Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Field Day

Tomorrow is Field Day at Sweet M's school.

On Field Day, if I understand it correctly, all the children go on a bus to some sort of park — a field — and they run around and play some sort of team sports. Personally, I'm Field- Day-impaired because we didn't have this sort of outing at the schools I went to. I think it must be an East Coast thing, or private school thing, because we didn't do this in Southern California public schools.

But Sweet M will not go to Field Day. She has, in fact, been asked to stay home.

After the episode at the Central Park Zoo, the school is a little wary of taking her out in public. I can understand that, though I'm not sure that leaving her out is a long-term solution.

But since Sweet M has never been much for gym class, or competitive sports, her exile from Field Day is certainly not a tragedy. Not even a bad thing. She's thrilled about not going. And I'm delighted to have a weekday with her. I can take the day off, so I suggested we go to the Natural History Museum for the day. There's the Darwin show, which has tortoises, and the butterfly conservatory with all the live butterflies.

Her response: So lay-aim! So lay-aim! I am NOT going to the Natural History Museum!

Okay, so what do you want to do?

I want to go to the zoo.

Which zoo?

The zoo with the seals and the rain forest.

She wants to go back to the Central Park Zoo. A re-do of the zoo.

Wish me luck. I'm not going to be stopped from taking Sweet M out in public. I'm so not ready to lock her in an attic. As Kristina Chew points out, we're ambassadors of a sort.

And I'll worry about Sweet M's able-bodied-ist characterization of the Natural History Museum another day.



kristina said...

Not "lay-aim" at all---it happens that I am finishing a paper on Sophocles' Philoctetes to deliver tomorrow!

Hope M and you, Ambassador Mom, have a fine day at the zoo.

Mary said...

I love this. I love that Sweet M wants to create a do-over, and that she came up with the idea herself. I think about how often I encounter a difficult situation or conversation and fumble my way through it, only to think later of the brilliant things I *should* have done or said. How I would love to have a "do over" armed with my newfound wisdom. My hunch is that being able to do the zoo the way she knows she can will help build Sweet M's confidence and competence. I can't wait to hear how it goes!

Lisa Cohen said...

Our elementary school does a field trip called 'fitness for life' and it's spearheaded by our wonderful, wonderful, teriffic (do you think I like this guy?), PE teacher. He's got degrees in PE and in special ed and he believes that fitness and wellness are a process that includes *everybody*.

I remember the first time P went to FFL as a kindergartener. I though it would be a disaster, but this amazing PE teacher had prepared/previewed all the activities with the kids, gave them schedules and it was a blast.

No competition, no losers, just a well organized series of cooperative games and activities along with a cookout.

P is in middle school and every year talks about how much he missed that day and that PE teacher.

Hope you and sweet M have a wonderful day.

MothersVox said...

And a fine day it was. M was the tour guide . . . And I know she loved being in charge of where we went and what we did. Too bad school can't be like that, but there are too many kids to let them all be in charge.

The fitness for life day sounds great. I wish M's school did less competitive sports, and more imaginative, theatrical play in gym. I think she'd do much better with quests and adventures than with team sports. At Valerie Paradiz's ASPIE school they do theatrical adventure play for the physical education . . . the kids are characters, playing knights and trolls and goblins, and battling with one another. Good for imagination and great for agression release, if one believes in agression release.

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