The Dormouse came home from preschool the other day having learned this little ditty:

The farmer in the dell,
The farmer in the dell,

Hi ho the derry-o,

The farmer in the dell.

The farmer takes a wife...

I'll spare you the gory details. You remember it right? Then the wife takes a child, child takes a nurse, etc., etc., until it gets down to a rat, who chooses cheese above all other human contact. She got it all as I remember it until the last verse, where it went a little wonky:

"The cheese stands in a bowl,
The cheese stands in a bowl,
Hi ho the derry-o,
The cheese stands in a bowl."

I tried to tell her it was supposed to be The cheese stands alone but she patently refused to believe me. And when you think about it, why should she? Where would the most appropriate place for cheese to be, if not in a bowl? I always put my cheese in a bowl (or at least on a plate - but that doesn't really fit in the song, now does it?).

Basically, I'm glad she goes to preschool because I forget about these little rite of passage songs of childhood that we all learned to sing. I'm too busy teaching her songs that are completely inappropriate for her age but that
don't make my eyes roll up in the back of my head and my tongue do the tardive dyskenesia dance. Who needs to know Down By the Station when you've got all verses of One For the Road, American Pie or some totally-awesome-song-of-the-80s down pat? What the hell is a pufferbelly anyway? Who uses that word anymore?

If it wasn't for preschool she'd be completely deprived of knowing such ditties as:
  • Pat-a-cake (The Dormouse phrases it "and put it in the oven for a baby and me" which is incredibly cute)
  • Oh Susanna (makes me want to cry despite the warnings)
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • I've Been Working on the Railroad (right before the Amtrak train derailed)
  • Oats and Peas and Barley (the twelve year old boy in my head notes that this is where she learned the word "erect")
  • She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain (not even going to go there)
  • John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt (oh the humanity!)
  • A Big Blue Box
  • The Song That Will Not End (actually The KingofHearts taught her that one... remind me to pay that forward)
  • I'm Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee (because where else do you learn to squish up insects and eat them?)
  • Teasing Mr. Crocodile (now that Steve Irwin's not around to put a stop to it)
  • There Were Ten in a Bed (do we really want to reinforce that polygamy issue?)

Without them, she'd probably grow up friendless, unloved, and holding the SLOW sign on the side of the road. Just one of the many ways preschool has benefited our lives.