Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Notes From A Barnehage Christmas Party

I've been going to preschool Christmas parties every year for the past five years.

Pretty much everything I have to say about them can be summed up in a bulletpoint list, along with a handful of pictures, of course, to prove I've been there, and know wherefore I speak.

  • They're always the same. Year in, year out. Forever and ever, amen ho-ho.
  • The kids are good for three songs. Tops. Any attempts to exceed the three song limit will be met with distracted shuffling, nose picking, inappropriate outbursts, and eventually outright gadding about.
  • Barnehage teachers in their, shall we say, optimistic over-zealousness, will always exceed the three song limit.
  • Understandable, as kids are pretty damn cute when they sing.
  • This will sound like cultural bias, but I assure you it's a quantifiable truth--English language Christmas carols are so much better than Norwegian ones.
  • On average there will be two, maybe three, adult sized chairs on the premises reserved always for The Pregnant Mother, The Visiting Grandmother, and The Grossly Overweight Father. Everyone else will be obliged to shift uncomfortably on their miniature wooden stools and stare daggers into the backs of The Chosen Few with proper back support.
  • During the eating and mingling portion of the party, at least five glasses of punch or milk will be spilt for every cup of coffee successfully drunk while still warm by a parent.
  • There is never enough coffee to go around.
  • That coffee which is on offer will be served out of three shabby, stained thermoses that someone--usually The First-Time Foreigner--will have to be shown how to open and pour.
  • My kids are always the cutest kids in the room. Weird how that happens....
  • Norwegian children give a whole new meaning to the term 'dressy casual'.
  • Rice pudding is the traditional food served at Norwegian Christmas parties. A warm bowl of rice pudding with a holiday-generous sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon, and a holiday-large pat of butter melting in the center is a thing of beauty.
  • Rice pudding left too long in the pot congeals quickly and becomes little more than a lump of chewy paste.
  • Even three songs is too long to leave rice pudding cooling on a paper-draped buffet table.
  • Pardon me, but have you seen my seque? I seem to have lost one around here some place...
  • One afternoon a few weeks ago when I came to pick Missy up from school, I found her alone in a room with one other girl and this boy:
  • She tells me frequently that she loves him because she loves him.
  • Anyway, on this particular rainy afternoon, I called her to come and get her stuff together so we could go. When she came out from behind the small partition that seperates the play kitchen area from the Tonka trucks and dinosaur area, she was clearly in the middle of hitching up her pants and tights. "What are you kids up to?" I asked in a cheery, neutral tone. "Playin' doctor," came her equally cheery and neutral responce.
  • The crafty boy's mother, whom I sat next to at the Christmas party, tells me he is equally taken with Missy, and has grand plans to marry her someday.
  • I should hope so.
  • Since this post was really just an excuse to talk about Missy cloaked in some boring Christmas party bullshit, allow me to share one more briefly surreal dialogue I had with her last week:
  • Again, on the way home from barnehage:
Missy: Ooooo! I love that moon! That moon is so pretty!
I'm going to eat it! I'm going to eat it all! up!
Is there water on the moon?
Me: No.
Missy: What is it then? What is in the moon?
Me: Nothing. It's just dust and rocks.
Missy: Hmmm. I will have to be careful then.
But when I'm done,
I will be able to show you the way home!

4 comments:

Queen LaTeacha said...

She's the only child I know who will happily tell you she's been playing doctor. Do you see the day dawning when she'll emerge from her bedroom, putting herself back together, and upon being queried will happily tell you she's been having sex? I'm telling you, watch out for this one!

Anonymous said...

What a killjoy, how could you tell your youngest that the moon is just dust and rocks. As if that's not bad enough, you LIED, the moon is NOT made of dust and rocks, it is made of cheese, didn't you know that? Just ask Wallace and Gromit, they'll tell ya. Dust and rocks indeed...shame on you!

JillyBaby xxx

Trace said...

From the singing to the three adult-sized chairs to the "playin' doctor"... you again succeed to plaster a smile on my face!

Amanda is adorable and I wish I could have heard the cutesness the pictures eminated.

American in Norway said...

LOL... love this post! Can totally relate... um, except for the playing Dr. part... we haven't gotten into that ..YET...