In the big pots of enriched dirt, 90% of the pea plants decline to wrap their tendrils onto the supporting garden stakes to climb toward the sky. In spite of my efforts to redirect them, they prefer to tangle together in a big clump. Then they complain, "He's touching me!," or "She looked at me funny!"
You think you've assembled everything for a nurturing environment--attractive hands-on classroom full of enriching visual, musical, and tactile materials, a supporting stucture, fresh air and sunshine, patience, humor, and consistency. Still the preschoolers want to tangle together 90% of the time.
All children occasionally wrap onto a support and grow. They usually do it with greater frequency the older they get. Humans have a much longer growing season than pea plants. I'm probably the one who needs more sunshine and Miracle-Gro.
© 2009 Nancy L. Ruder