This week was a very big week at preschool. Not only was it the first week back after winter break, it was also the start of Show and Tell. (Or Tell and Show, as Ryan likes to say.)
The teachers have been talking about Show and Tell for months, and you must understand that it is a VERYBIGDEAL to these kids.
The teachers had two rules for us parents:
1. Let the kid pick the toy.
2. Unless it’s a toy weapon. Absolutely No Toy Weapons!
One of Ryan’s friends insisted to his mom that the teachers said they have to bring a toy weapon. That argument lasted all night, I heard.
Another particularly perfect little girl (flawless manners, always listens to the teachers, never punches friends) sobbed when her mom left her at school with the giant purple guitar she had chosen to bring. The pressure always gets to the perfectionists, you know.
We found out on Wednesday that today would be Ryan’s turn.
When I asked him what he wanted to bring in for Show and Tell, he chose a toy shark. At which point the following conversation took place:
Me: Your friends are going to ask you questions about the shark, so maybe we should practice. Do you know where sharks live?
Ryan: Uh, the house?
Me: Hmm, no. Come on, you know where sharks live…
Ryan: They fly through the air?
Me: They live in the water, silly!
Ryan: Oh right! The water.
Me: What do sharks like to eat?
Ryan: Shark bananas!?
Me: Maybe we should pick something else for Show and Tell…
I dropped the subject until last night, at which point I asked him again and he announced he would take “a dog.”
Me: Do you have a dog?
Ryan: Ok, I’ll take a cow.
Me: See, you have to pick something you actually have…
Ryan: Oh, I know! I’ll take my Daniel Tiger!
Me: Daniel Tiger, huh? And what do we know about Daniel Tiger?
Ryan: Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood is the land of make-believe! And… and he has a trolley.
Ding Ding Ding!*
Ryan tends to get a little quiet when he is put on the spot, so as we drove to school, I continued to prep him, hopeful that talking about Daniel Tiger with me would make it easier for him to talk about it at school.
You could tell your friends how Daniel’s dad works in the clock factory, I said. And that he likes to dress up and pretend to be Super Daniel and save the day! You could tell them how he likes to play with Katerina Kittycat and the owl and Prince Wednesday!**
After school, I asked him how it went.
Ryan: It was good!
Me: What did you tell your friends about Daniel Tiger?
Ryan: Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood is the land of make-believe! And… and he has a trolley!
Alright, so none of my prepping sunk in. But at least he didn’t bring a toy gun or crack under the pressure to perform.
* I should have known something television-related was the way to go.
** I officially know way too much about Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.