Episode 2 – The Picnic, Part Two

Oct 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Story Time

“This looks like a good spot, doesn’t it, Tyler?” his mom asked. “I guess so.” he shrugged in response. His mom placed their brightly colored blanket, which they usually take to the beach, down next to a lady and her daughter. The little girl looked like she had been crying. Tyler’s mother introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Michelle Landley, this is my son Tyler and our baby’s name is Connor.” “It’s nice to meet you.” the lady returned the greeting. “I’m Valerie Tolosa and this is my daughter, Miranda.” Between chasing after Connor, who kept wandering off the blanket, and talking to Mrs. Tolosa, Tyler’s mom hadn’t noticed that he was still standing there when he should have run off to play with the other children.

Tyler was just about to sneak over to the shade of a nice big tree when someone called, “Okay, everyone, it’s time to eat lunch!” Tyler turned toward the voice. It was the voice of a short woman with dark hair. Tyler noticed that the clothing she was wearing wasn’t stuff you’d normally wear to a picnic and he wondered why.

His mom handed him his bagged lunch. “Yes!” thought Tyler, when he looked inside; his mom had packed all his favorite things. There was a bologna and cheese sandwich, a banana, a few pretzels and two cookies, plus she had brought a juice box for his drink. Tyler loved juice boxes. He ate his lunch quietly and wondered why his mom had so much to say to Mrs. Tolosa. After all, they had just met.

As Tyler finished his lunch, he saw that some kids had already finished and they were making their way back to the playground. The way Tyler figured it, he had two choices: one, he could pick a group of kids to hang out with or two; he could remain by himself. But, if he tried to be by himself, his mom might make him go play with someone. She would probably suggest Miranda, who was still sitting in her mom’s lap and looked as if she could start to cry again. He felt sorry for Miranda; he wanted everyone to have a good time, but the last thing he wanted was to be stuck with some girl that he didn’t know, especially one who seemed to be a cry baby.

As he was trying to decide what to do, he looked over to the playground; at the swings there were a few girls, but no boys. On the smaller of the two climbers, there were boys his age. And at the higher climber, there was a group of older boys and girls hanging out. Tyler assumed that they were the older brothers and sisters of the kids attending the picnic. Tyler did see a boy, who could be his age, at the higher climber. But maybe he was older and just short for his age.

Tyler decided to go to the smaller climber and as he took a step in that direction, he noticed the woman, who had called everyone to lunch, coming toward him. She greeted him by saying, “Hi, you must be Tyler Landley. I’m, Mrs. Green, the school principal.” Tyler blurted out, “Oh, so that’s why you’re dressed funny; I mean, not wearing picnic clothes.” he finished with a giggle. She didn’t seem to be upset, instead she giggled, too. “That’s right,” she continued. “For me, today is a regular work day. Guess what? My son, Jerome, is starting kindergarten.” Then she called out, “Hey Jerome, come over here!” “Okay, mom!” a kid yelled back. Tyler was surprised to see the kid, that he thought was short for his age, running towards them.

“Jerome, this is Tyler. He’s going to be in your class. I want you to hang out with him, make him feel welcomed and introduce him to some of the other kids, okay?” “Sure, no problem,” Jerome answered. Tyler assumed that they would go over to the small climber but Jerome walked back towards the larger one instead. On the way there, Jerome said, “I don’t want you to think that I’m going to be your friend. I’m only doing this because my mom made me.” “Whatever,” Tyler responded. But he was thinking, “It’s kind of fun to see someone else being made to play with me.” When they got to the climber, one of the older kids said, “Hey, you’re not allowed over here. This isn’t for little babies who are starting kindergarten.” Tyler decided to be brave and he answered, “Jerome was over here, I saw him, and he’s going into kindergarten.” One of the girls replied, “He doesn’t count. We have to let him hang out with us, his mom is the principal.” “Yeah,” Jerome chimed in. “Everyone knows that if they’re not nice to me, I’ll tell my mom.”

