Simon’s Second Annual Preschool Graduation

We had to suffer. Now it’s your turn.

My plan was not to be able to make this year’s ceremony. I attended last year’s, figured I’d go to next year’s, and had already scheduled a day off for his end of the year outing to glorious Storybook Land. But after the zoo, Brian and I reached our school trip pain threshold and opted to punish ourselves with this instead.

At a cafeteria table, his Mee Maw, Gran-dad, Little Bro, Daddy, and I tried to brace ourselves for what came next.

Unlike last year, his teacher didn’t hand out diplomas or make the children wear black caps and gowns. Instead, she wrapped each student in yellow paper (appropriately resembling CAUTION tape) and gave each of them a Special Star. I was disappointed there wasn’t a Most Likely to Succeed Star or a Most Changed Since Birth Star, but perhaps that’s more than a greedy parent should expect.

Most awards were designed to boost confidence and self esteem (I think) such as the Helper Star, the Smiley Star, the Friendly Star, the Dancing Star, and the Smart Star. Much to my chagrin, despite obviously being the smartest kid in his class, the Smart Star was not awarded to Simon. For me, this compromised the whole Star Ceremony’s integrity.

Some awards I’m concerned will pigeon hole the children and doom them along a certain path. No Serial Killer Star, but one beautiful girl received the DIVA STAR. Let me reference the Urban Dictionary.

Diva: Also known as a prima donna (“first lady”), and especially in an opera
Also refers to a bratty, demanding, self-centered person, regardless of whether they’re a performer or not.

Move over Mariah, Aretha, and Diana Ross. There’s another bitch in town!

Brian tried to prepare Gran-dad for the inevitable. “Dad. Watch while Simon gets the Pain In Ass Award.” Simon, the only redhead in his class was given the Silly Star. This will look impressive on his resume. Not the Pain In The Ass Award, but close enough.

After all of the Stars were placed in the sky, with the help of laminated 8 x 10 pictures, they engaged in Remembering the Year. Preschool teachers must receive a commission for laminating EVERYTHING.

This year we…

(each child reluctantly turned around a picture demonstrating the mentioned activity)

Dressed fancy.

Played on the playground.

Had fun with friends.

Played ipods.

Yes. Ipods. I’m appalled anytime an authority figure teaches my child by placing him in front of an electronic screen.

Then, the children sang five songs (stood silently while teacher exercised her vocal cords). Two were in Spanish. I said to Brian, “This is awesome. Can I get a copy of this?”

A sundae party followed. Vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Toppings. Sprinkles. Chocolate syrup. Before 10:30. Most Likely To Inhale Chocolate Syrup And Mosh Dive Off This Cafeteria Table Star. Kid Screaming On The Floor Star. Cholesterol Blocking The Aorta Star.

Was I shocked? Not really. Simon has come off the bus with a large taffy, tootsie rolls in his bag, and chocolate around his face. And because childhood obesity isn’t a problem in this country, they had a Mcdonald’s Day and a field trip to Friendly’s.

Before we left, I had an epiphany. A family friend (a preschool teacher) was wiping tears from her cheeks. When asked if she was okay, with joy she responded, “I just heard all those little voices and lost it.” I turned to Brian and confessed, “This is why I will never be a preschool teacher. I would be saying the same thing but it would be ‘I heard all those little voices and LOST IT!'”

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