Wiliam - First day of school 2012

There is no way to really catch up sufficiently since my last post. No way to really update all that has happened since then so that when I look back years from now I say “Oooh right – I remember that summer!”

So I suppose I will skip summer completely (it was fine, a five day power outage, time spent at the beach and on the eastern shore and many hours logged at the pool) and move right along to fall, since I can mostly remember what has happened this fall so far.

Emma began kindergarten and William returned to pre-school.

Emma has fared pretty well at kindergarten. She is in a French immersion program, which means she learns the regular curriculum, only in French. All French, all the time. When we got into the program (via lottery, pure luck) I was concerned that Emma’s sweet little head would explode when she went to school the first day and didn’t understand a single. word. they. were. saying. Friends with kids in the program reassured me – “At that age everything is like a puzzle to figure out, so this is just one more puzzle.” And I felt more at ease.

Emma - First day of Kindergarten 2012

Emma came home the first day and… her head exploded. If nothing else, at least I can say that I know my kid. She was exhausted and looked like she was in total shock. Eventually the shock wore off and she begged to be put into an english speaking program, but we persisted, sending her back the next day. When she came home that second night, in between crying spells, she proudly announced to me that I am a “fille” and she is a “fille” but William is not. It took me a moment, but then I said (much too enthusiastically I am sure) “YES!! YES YES YES YES! WE ARE FILLES!”

There have been many more tears since then, as much about the transition to kindergarten I think as the language spoken there. But the tears have gradually lessened and they are being replaced by French songs and phrases she is starting to learn. And as she learns she gains confidence and enjoyment and so on and so on.

She is still mostly exhausted at the end of each day, so we are holding off on playdates or any after school activities for now, but overall she is much happier. She loves letters and numbers and can count to 15 in French and is close to learning the alphabet in French. She comes home and wants to write on EVERYTHING – pads of paper, receipts, wrapping paper, tables, placemats, books, herself – anything is fare game for her writing. She can write her name, William, Mommy and Daddy now without asking for guidance and is slowly adding words to the list. We aren’t supposed to be teaching her to read in English since they are working on teaching her to read in French at school, and we aren’t, but I also don’t think we are supposed to be discouraging her desire to write and learn letters, so we let her go.

William returned to pre-school without any incident or problem at all, except that he doesn’t attend five days a week. Just like last year, he asks every day (including weekends) if he is going to school today. When the answer is “No”, he wails “But I want to go to schooooool!” Sorry buddy – next year!
William - First day of school 2012

He has been having a hard time with temper tantrums lately, and when I say “he” I guess I mean “we”. He does them just fine – quite well really in comparison to other children’s pathetic attempts at true temper tantrums. He has it down to a science really – scream, pick up the nearest thing, fling it across the room, charge your sister and hit her on the head with both hands and watch the chaos around you. Good times. When he is not trying to deal with his anger, he is truly one of the sweetest, snuggliest children I know. Which makes the tantrums all the more difficult to bear. We are still experimenting with the best ways to deal with his anger, and the best ways to help him deal with his anger.

I will let you know how it all works out.