Back to School here and abroad

This summer Colin started Kindergarten. People kept asking if he was excited about it, and he said yes, but really - what did he know about it except the glimpse he got when he was invited to visit back in June.

On the first day parents were allowed to take their children and stay for the first half hour. It was very special to me, not only because our baby started an important phase in his life, but also because it this very Kindergarten I used to attend.

We were supposed to pick him up at 11:45am, and I prepared a lasagna, put it in the oven and thought I had done great - we would be home in time to take it out and eat. Let's just say I got to know all the mommies that were waiting to pick up their kids as well because the children were being dismissed late. Colin, friendly guy that he is, wanted to say goodbye to each and every one of his new classmates, gotta admire that he knew almost all of the 20+ names, and even if our way home is only a 5 - 10 minutes' walk, the lasagna was a bit crispy around the edges. 

How do other mothers of two or three kids do it??? I have one child and can't seem to manage?

In addition I noticed a change in his behaviour. It feels like he has to find his place in the new pecking order. He strikes up altercations with older kids, spills beverages on purpose, calls me stupid cow and gives me the finger. Experienced moms assure me it would go away soon. It rather!! I hate yelling at him but I can't help myself.

After the first week he announced he didn't need to be taken and picked up, he could walk with the neighbors' kids or other children from our neighborhood. There is a whole bunch walking by every morning. We are fortunate to live in a village with not too much traffic, and we have practised crossing the street, so I let him go. I took this video on my last day I was allowed to walk him. 

When I started writing about getting organized for some reason I honestly thought having my kid in Kindergarten would give me more time to do stuff around the house. Turns out I need to get done stuff outside the house while he is out, like groceries runs, post office visits and the like. Once he is finally home he wants to stay and play at home and not be forced to help mommy buying milk and carrots. 
He doesn't want carrots anyway. And he recently told me to stop smuggling broccoli into his snack box as well:

Better broccoli than this, right?

Yes, they have snacks, not lunch. Class is from 8:15 until 11:45am. Then the kids go home or wherever they are being fed. Grandparents, daycare, you name it. Well, they do have lunch. Occasionally. I am still confused about that. We were informed that on the last Thursday of the month the boys would stay and cook their own lunch. (Tuesdays for girls) We obviously were informed that on those days, class would be out at 1:30pm instead of 3pm. I missed that piece of information. Instead I had la leisurely Italian lunch with a friend, and when I got home before 2pm, Colin was at the door, slightly desperate. "Mommy, where have you been, I kept ringing the bell!!" 

If I understand correctly the next cookout will be mid-November only. As I said. confusing. I tried to make it up by bringing his hockey stick and puck to "show and tell day" because he forgot it at home. No, it was not my turn to get him ready!

The other day we attended parent's night. All the parents had to bring a book they liked as a kid or one that their kid likes, and this is how "introduction round" worked. Everybody said something about the book they brought. I thought it was very interesting. Many books from my childhood, long forgotten, reappeared that night. Then one lady brought "French Grammar" and stated that she always hated it. Must have misunderstood something.

What book did I bring? A story about a little girl who needed to go to the hospital. My mom introduced it to me before I had to go in for surgery as a 5 year old. Missed the beginning of kindergarten, by the way. 

Hubby brought a book about encryption. As soon as the official part was over, another dad / IT guy came up and asked to borrow it.

As for Colin I mentioned that he likes science books 

that explain stuff like how volcanoes work and how hot lava is. Plus that his really favorite readings are the ice hockey team booklets ;-)))

On my way back from the bathroom I noticed the fish drawings on the wall. Colin never told me that they were talking about "water" these past weeks. Some artsy girls made wonderful fish families, colorful, with air bubbles and stuff.

Makes you wonder who the black fish in the family is?
This kids' fish must have swum away
And then there were flag fish - guess who draw them ;-)
Enough about us. 

How do other kids' Kindergarten or 1st grade routine work?

Meet Liam, 5 years old, living in New Mexico.His mom drives him to Kindergarten at a private school every day around 7:30am. It's a 10-15 minutes' drive, and he stays until 3pm. Liam likes to play with his new buddy Michael and read books. In his very cool Angry Birds backpack he brings lunch - his favorite is crackers! This is a bit of a pity because his mom is a very creative cook and baker, just look at that birthday breakfast she made for him! Liam looks forward to playing the kindle when he gets home and to play with his 1 year old sister Kinley.


Meiha from New South Wales, Australia is 5 years old and was a bit nervous about her first day of Kindergarten  29 kids are in her class! So it was a good thing that her best friend Alisha and some other kids from daycare were there, too! She usually leaves home at 8:50am and returns around 3:30pm. It's a 10 minutes' walk. She takes snacks and lunch like sandwiches, fruit and crackers. Her favorite subjects are crafts and writing (I can see a DIY blogger in the future! ;-) When Meiha gets home she likes to play outside. With two older sisters, Ayeiesha (11) and Sierra (8) and two younger brothers, Dredon (3) and baby Callem (8 months old) life is definitely never dull!
Andrew is 6 and lives in Pennsylvania. He started 1st grade this summer. As he is the youngest of three kids, he just about knows the drill. His school is only a mile away, but the "way" leads through muddy, rough terrain, so he and two of his buddies take the bus at 8:15am. Andrew brings chicken nuggets, fruit, veggies and pretzels for lunch. He is just about best friends with everyone. When he gets home at 3:30pm he likes to play outside, otherwise he is a Wii player. When his dad needs to go to the office to work on a project, Andrew thinks that Daddy is building the Eiffel Tower out of popsicle sticks, isn't he cute?

Ryan, Andrew, Victoria

Malin is 4 years old and lives in Bern, Switzerland. She is a new Kindergartner. Her brother Jonas is 6 and started 1st grade. Both are being walked to school by their mom - about a 10 minutes walk. 

Jonas and Malin
Stunning view from Malin and Jonas' balcony

Kindergarten is from 9-11:50 on mornings plus one afternoon 1:45 - 3:10pm. Malin and her class are currently learning about bears; Jonas studies squirrels. She likes to draw or play with her dolls, he sings and does sports. Both kids' favorite snack is a Müesli bar. 

Unlike her big brother who happens to get punished for chatting during class, Malin always behaves well. That is, when she gets to wear what she likes. Otherwise it's "no, not this!!!" and she grabs something else from the closet. Never to early to start, little lady!

Saya was one of Colin's friends at the airport daycare. In the meantime, Saya lives in Singapore and attends 2nd grade. Her school is located at the open countryside, so the kids share the schoolyard with monkeys and snakes. The other day they couldn't go out to play during recess. A monkey had died, and the other monkeys went wild.

(Colin, when he was 3), Saya, then 4

PS: Find out: are you an a** mom?