Friday, September 19, 2008

Re: US economic bailouts

US government parenting policy: In the event of a tantrum, give in.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The cold is upon us, so sad, so sad. I haven't actually turned on the heat in the house yet, but the day is coming very soon. Today we're just wearing sweaters and socks.

The news from school this week: M's a great reader! OK, we already knew that, but it's nice that he's appreciated. His class is, of course, quite diverse. There are some kids who only speak English at home, some who are bilingual English/something, some who speak other languages at home but attended English preschool, a few who are totally new to English. Anyway, it makes the kids like M look brilliant. His best buds so far: one is Polish/Japanese and one is Ukranian/Norwegian. As other international school parents have told us, we're one of the boring families -- everyone's from the same country? Snore.

We threw a big housewarming party this weekend. We were hoping to have it partially in the backyard, but it was too chilly. So we learned what the capacity of our living room is. I think this is by far the most people we've ever hosted for before and it went pretty well. Actually it went really well, except for my being stressed about it :) We had plenty of food and plates, etc. I learned that fruit with dip was way more popular than chocolate cake (I'm not sure this can be taken as a general rule, can it? Seems so counter-intuitive.) I was a little worried that the big kids would be bored with the lack of X Box or other exciting stuff, but they amused themselves in the garage with our moving boxes. Too much fun, apparently. The only real downer was V -- the girl's just having adjustment issues right now. When the first family arrived, she started pulling on my sweater and pretty much fussed until people started leaving. This is quite normal for some clingy children, much to their parents' dismay, but not normal for V. Alas. I really thought she'd be happy with the extra mommy time she's getting now, but she's more attached to M than I thought? She seems to need lots more attention than before school started.

Friday, September 5, 2008

US trip part 1

Here's Grammie and V blowing bubbles in the very green backyard. I'm not letting V see this picture, because we don't have any bubble solution in the house and that could cause major drama.
Uncle Z and M -- the light is not great, but I love it that they're standing in the same pose. Out of the shot, M is holding a guide to animal tracks. I think we found one somewhere that he could study. Of more lasting impression, Uncle Z found a tiny salamander. One of M's books from school this week was about an animal some kids found and they couldn't figure out what it was ... M guessed salamander at page one, and he was right.
Uncle Z skipping stones.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

kids making friends

I am just so amused by the whole school thing. I haven't fully experienced it before, since M was at a bilingual school last year -- many of the kids there spoke very limited English. At his new school, most speak quite well and lots are native speakers. (With varied accents, which is probably good for their brains somehow.) Anyway, this is my first time to hear all about how M makes friends or doesn't, as the case may be. He's already got a couple of boys that he talks about a lot -- they were previously good friends with each other, and M met them on the first day at the infamous Batman puzzle. Today they cemented their friendship by establishing that they all have "the racecar movie" at home (Disney's cars) and by sharing their snacks (is that allowed? I better find out.) M gave away his cheese, which was a huge sacrifice for Mr. I-don't-like-dairy, I'm sure. He's doing better on the lunch front in general, though. V has a best friend in M's class, too. One of the girls plays at the store or the sand table with V every morning, which is so cute. It all makes me feel so "Peanuts" this week. There's even a Lucy in his class with a brunette bob.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First day of school

I know, I know. I haven't posted any pics from our US trip yet, but I will ... we've just been a little distracted. Here are a few snapshots from M's first day of school. I just want to point out that the crazy grin was definitely not prompted in any way, he was just so excited.

M is doing great. His classroom is full of great stuff -- a small shop area, a sand table, puzzles, a computer, etc. His teachers are lovely. We lucked out and got the head teacher of the lower school as M's teacher this year, and he's a guy, which kids love. He's Scottish and the kids get a kick out of the accent, too. M was sold when he played the guitar and sang for them on the first day. Seriously, I couldn't be any happier (which I should be, for the price we're paying). M's favorite things? I think he really loves his backpack, lunch kit, book bag, etc. He loves the dinosaur and batman puzzles in his class. And he wants us to get a bingo game at our house. I don't think they've even played bingo, but he saw it there and explained all about it to me. But true to Wicker form, M was at the reading station looking at books when I left him this morning and again when I picked him up.

We have had a little drama -- M's totally happy when I pick him up each day, but sometimes he really lets me have it after we get out of the classroom. (This is directly related to the food issues, discussed below.) His concerns on the first day were so cute -- he kept saying, "Oh, and I forgot to play with X. And I forgot to do X." Over and over. I think he was so focused on the first day of school that he kinda missed the fact that he'll be going every day for the rest of his life. Today he was slightly stressed that he didn't get the same homework as most of the other kids -- they got a sheet with three letters sounds to practice. M and the other kids who read get to take home a different book every day to read with the parents. Anytime I tried to explain, he kept insisting that he likes letters and books, so he should get both. I think he's got it now. If not, I get to explain to his teacher that he wants more homework.

Food: Apparently talking and playing are more important than eating for M. Yes, the child who would only nurse as an infant when he was absolutely starving has better things to do than eat. Anyway, the best days at pick up time are the ones when he's actually eaten lunch and snacks. I'm hoping it will get better as he gets into the routine ... I'm sending him with lunches from home, so I can't blame the weird hot lunch food, and it means I can see exactly what he's eaten, which is nice. The kids eat snacks and lunch outside, more or less at the same time they're having recess, so it doesn't exactly encourage heavy eating. I love it that they're outside so much, despite the eating issues. I'm sure this will all change when the weather turns nasty.

And the last issue? V, of course. She's doing great with M's absence, but she wishes she could go to school too. She's particularly attached to the sand table and the shop area of M's classroom. M doesn't care if I even walk him to his classroom, but V wants to hang out there forever. She's not the only younger sibling screaming as she exits the building.