Ryland's class was in the morning, during the middle of Caelan's feed. I was hoping that he would be full enough to be lazy and just sit and listen with me. HA! Guess I should have remembered that he is two and a half after all.
My first mistake was that I sat in the middle of the audience. Caelan wriggled around on my lap, kicking nearby chairs with his loud shoes. Luckily he was happy enough to say "hi!" to all the parents sitting behind us (vocalized as "i"). Then he wanted down (pointing furiously at the floor) but there was no room for him to move about and during his feed he's attached to the back pack so he's only got limited freedom. I tried to distract him with toys which ended up flying. A nice gentleman picked one up and returned it to Caelan. Caelan looked the man straight in the eye and dropped the toy again, which produced quiet giggles from surrounding parents who are all familiar with the game of pick up.
Usually at these sorts of events I'm not the parent who leaves the minute their child has presented. I think that's rude and insulting to all the other children. However, on this day I felt that staying with Caelan may be even more distracting than us leaving and I snuck out as best I could. We remained at the school to visit the art gallery the children had made in the gym. When Ryland's class emerged from the library where the poetry readings were taking place, she said that she hadn't even heard Caelan and didn't even realize we were there before she stood up to present and saw us!
Darcy's poetry reading wasn't for about an hour. Not long enough to go home and too long to hang out at the school. Perfect for going to have a cup of tea with
I thought I was smarter to sit along the aisle near the back for Darcy's presentation. Caelan was done his feed and there was more room for him to scoot around there. I was thinking he could play with his toys at my feet once he tired of sitting on my lap. It didn't take long and he was asking to get down. The second his bum hit the floor he was off like a rocket, making his way to the children sitting at the front of the room.
I jumped up to follow and then hesitated. I was curious to see what he was going to do. I sat back down. Turns out he really just wanted to be part of the younger crowd instead of sitting with boring old Mom! He placed himself in the last row of children. I kept a close eye on him. What I saw made me feel all warm and fuzzy, possibly even a little misty eyed.
There was an EA (Educational Assistant) sitting in the last row of children sitting close to Caelan. On the other side of her was a shelf of books. Caelan made the sign for book and she passed him one. She then proceeded to point to various animals and objects in the book for him to sign. She knew sign and recognized the signs Caelan was making. They were communicating and it made me all gushy. I was instantly in love with this EA and so encouraged about Caelan attending this school. It was a great insight to years ahead and took some of the fears away.
They sat there signing through book after book until the poetry readings were done. At one point I caught him rubbing the back of the little boy beside him. I also saw Darcy scootch over to give Caelan a hug and kiss. Nothing distracted him from the books for too long though, not even his sister!
The girls both recited their French poems loud (enough) and clear after spending many nights memorizing them. They did such a great job! And the artwork... oh what a sight to see all the gymnasium walls covered with beautiful art! Spectacular!! I was really proud of them.
It was a long day but I'm so happy that we went. I got so much more out of it than I ever expected. Funny how that happens...