Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A real Goodbye today

Today was the last day of The Boy's Parent Ed class. Not only that, it was MY last Parent Ed class, after nearly eight years.

Our local community college has been offering free Parent Ed classes for something like 40 years. The class is three hours long, and consists of free play with special art activities available, then Song/Story time, then Snack time, and then Discussion time. While the teacher and the parents are discussing parenting topics ("How to Say No," "Pottytraining," "Strategies for Holiday Celebrations," "Taking Time for Yourself," etc.), the children are having more free play, supervised by that day's group of Helper Parents.

The classes were a sanity-saver for me during the first-baby/toddler days, when I felt like I needed someplace to go and DESPERATELY needed to talk to other adults! As a stay-at-home mom with no family around, I cannot overstate how much I needed those discussions (particularly the advice from moms with older children), as well as the bonding with other moms that happened informally during class!

When I brought my second- and third- children to Parent Ed, I enjoyed being the "mom with older children" who could share my experiences with the newer moms. It was so nice to just enjoy the time spent with my child and contribute to discussion, no longer being the one saying "I think I'm doing everything wrong! Help me!"

The Boy's teacher this year has been "Teacher Judy." I have been in her class with all three of my children, at some age level or another. I gave her a note today, in which I wrote about all that I have gained by taking her classes.

The Boy picked out a gift for her: A Parrot puppet and a Hermit Crab puppet.

"Teacher Judy" has the most unique Song Time. From her funny versions of "Open and Shut Them" and "If You're Happy and You Know It" (the kids' favorite is "If You're Scared and You Know It") to her many puppets and the songs she has made up about them, it seems to have been The Boy's favorite part of class.

Normally a painfully shy child, even with old friends, he loves those puppet songs so much that he actually sings them! Out loud! and goes up to the front to give them a pat! With other kids around!

So you can see what it meant to him, and to me, to give "Teacher Judy" a couple of new puppets. She could definitely see it -- she told us that when she makes up songs for these new puppets, she will mail them to us. And she told me that she noticed that he came out of his shell for the puppets and their songs; and she really loved seeing that side of him. She is a special person.

Some of the puppets The Boy loved this year are:

I have patches on my eyes, I have stripes on my tail
Some say that I'm a thief, but I've never been in jail
I sleep all day and I wake with the moon
Who Am I? .... I'm a raccoon!

Three Nice Mice
Three Nice Mice
See how they run
See how they run
They're always polite when they nibble their cheese
They never forget to say "Thank you" and "Please"
They cover their mouths whenever they sneeze
Three Nice Mice

Oh I'm a Lovely Green Iguana, sitting in the sun
A Lovely Green Iguana, I smile at everyone
I have a crest running down my back
I eat lots of bugs, and then I take a nap
Oh I'm a Lovely Green Iguana, sitting in the sun
A Lovely Green Iguana, and now my song is done

I have a pet gorilla, Mathilda is her name
Mathilda likes to sing all day, and this is what Mathilda sang:
"Ooh ooh ooh ooh ah ah ah,
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ah ah ah,
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ah ah ah,
Ooh ooh ah ah ah."

"Mmm aa" went the little green frog one day
"Mmm aa" went the little green frog,
"Mmm aa" went the little green frog one day
"Mmm aa mmm aa mmm aa aa aa."
All the other froggies went, "fro dee oh dee oh dee oh,
fro dee oh dee oh dee oh,"
All the other froggies went, "fro dee oh dee oh dee oh,"
Except for the little green frog, who went,
"mmm aa mmm aa mmm aa aa aa."

First he runs and then he walks, in the water, on the rocks.
Eight little legs go clickety-clack, hurry forward, scurry back
Little crabs live by the sea, I watch them and they watch me

Fuzzy little caterpillar, with eyes so big and wide,
Something says, "it's time! It's time! Find a place to hide!"
Stretching and growing and stretching and changing,
Something says, "it's time! It's time! To come outside and fly!
You're a beautiful butterfly!"

Alligator, Crocodile, we are quite alike
If you get too close to us, we will surely bite
Alligator, Crocodile, I'm fast and I am strong
My teeth are sharp, my hide is tough, my tail is very long
Alligator, Crocodile, would you like a ride?
Don't you dare say "yes" to me, or you'll soon be inside


smalltownmom said...

Those puppet songs are wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Another milestone for you as a mother -- the end of Parent Ed.

Jason said...

I love the idea of parent ed. It seems so often people think they don't need parent education, but the truth is, EVERYONE does.

Those puppets are great!