I am not sure I have ever shared this on my blog but I am a music and movement/dance teacher at a private school. My favorite age…kindergarten!
I don’t remember much about Kindergarten. I was 4 years old when I started, because of my fall birthday. I do remember a couple of different incidents. One of the first memories I have is about a bus ride. Each Kindergartener had a bus number pinned to their coat. I had been at school for a couple of weeks and knew which bus I was on but I was an extremely obedient child. A lady looked at my tag and sent me on the wrong bus. I knew she was wrong and I new this was not my bus but I meekly got on and did not say a word. As the children were exiting at their stops, it finally occurred to me that I was going to have to get off somewhere. When I was the last child left, the bus driver asked me where I lived but I didn’t know my address. I was pretty calm about the whole thing and tried to get the driver to follow my directions home but he wouldn’t make the damn right hand turn at the corner. I was a control freak even as a four-year old…go figure?
The only other clear memory I have is about a play we did. I can remember it was circus themed and there was a ring leader, ballerina tight-rope walkers, clowns, dancing bears, jugglers and elephants. I was so excited! I would want to be any of those characters except an elephant of course. Elephants are big and fat, move slow and worst of all they are GREY. I waited eagerly to hear what I was going to be. I just knew I would make a beautiful ballerina tight rope walker, in a pale pink tutu but a cute cuddly dancing bear could be fun too. Guess what my teacher said when she got to me? You are going to be an elephant! I almost cried but I sucked up and pretended it was ok. My friends looked at me with pity but I would not let my disappointment show. Then another elephant girl broke into hysterical tears and when asked what was wrong she said “I don’t want to be a big fat elephant”. The teacher calmed her down and walked her over to join the beautiful ballerinas. Epiphany! I would just tell my teacher that I did NOT want to be an elephant and she would fix it! It was going to be ok! “Umm…Excuse me Mrs. Finkel, I do not want to be an elephant either, said in my absolute sweetest voice” (I was tempted to tell her I did not look good in grey and would make a very beautiful pink ballerina but restrained my four-year old self). Her response in a loud voice: “OOHH NOOO…we are not going there” as she physically grabbed my arm and dragged me back to the dreaded grey elephants.” I will never forget the unfairness of it because I would not cry hysterically in front of my peers I was going to have to be a BIG OLD FAT ELEPHANT. I hate that teacher to this day. This story might sound trite to most, but I swear if I could find her I would write to tell her how she broke a little girls heart and embarrassed her beyond belief. I do a play every year with my kindergarten class and I go out of my way to make every character feel special and make sure the child is comfortable playing the part.
Please share an early childhood memory on your blog or in the comments!
<EDITED> to add the second story which came to me in such clarity…I could feel the exact feelings I felt as a four year old.