As soon as Titus, Avery, and I walked in to the door, I knew we were in trouble. The only thing that can explain all of these shoes in the entry way (shown below) is that the parents are at the school too. And if the parents are at the school, that means there’s a good chance that some kind of event is going on. While taking my own shoes off, I saw Pluto walk by (that is, I saw a kid dressed as Pluto–Mickey Mouse’s trusty dog). The kids said, “Daddy, we saw Pluto!” Uh oh. What is going on?
While making our way upstairs it became clear that there were lots of festivities going on. Parents were rushing up and down the stairs with their kids who were dressed up as princesses, pirates, fireman, and I even saw a little Darth Vader running around. Where were they taking these kids, I thought. Arriving at Titus’ classroom, we found the place completely filled with more dressed up kids, parents, and dressed up teachers. That’s when I called Bethany. “Uh…so this place is nuts and I have no idea what’s going on. But you better come and bring Titus’ Buzz Lightyear costume…and bring your camera!” The kids and I made our way through the camera wielding parents and I dropped Titus clothes off in their changing area. There were other families in there too so I snapped a photo of some boys and one of the dads.
In our defense, Bethany was aware of a carnival but she honestly thought it was going to be on Friday and that would only be in the afternoon. She actually had called me on Monday and asked if I would be available to come, but since I’m teaching a workshop at a conference this week I wouldn’t be available. Titus’ teacher did her best to make us aware of it, but again, the date just got lost in translation.
Bethany arrived a few minutes after I called her and she brought Titus’s costume. We quickly changed him so he could join the other kids. The teachers had congregated the kids in another room where they were doing what I believe was a fashion show. They were literally walking down a wooden plank on the ground and the teachers were taking pictures and video along with all the parents on the sidelines.
Here’s me getting Titus ready.
Here are the kids walking down the runway.
Meanwhile, Avery was enjoying all the toys in the classroom.
We were scheduled to have language lessons this morning, but with all the commotion we didn’t feel like we could leave. That, and Titus got really sad when we tried to leave and started crying and saying he wanted to go home. To be honest, it was hard. I felt caught between getting to our language lesson and taking care of Titus, and we just didn’t know what to do. It was decision paralysis. We tried to console Titus, who I think was just overwhelmed. Finally, we cancelled our lessons and stuck around with Titus. Eventually he calmed down and even starting participating with the class in their dance. Here’s a little video I got and you’ll see Titus dancing with his teacher.
Remember those parents rushing up and down the stairs when we first arrived? We found out where they were going. There was a professional photographer in another classroom who was taking individual portraits of all the kids. Titus’ teacher asked one of the little kids to show us where he was so he could take Titus’ picture. We made our way down and had a few shots taken. I seriously can not wait to see how those turned out. Later, that same photographer took a group shot of the entire class. Here they are in the main hall of the school getting ready for their class photo. You can see Titus in the upper left.
After some time, Titus was doing much better and we left. He did well for the remainder of the school day and Bethany said he came home really happy and excited about his experience. Apparently they had a clown who juggled and they blew bubbles and even passed out balloons to the kids. At the end of the day I can look back and laugh, but in the middle of it it was really difficult. I’m bummed we missed our once a week Czech lesson because that’s so vital for us long term. On the other hand, I’m glad I got to experience something fun with Titus and our family, even thought I had no clue it was going to happen.