school is in session.

There are moments in mothering that are almost too raw for me. Too ripe with my child’s hope and expectation. As silly as it may sound, last week’s playdate was one of those experiences for me.

Sarah has had a lot of playdates since starting her final year of preschool but, for some reason, this one was different. On Monday I told her that two of her friends would be coming over on Friday afternoon. This sent her into a tizzy of preparation that encompassed every free moment from Monday to Friday. Somehow she decided in her head that these three friends would spend the entire afternoon playing school, reenacting their morning activities from preschool. She set out to transform her room into a model of her own classroom. And on Monday she came home and spent 2 whole hours in her room, putting up this:

It doesn’t look like much but no detail was spared. She created a wall identical (to the 5 year old eye) to what she sees on her teacher’s wall each morning.

She laid out toys on the “table” for the “children” to play with when they arrived at “school”.   She designed art projects and math activities… 

And created student work to display…

If you’re fluent in phonetic spelling you might recognize Chase, Belle, Macy, Dordy, and Shorty. Only three of those are real children. I’ll let you decide.

She also chose the helper for the day…

Convenient.

All of this was done on Monday, in preparation for the fun they would surely have on Friday. Then she waited.

And waited.

And hoped.

This was the painful part for me. What if the friends didn’t want to play school? She insisted they would. What if they didn’t recognize her creation as their classroom? She had no doubts about that. In her heart she had already decided what the day would hold. There simply was no other option. It would be perfect and that was that.

My jaded adult heart feared it wouldn’t be so.

But in the end, when the second friend had to cancel and only the first friend could play, she was fine. Not at all crushed as I had feared. They schooled their little hearts out and had the time of their lives.   (Sidenote: Not every child is used to having a freaky mom sneak in without notice to snap pictures. I must work on my approach. I fear I might come off as a bit bizarre.)

With that, I’m out. I’ve been summoned to help make a calendar with removable sticky note numbers. We’re having a playdate tomorrow and the classroom must be just so.

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Jessica WJanuary 31, 2011 - 2:37 pm

What a sweetheart!

KelliJanuary 31, 2011 - 2:43 pm

How cute! The look on the friend’s face is priceless!

HeidiJanuary 31, 2011 - 2:50 pm

This was adorable!!!

Lorena MoraJanuary 31, 2011 - 3:01 pm

My daughter does the same type of thing only she’s 7 going on 8. It’s so funny how we moms worry. I always worry when my daughter does something nice and there have been a few times when a kid just kind of replies in a mean manner and I have to explain to her little broken heart that I’m sorry they were mean to her. I’m glad Sara’s playdate went well, and I love the facial expression of her little friend. I always feel a little weird when trying to take pictures of my kids playing with their friends, because I have a ton of pictures of their friends giving me that exact uncomfortable look, LOL!

Melissa MJanuary 31, 2011 - 3:48 pm

How super ADORABLE is Sarah?!! What a little planner she is. I love all of her attention to details and how cute that she even made student work to display. A calendar with removable sticky note numbers will be a wonderful addition to what she’s got going. She makes my teacher heart sing.

JenniferJanuary 31, 2011 - 4:10 pm

Let me guess…is that Belle? (the shirt gave her away)
Being a little bit of a control freak and super organized myself, I can completely relate!

Emily HJanuary 31, 2011 - 4:25 pm

SO cute!!! I love it!

AmyJanuary 31, 2011 - 4:56 pm

I loved playing school when I was a kid. . . absolutely LOVED it! My favorite time of year was when school was going back and my mom would let us each pick out a real lesson plan and grade book (to use for our fake classrooms!) when she was stocking up at the teacher supply store. Love that last shot, too. So cute!

tara pollard pakostaJanuary 31, 2011 - 5:41 pm

how cute!!!
that’s just adorable!

J WeaverJanuary 31, 2011 - 6:14 pm

How wonderfully precious!

heather mayberryJanuary 31, 2011 - 6:20 pm

love this! i played school too. mostly in my grandmother’s pantry, it was the principal’s office. this past christmas she showed me a note that i wrote to her needing one of her “students” that was in trouble. it amazed me that she kept it for this long. anyway, i love that she is such a planner. maybe she’ll be a cater or something since she also loves to cook and present food. i love the sneaky tactics! the looks on unsuspecting faces are priceless.

TracieJanuary 31, 2011 - 6:52 pm

How sweet! I love the chairs thare are upside down on the stool.

AnonymousJanuary 31, 2011 - 7:25 pm

I got a good laugh over “Only three of those are real children” and “convenient.” Hilarious! Sarah’s antics + your witty writing makes for a great story!

Kim F.January 31, 2011 - 7:39 pm

My 4 year old is the same way. She had a little friend over last week and had every detail of their playdate planned. It went over just fine. I think it is their inner Martha’s coming out :)

Belle's momJanuary 31, 2011 - 8:16 pm

Well I happen to know for a fact that Belle completely had a ball playing school with Sarah–more than her face in this picture shows, alas! She also looked forward to coming to play allweeklong and was super excited when the day finally arrived, and is still talking about it now, days later. They are sweet babes for sure. Sarah is a girl after my own heart…I played school all the time when I was that age…and ended up being a teacher!

Erin HJanuary 31, 2011 - 8:45 pm

I love the pretend kids’ names and her enthusiasm!!

AngelaFebruary 1, 2011 - 6:18 am

I was the same way when I was a kid…and I grew up to be a teacher (I think in part because I love paper and stickers!) Little did I know as a kid that so little of teaching is paper and stickers!

Looks like she might be walking in her momma’s footsteps!

LindseyFebruary 1, 2011 - 6:39 am

As a Kindergarten teacher I love when my kids mimic me. One precious girl holds up her worksheets and asks the “class” questions using my common questioning phrases. Her parents tell me she teaches them something new everyday!

AllisonFebruary 1, 2011 - 9:24 am

My Emily, 8, plays out her day with her 3 year old sister when she gets home from school every day. She calls it, “Toddler School”. It’s the cutest thing. And I can’t believe that I have never taken pictures of it. Better get my camera out today!

JuliPFebruary 1, 2011 - 10:43 am

did she take attendance?

ten on tuesday. » The PigBearJanuary 28, 2014 - 8:52 pm

[...] school tomorrow so she can continue to work on the classroom she’s created in her bedroom. Yes, this has been going on for awhile. And as a mama of a girl I never find it’s hard to find activities we enjoy together. Case in [...]

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