There are five calendars hanging in various locations on the main floor of my house. I don’t buy calendars – a few get mailed to me, others I receive from businesses that I frequent. Some years I have more calendars than I have spaces to hang them – in that case only my favourite ones will get hung up.
My favourite calendars have pictures of animals or nature scenes. For February the calendar in the playroom has a picture of a badger. The one in my office has a flock of Mallard ducks and the one in the kitchen has a donkey.
The calendar in the kitchen is visible to the children when they are washing their hands and often garners the most interest. Some children will make the same comment about the picture every time they wash their hands throughout the month as part of their familiar routine. Others will develop stories about the pictures – stories that evolve over the course of the month.
The concept of time is beyond the scope of the preschoolers so they don’t really understand how long a month is. Most of them are familiar with the names of the months and know that each page on the calendar has a different name however the names are just words. They don’t know how long it takes before the page turns to a new month.
There is always excitement when they notice a new picture on the calendar. At the beginning of February the 3 year old squealed with delight as she washed her hands “Oh Cheryl, I LOVE your unicorn”. I eagerly went to see what she was talking about because – hello – unicorns are awesome, almost as fantastic as dragons.
I was a little disappointed when I realized that she was looking at the calendar picture. “You mean the donkey?” I asked automatically. Now , sadly, she looked disappointed too. Unicorns are sooo much better than donkeys but my adult brain just ruined it for both of us.
She didn’t comment on the picture again for over a week but every day she stared at it as she washed her hands. Finally, with much less enthusiasm she asked “Why does your donkey have a thing on the front of his head?”.
“That’s his ear. He wants to be a unicorn.”
I want him to be a unicorn too. I might change the calendar to March early because now that donkey is just irritating both of us.