Today is President’s Day here in the US. I know this because when I dismissed my final Friday morning class with my usual, “Have a nice weekend, friends. See you Monday!” one of my more precocious preschoolers piped up. “No you won’t Miss Kat,” he informed me. “Because Monday is President’s Day!”
This particular student is very on the ball when it comes to his holidays. First it was Martin Luther King Day (“He had a dream, Miss Kat!”) then Valentine’s Day (“Here’s your Valentine’s Day hug, Miss Kat!”) and now President’s Day. To be honest, I was rather disappointed that he didn’t begin reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address right there on the spot because knowing him, he could have.
When I first met this particular student back in September, he introduced himself as “Jerry.”
“Nice to meet you, Jerry,” I replied, kneeling down with my “Yes, I’m tall but I’m not scary” smile. “Do you like to dance?”
Before he could reply, his classroom teacher interrupted. “Jerry? Please! Tell Miss Kat your real name.”
Evidently his name was not Jerry, nor anything bearing even the slightest resemblance to Jerry. “You’ll learn his name—his real name— real fast,” his teacher assured me. “Trust me.”
She was right. His was indeed the first name I learned (and remains amongst those that I find myself shouting the most often) but I’ve got to admit: he’s as sharp as a tack and he absolutely cracks me up.
We do a dance called “London Town” set to the tune of Pop Goes the Weasel. The chorus explains the basic premise (which, coming from my “Action Songs for Preschoolers” collection, isn’t terribly deep):
We want to get to London Town,
How shall we get there?
We’ll go the way the duck goes!
We’ll never get there!
(Waddle like a duck…)
The next verse is “jump like a frog” followed by “swim like a fish” and so on until we get to the last verse, which is, inevitably, “fly like an airplane.”
I’m a big fan of “London Town” mainly because “Pop Goes the Weasel” doesn’t grate on my nerves nearly as much as “The Tummy Tango” (at least not yet) but also because—do I really need to explain this?—it’s an entire dance about taking a trip! To London! I fear that I’m inadvertently turning my preschoolers into a bunch of little Anglophiles-in-training (we also do an entire “London Bridge” routine) but heck, there are worse things.
(Nazis, for example. Anorexic ballerinas. Justin Bieber fans. Judging by the fact that the kids named their new classroom fish “Nemo,” “Dora” and “Justin Bieber,” however, I think this last one is a lost cause.)
Little “Jerry” has gotten into his head that Micky Mouse hats comprise an essential component of international travel. Whenever I take the “London Town” CD from its case, he comes running up to me, tosses an imaginary “Micky Mouse hat” my way and announces, “Here’s your hat Miss Kat, now we’re ready!”
He also dons his own Disney-inspired headgear so I’m not sure if this make us co-pilots on our “flight” to London or just cooler than all of the other kids. “Jerry,” you see, never gives them imaginary Micky Mouse hats and so far, they don’t seem all that bothered.
Of course, being that this is London Town, I should have said “they don’t seem all that bovvered.” Ever since my brother got everyone a Netflix-on-Demand subscription for Christmas, my dedication to The Catherine Tate Show has been… well, to be honest, the phrase “well shameful” comes to mind.
If you don’t have any clue what I’m talking about, click here for a quick Youtube, but don’t blame me if you get addicted to Tate’s smack-talking schoolgirl. And if you do know what I’m talking about, please don’t hold it against me. It’s not my fault that President’s Day, despite “Jerry’s” enthusiasm, is the most boring holiday ever.