One of the boys said, “I’m Jerome’s older brother, Marcus. Here’s what we’re going to do. If you can show us that you can tie your shoes, we’ll let you hang out with us.” “That’s easy,” Tyler replied. He kneeled down and showed them that not only could he tie his shoes but he could do it really fast. “Impressive!” said one of the kids, who had leaned in to watch. Marcus added, “Not bad, for a little guy.”

Tyler joined the kids on the climber and they spent the next few minutes climbing up and jumping off the playground equipment. Before Tyler knew it, Mrs. Green called, “I need everyone in Miss Nell’s class to line up.” Jerome and Tyler left the older kids and ran to get into line. Tyler could see that Miranda was still hanging onto her mom. Mrs. Green took Miranda by the hand and told her that she could walk in the front of the line. That seemed to make her feel better and Tyler was glad. Mrs. Green then told the parents that they could pack up their things and follow the students into the classroom

As they walked into the building, Tyler got excited. “Wow!” he thought, as he entered Miss Nell’s classroom for the first time. “It’s bigger than my old preschool room.” The classroom was shaped like a rectangle and the long wall on the left side had windows all along it. There was lots of sunlight shining in, which made it seem like a happy and friendly place. Tyler noticed that aside from its size, it wasn’t much different than his preschool classroom. There was a carpet for circle time, lots of books, and a water table. The decorations that hung on the wall looked similar, too. There were three bulletin boards. One had the calendar on it, another was the birthday board and the third was where the job assignments were listed. Miss Nell said, “I’d like all of you to look around and get familiar with everything. I also need you to go over to the wall where the closet doors are and find the star with your name written on it. The hook, underneath your name, will be where you hang your back pack.

Miss Nell was tall and thin with short blond hair and she wore glasses. Tyler thought she looked smart and he like her right away. “Did you find a star with your name on it?” his mom asked. He had been so busy looking around that he hadn’t seen her come into the room. “No, I haven’t looked yet.” he answered. He walked over to the doors. He started with the first one and read each name but he didn’t see any that had ‘Tyler’ written on it. He walked back to his mom and told her. “Okay, why don’t we go ask Miss Nell?” she suggested. When Tyler walked up to Miss Nell, she said, “Hi, who might you be?” Tyler politely answered, “Tyler Landley.” “Did you have a question for me?” she asked. Tyler said, “Yes, I couldn’t find a star with my name on it.” Miss Nell exclaimed, “Oh, my goodness! I’m so sorry! I must have missed your name by mistake!” Then she said, “I tell you what, there are a couple of hooks still available, why don’t you choose the one that you’d like to use.” Tyler liked that idea and he walked to the end and picked the last one next to the computers. He would probably be spending a lot of time at the computer station and he liked the idea of his calculator being close by. As Miss Nell took out a star from her desk and wrote his name on it, Tyler thought, “My calculator! I haven’t needed it at all!” He then quickly checked his pocket to make sure that it hadn’t fallen out while he was climbing. Whew! It was still there!

Tyler’s mom asked him if he had seen everything. He told her that there was still one area he needed to check out. Tyler walked across the circle time rug and began looking into bins of books and magazines. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He found lots of copies of his favorite nature and wildlife magazine. “Mom!” he called. “There are issues here that I haven’t seen before.” “That’s great, honey!” she answered. “Now, you know that you’ll have something to look forward to on your first day.”

Miss Nell rang a bell and told the students to find their parents so they could begin to make their way out of the classroom. She also said she was looking forward to seeing everyone again on the first day of school. Miss Nell was standing at the door saying goodbye to everyone as they filed out. When they got to her, she said, “It was nice meeting you, Tyler.” He replied, “It was nice meeting you too, Miss… Nell!” Tyler thought he heard his mom give a sigh of relief; he turned around and flashed a big smile. He could tell by the smile she gave in return that she was proud of him.

As they made the left hand turn out of the parking lot to head toward home, Tyler turned and looked back at the school. He thought… “Maybe this kindergarten thing won’t be so bad after all.”

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