Jack's preschool had a Thanksgiving Feast scheduled for last Tuesday, but their power was out and school was cancelled. I was so excited about it because Jesse was going to go with us. It was rescheduled for today and proved to be a rather bizarre experience.
For starters, I should mention that if a teacher is unavailable to escort Jackson into the building each morning, I ask a mom to hang out by the van for a few minutes while I walk Jackson to his class. This past Tuesday, I left the van doors open and asked a random mom to stay by the van while I ran Jack into the school. When I got back two minutes later, she was sitting in my van crying. She just kept saying what beautiful children I had and how blessed I was. The same mom approached me today to see if I needed any help. I said no. She then said, "I bet you always say no just to be polite. I'll help anyway." Clearly she does not know me in the slightest. I hate help and if I say no, I mean no! She proceeded to watch me take James and Amelia out and put their carseats in the double-snap-n-go. She then asked if she could carry Maddie's carseat for me. I told her I always wear Maddie when I'm by myself. She watched me put the Ergo on and place Maddie inside. Then she said, "I guess you really didn't need my help after all." Of course I wasn't angry at her genuinely kind gesture, but it was unusual.
Once inside the gymnasium, I somehow became a part of real world Mean Girls. I strolled by a table and asked the ladies if the seats were taken. They deliberately looked up at me, ignored me, then returned to their conversation. I said, "I guess so" and walked around to another table. As I passed by, one of the ladies said, "That's the triplet mom. Can you imagine? I would just die."
I didn't bother asking and just sat down at the next table that had two available seats. (Mind you, I'm maneuvering the double stroller around a crowded gym. I clearly don't blend in with other moms.) The ladies nodded at me but did not include me in their conversation. No big deal. I wasn't there to make small talk. All of a sudden one of the moms said, "Oh you know what? We forgot to save seats for our kids. I guess the last person who sat down is going to have to move." Then they all turned and looked at me. Seriously, when did I become a leper?
The table I ended up at was with this strange woman who didn't speak and brought her own lunchbox to the Thanksgiving Feast. I'm pretty sure it was the outcast table. The classes started walking in and the children lined up in front of the tables to sing two songs. The pastor introduced them and the music began playing. I quickly asked a teacher, "Where are the two's?" She realized the two year old class was missing, whispered to the pastor, and stalled the performance. It's a pretty small preschool; how do you not notice an entire class is missing?
Jackson was adorable. He was one of the only kids in his class that followed along and actually did the motions with the songs. Here's a snippet of their performance:
As soon as the kids finished, they all chaotically ran to their parents. It was so disorganized and Jackson looked a bit flustered because he didn't immediately see me. The meal itself was confusing because some tables were served by teachers but at other tables, people had to get their own food and drinks. Our "feast" included chicken nuggets, applesauce, canned carrots, and stuffing. (FYI, the parents were required to bring the items. We brought 100 chicken nuggets.)
Again, there was no structure or program. Once kids finished eating, many of them just ran around the gymnasium. As in literally, ran, collided, wrestled, etc. Of course, Jackson was only interested in getting a cookie. I was only interested in calming an overly-tired Amelia. I don't know if there was anything else planned or not, but we left soon after eating.
Despite the catty women and disorganization, the smile on Jackson's face was beyond worth seeing.