girls are concerned. Kids just do better at structure first thing of the day, and they lose the ability by fractions as the day progresses.

Of course you know that A is perfectly fine and bright.... but you are a Mama, and you will likely ALWAYS be bludgeoning yourself with this need to quantify HOW bright, and make sure that EVERYTHING is ok. Sigh. At least you know that you are not alone!

elizasmom said...

I'm with bon — this doesn't sound like it was all that well planned out, frankly — getting kids to sit down and focus on tests when there's noise and toys and excitement all around? Not gonna happen. And I so relate to your wanting to have others acknowledge how bright your kid is. Been there...

Diana - Teacher Mom said...

You know, Bon made a very good point. As a French teacher, I always fair better when I have my intermediate students (my most challenging) scheduled first thing in the morning in order to have some semblance of structure. So I can't imagine why the fair would take place in the evening, let alone be full of distracting toys and activities. And like you, I know my daughter is bright but I still want to make sure she is progressing well. We started her in preschool three days a week back in January and while we haven't received any form of progress reports, I see the work she does and listen to all the songs she's learned and can't help but feel so proud to be her mother. I know you must feel the same way about Miss A.

beth - total mom haircut said...

You know, it sounds like that environment would be too much for any child her age (or any age). Of course the kids are going to want to explore a new place and play with all the stuff that's out everywhere. It sounds like it was very overwhelming for all of you, but not through any fault of your own.