For most families, preschool show-and-tell is an afterthought. Typically, the children at our school bring an assortment of seemingly random toys and items that might or might not have any connection to the weekly themes. For our family, show-and-tell is also an afterthought, but a very competitive one.
There is literally nothing that can’t be turned into a competition if you have the right mindset. Show-and-tell is no exception. The children are instructed to bring an item for Friday show-and-tell that relates to the color, letter, or theme of the week. Yeah, matching one category is nice, but what if you could do two? Or even three?
Pulling a double or triple every week is the goal. Everything else is just window dressing. That’s why when the letter of the week was I, the color was yellow, and the theme was harvest, our yellow piggy bank wasn’t just a yellow piggy bank, it was a yellow investment bank. That’s a double. It was a particularly difficult week with ‘I’ and the obscure harvest theme, so a double was satisfactory. I’m sure it beat out the eight minions and four school buses.
Of course, it took a good deal of work on my part to get my four-year-old to understand the importance of calling the pig an investment bank.
“So, are you ready to take your investment bank for show-and-tell? Oh, I see you have your investment bank ready to take to school! Hmm, what kind of bank is that again?” I said repeatedly.
Sigh, well, there was still hope he would rise to the occasion when the bright lights of show-and-tell came on.
“Did you tell everyone that piggy was an investment bank?” I asked breathlessly in the car on our way home.
“No, piggy bank,” came the reply.
Oh well. The previous week we dominated with the always elusive triple, so we had probably built up a nice cushion on the other competitors. The color was pink, the letter was H, and the theme was transportation. PINK HELICOPTER! Boom. These are the moments I live for.
But then came nocturnal animals, letter J, and black, and next was multicultural, letter K, and gray (a gray Peppa Pig castle with George dressed as a knight, which is also pretty multicultural when you think about it…TRIPLE!) and now the show-and-tell calendar stretches out before us like an impenetrable labyrinth. It taunts me. I plot strategies and consider potential combinations in my dreams. I break out my note cards, push pins, Sharpie marker, and red yarn. I scribble down potential items on the cards, arrange the cards on the bulletin board, and attempt to connect them like I’m hunting down a serial killer. Perhaps? I’m never quite clear what one is supposed to do with the cards. But, no matter how hard I try, show-and-tell wins. Show-and-tell always wins.
Oh well, maybe we can find a teddy bear or something for this week. That should do.