so today . . . it once again became clear to me that five year olds have a very tenuous grasp on reality.
it was calendar time. this is something i try to do every day, but some days we get to it a little late and have to hurry. this was one of those days.
we came back to our class from music, i grabbed my pointer and said, "ok, let's say the months of the year." and so we all chanted the months of the year. then i said, "and what month are we in?" and they all answered "february." i was ready to move onto the days of the week, but megan was not.
"wait," she said. "what is that holiday in the next month?"
"next month?" i said. really??? we are going to talk about next month right now, this morning?? although megan is a very smart girl, sometimes her train of thought can be a little tricky to follow. and i didn't really think we had time for me to figure out what she was talking about. so instead of being the awesome teacher who would say, "why, i don't know megan--why don't you explain what you mean, and then i will try and answer your very clever question in words you can understand . . . " yeah. instead of that, i said, "i don't know. we will talk about it later." and proceeded to sing a song about the days of the week.
but megan would not be dissuaded. once she gets an idea in her head, she needs an answer. and clearly i had not given that to her.
"no," she continued, "in march. is that a real holiday?"
i knew she must be talking about st. patrick's day. and while you could probably make a pretty good argument against it being a real holiday, it is on the calendar and we will wear green. so, giving up, i said, "do you mean st. patrick's day?"
her face lit up. "yes," she said. "is it a real person?"
wait. is who a real person? i thought we were talking about the holiday. isn't st. patrick's day the day we do green activities? and eat green eggs and ham? and paint rainbows with leprechaun gold at the ends? who is she talking about?
i realized she must be talking about st. patrick. and the truth is, i know almost nothing about him. ok, i know nothing about him, except he was apparently a saint. usually i don't need to know about him. my kindergarteners usually have their hands full wrapping their brains around george washington and abraham lincoln. but, as i said, megan is smart, and i think she must have heard something about it on tv. so i give her what i've got.
"yes," i say. "st. patrick was a real person. but i'm not sure why there is a holiday about him. i will have to find out."
"ok," she said. "but you are saying he is real. like sponge bob and patrick . . . "
wait a minute.
you mean, sponge bob and patrick are real?!?!?!