Monday, January 24, 2011

Preschool hijinks

I went to a sort of combination preschool and daycare for kids under kindergarten age. My mom had a job at the time and she would drop me off. I don't remember how long I was there but it was long enough to set some memories into stone.

First and foremost there was a little playground with a canopy from an airplane and sort of figure 8 concrete sidewalk with lots of tricycles. I used to play under the canopy because it just seemed so cool and different. But my favorite by far was the tricycle track. My family were friend with a famous racing family from Tulsa. They are three generations further along now and the racing skills just keep getting handed down. We used to frequent the dirt track races at the Tulsa Fairgrounds speedway on Saturday nights to watch our friends race their cars. I loved the racing and the cars and the rumble and it has stuck with me to this day. The tricycle track was my chance to show my skills to the world. When all the other kids were leisurely pedaling around the concrete I was always in race mode. Even in preschool, rubbin is racin, and I made sure that everyone on the playground understood who was the boss when it came to three wheel speed. Unfortunately the grownups did not see that the same way and I was eventually banished from the tricycle track. I am sure I screamed and maybe that's even what caused my preschool days to come to an end but I do know that without the tricycle speedway I didn't have any reason to be there. Lame.

Nap time absolutely sucked. I always felt totally dominated. It did not sit well with a five year old alpha male. I remember just laying there staring at the ceiling or causing trouble because I wouldn't shut up...a trait that many people now would still recognize. LOL

There was a kid in a wheelchair named Phillip. I was five years old and I have this kid's image seared in my brain. I remember being curious about him and his wheelchair. Not scared or weirded out but it didn't compute well as to why he was stuck in the chair all the time. I remember him as bright and communicative but he obviously couldn't walk for some sad reason.

I hated Simon Sez. Nobody ever told me the rules. Even into my teens I don't think I knew how to play. In preschool we would go outside on a concrete patio and everyone would spread out and we would play simon sez. To me, the rules were just do everything the leader does exactly like they do it. Period. And I was brilliant at it. And I was always the first one OUT and I never knew why because I know I was doing better than everyone else. There was lots of frustration and I may have even went all tantrum on em more than once because of it. Ha. Even at a very young age I had to know why things worked like they did or I wans't happy.

Somewhere about this age I remember asking my granddad what made the wind blow. Now my granddad was a smart man and probably knew 95% of the scientific answer but you can't just blurt out scientific data to a 5 year old so he told me the clouds made the wind blow. I immediately knew this was complete bullshit. Even I had worked out that the wind moved the clouds. I remember being angry about being lied to even though I never said anything. I do know that this one simple conversation changed how I approached learning. It was better to research and experiment myself before asking anyone. This one event shaped a lot of how I managed my daughters when they asked real LIFE questions. I would often make a joke but when they were serious I would give them the full unrestricted scientific explanation right down to jargon and nomenclature. If they didn't understand then we slowly worked backward simplifying the explanation till it was digestible to them.

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