Thursday, March 11, 2010

Purple is not Blue

Yesterday Cooper started his second session of the storytime class at our local library. He is enrolled in the three year old class taught by Ms. Laura. Ms. Laura is the head librarian. She is a whiz at identifying call numbers and can recite every book ever written by Eric Carle, but I'm not sure she adores working with three year olds. Three year olds (especially a class of them) can be difficult to manage when you're the type of person that prefers order over chaos.

This session's class consisted of about 15 three year olds. This group appeared to be veterans. They knew to sit, listen and participate. Then there was Cooper. He has made drastic improvements in remaining stationary while listening to books and recitations of poems and songs. However, he is still Cooper: busy, fearless and opinionated.

The class began well. The kids belted out Hickory Dickory Dock and The Grand Old Duke of York. After song time, we moved on to acting out Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Ms. Laura assigned each child a role with a matching figurine. She began to designate parts. When she came to Cooper, she announced he would be playing the purple cat and presented him with the plum feline.

Something you should know about Cooper is that his world is monochromatic. He's crazy about the color blue. His clothes are blue. His toys are mostly blue. He colors in blue. He knows purple is not his color. I could see the little wheels in his head turning, "Doesn't she know that I don't do purple? I do blue. Well, I'll fix her mistake and snag the role of the blue horse." One problem: the part of the blue horse had already been assigned to Sam. And, Sam was perfectly happy with the blue horse and not the least bit interested in swapping the purple cat for the blue horse.

Cooper was not going to take Ms. Laura's "oversight" lying down. He informed her of her mistake and voiced his disdain for her selection process. At the end of his diatribe, he hurled the plum feline towards the wall.

Of course I was embarrassed, I scooped up my angry son and shuffled him into the restroom. After a few minutes, the purple cat was forgotten. The tears had subsided. Consequences were established.

Ms. Laura and I discussed the cat hurling incident afterwards. We both acknowledged launching the creature against the wall was a poor choice. However, she was kind and reminded me of the progress Cooper had made since his days as a two year old Storytime participant. She encouraged me to keep moving forward and focusing on what he is doing right.

We'll be back for week two. Hopefully no animals will be harmed next time.

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