Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Cast of Characters at Every Preschool Performance

"Synchronized" is not in the vocabulary of preschoolers.

I don't care if it's a dance recital, concert, or simply a recitation of the alphabet; if you put a group of preschoolers on a stage, they will each assume one of the following roles:

The Prepared Kid - there's one in every group. This is the child who has actually paid attention, remembered his/her lines, and even practiced by performing for her parents at home. Every now and again, take a glance at this child so that you get some idea of what they're supposed to be doing.

The Pop Quiz Kid - there are often several of these kids. They stare at the Prepared Kid as though they'd never seen him before. Songs to sing? What songs? Recital? Wha-- what?? Are they even supposed to be on stage??? This expression is sure to be repeated over the next twelve years of school.

The Stage Fright / Separation Anxiety Kid  - This kid has to be gently pushed onto stage. Almost immediately, he turns his body away from the crowd until he spots his parents in the audience, waving and smiling encouragement. His hands turn into fist-shaped eye patches. He rubs his eyes furiously while he cries, sure that he will soon be taken off stage. He won't. There are two more songs to perform and he's about to learn: The Show. Must. Go. On.

Old Yeller - Ah, another kid that is actually prepared. He knows the words to the songs. All of them. He'll prove it. He'll yell them out. Melody? What melody?

The Peep Show Kid - If it's a girl, she'll raise the front of her dress. If it's a boy, we'll see his belly. It's all part of the show, folks.

The Prop Master - Put reindeer antlers on this kid and he's sure to play with them through the whole performance. She'll wave her cardboard sign-on-a-stick through the whole song, if you'll let her. The boy in the back is too busy pulling his halo on and off to pay attention to anything else going on. And now the kids standing next to him are totally enthralled with what he's doing. Only Old Yeller is still performing at this point. That's why preschool teachers know that they can't hand out jingle bells until it's time to sing "Jingle Bells."

Madonna - Despite the fact that this is the first time any of these kids have been on stage, one kid in the group knows that at the end of a performance, you take a bow. So she does. Again and again, while her classmates file off stage. But there's going to be one Wannabee Madonna who hurries back onstage to take her bow, too. Keep your cameras out, Folks. The show isn't over until the preschool teacher drags them all off stage.

You've just experienced a virtual preschool performance. The real thing is even better. Enjoy them while they last.

The End


  1. This made me laugh and laugh. So true and very clever of you to observe them all. definitely bookmarking this post for reference. :)

  2. I love this! And it's so true! I think I was the prepared kid, but how boring is that? The best part of seeing children perform is watching how goofy they all are. My favorites are the Old Yellers. I laughed so hard when I read that.