I intended to volunteer in Isabelle’s preschool classroom — helping the kids make books — this morning. However, her school is having a play this Thursday and the kids are being pulled out of class to practice this morning. (Don’t get me started on this because they’re missing all of Wednesday morning so they can rehearse on stage.) I asked her teacher if she knew when the play practice would happen. She didn’t. Knowing that I had a lot of coursework to grade for my graduate students, I knew I couldn’t devote my morning to sitting around and waiting for the kids to go to and from play practice. So, I canceled and told Isabelle’s teacher I’d be in next week.
Isabelle’s teacher was fine with the fact I wouldn’t be coming in to help with writing today. Isabelle, on the other hand, was unhappy. And she let her frustration be known. Therefore, I did what any other parent (whose child won’t sit down and write with them at home) would do… I offered to sit down at the writing center with Isabelle when I dropped her off to work on a book.
“Just with me, Mommy, right?” Isabelle asked.
“Yes, I’ll work with you after you do your morning routines,” I responded.
“Not with my friends. Just with me. ‘Kay, Mommy?” Isabelle demanded.
“Yes, I’ll work with only you. I have to get home to do my work.” I reminded her.
She seemed satisfied.
We began orally rehearsing Isabelle’s story in the car. At first, Isabelle claimed she didn’t know what to write about. Eventually, she settled on the story of buying a bike with training wheels yesterday. I didn’t think it made a particularly grand story, but it was her story to tell, not mine. So I went with it.
By the time we got to school, she forgot how to tell her story. I made her sit down with her stapled booklet and retell the story across pages, touching each one as she told the story. She lost some of the details she told me in the car. I tried not to push (too hard). Here’s what she came up with in the end: