Recently, we have been given some new-to-us toys here at daycare. These toys have previously resided at the homes of several daycare attendees, but have been generously donated (thank you!) to us by the parents of said attendees.
One item of interest is a rocking horse.
A certain young lady, 5 years old, who is enrolled in our program has become
with this horse.
She feeds it (yesterday, it enjoyed a breakfast of pretend milk and pancakes), offers it toys, and rides it like a freaking maniac.
She offered to ‘be in charge’ of the giving of rides to other children. Usually, she is an excellent choice to delegate management of responsibilities like ‘whose turn is next’.
Not this time.
Her idea of taking turns on our new pet horse went about like this:
Miss 5: Who wants to ride my horse?
All the other children, including Miss 5’s sister: WE DO!
Miss 5: Ok, line up and I will pick someone to ride my horse when I’m done.
The children glom together in a mob around the horse and she regally points to one of them,
You can ride when I’m done.
The chosen child is now directed to have a seat on a chair near Miss 5 so that they can admire her horseback skills and receive verbal horseback riding lessons.
Miss 5: You have to hold on so you don’t fall off my horse.
Child: adofija efona oiahoae. (This child is 18 months old and has no real verbal skills)
Miss 5. This is a very nice horse to me, but I don’t know if he’ll be nice to you.
Child: bofija hbakuefh ajuhfe figa abipter
Miss 5: Now it’s your turn.
She swings her leg grandly over the rear of the beast and alights gracefully on the floor. A Struggle is next, because the Child who has received the honor of ‘Next’ doesn’t seem to understand that her legs must be on opposite sides of the creature and also appears to be in a general state of confusion as to why she is being hoisted aboard said creature. Miss 5 enlists the help of a second 5 year old who, while Miss 5 works the top have of the Child, works the legs.
Child is now astride the horse, smiling like a stinking cutie pants. She waves her arm wildly in my direction yelling to get my attention (which she has, if only to prevent her being trampled by the two 5 year olds) and nearly is unseated in the doing.
Miss 5: Do you even know HOW to ride a horse?
Child shakes her head, no, she does not know how to ride a horse.
Without ceremony or so much as a how do you do, she is removed from the back of the horse.
Me: Put her back on.
Miss 5: But she doesn’t want to ride the horse.
Me to the Child: Do you want to ride the horse?
Child nods her head to me, and takes this opportunity to shoot Miss 5 a death glare.
I personally see that Child is placed on the rocking horse and inform Miss 5 to keep her hands to herself.
Miss 5 keeps her hands to herself, but her mouth is very, very busy.
After a few seconds, Child is done. Safely, and with her permission, she is removed from the back of the steed.
Miss 5 hops right back on, preparing to appoint another ‘next rider’ while she gallops along. (Did I mention this thing also Neighs and plays a rollicking version of Camp Town Races on repeat while it is being ridden?)
I regretfully inform Miss 5 that the other children will have turns and her turn has ended. She does not appear to have heard me, despite the fact that she is looking at me. I put the baby I am holding down and move closer to the horse. While I am doing this, she casually dismounts and appoints her sister as the next rider.
Miss 5: Miss K. Will you please take care of my horse and feed him and don’t make him mad while I am using the potty?
Miss K: Ok.
Miss 5 gives me a steady look with her eyebrows up as if to say,
Are you satisfied?
And removes herself to the potty.
Upon her return, she discovers I am letting children ride that thing willy-nilly with no directions, instructions, or background checks.
She is SHOCKED.
To hide her offended sensibities and to trick children into getting off her property, she announce loudly that she will now:
Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the children fall for this ploy and with cheers and hoorays, all race for the backdoor.
All but Miss 5.
Miss 5 stands quietly off to the side as the daycare stampedes out the backdoor.
She calmly returns to the side of her equine companion, patting him and talking quietly. She mounts and resumes her wild ride.
Ride em cowboy!