Thursday, July 12, 2012

Report Cards

I'm having one of those weeks (er...two months, really) at work. We can file certain consular work under "N" for "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished." It is very demotivating.

So! Let's focus on the darling children instead. Nanny returned back to the U.S. on Sunday. Well, more accurately she left for the U.S. on Sunday. Because the airline industry is the airline industry, the fact that I paid more for her ticket so that she could be home in two connections and 16 hours mattered little to the The Fates. She left here at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday and finally touched down in Kansas City at about 1:00 a.m. local time on Tuesday night (read: 9:00 a.m. Estonia time on Wednesday). That is one hell of a trip, and my understanding is the fine folks at LOT decided to scream at her instead of apologizing profusely for such egregious cancellations, re-routings, and baggage-losing.

Anyway. Nanny is gone. Girl started Estonian daycare last week, and Husband took this week off to rearrange the house. Girl finally has her own room, Boy moved up to Nanny's room (his own bathroom and everything), and we surrendered and turned the living room into a giant playroom. Seven-year-old me would be so jealous.

Girl is certainly a more relaxed person than Boy, but she hasn't been in daycare since she was a newborn and doesn't yet speak Estonian, so I was nervous. No need. Her report card thus far:

  • Joyful smile
  • Very well-behaved
  • Eats well
  • Dances during music class
  • Naps like a pro
  • Hates to wash her hands or her butt (no wipes, I guess?)
  • Will not walk to the park using the rope; insists on being carried or holding hands
Unlike Estonian children, Girl has not been potty-trained even though she is at the advanced age of almost 19 months. As for the walking, I haven't said anything about it, but she knows adults would normally freak if she walked into the street on her own. When she's intimidated, she wants to be held. I imagine walking down a sidewalk and crossing a street is a bit initimidating. To her school's credit, they aren't too worried about this and noted that she is, of course, the youngest one in the school. I don't want to be the parent who refuses to make the teachers' lives any easier, though, so at the very least we will practice spraying her little tush down with the bum shower (as the men of the house call the very European sprayer). The American in me shrugs at the hand washing and thinks, "She's small! Just make her do it. Ignore the screams," but from what I can tell the Estonians do put a premium on voluntary cooperation. I don't know that my kids are capable of such a thing, but I'll try.

Which brings me to Boy. At the risk of jinxing absolutely everything, we've gone most weeks with barely a negative remark from his teachers. He still gives us hell at times, but more often than not he's just ridiculous. His teacher mentioned the current challenge is his bug obsession. He collects all the bugs he can find on the playground, lays on his back, puts them on his chest, and let's them wiggle around on him. At home, he does such charming things as place two plastic bowling pins between his legs and declare, "My junk has engines!" (a la rocket engines). Someday he will HATE me for putting that on the internet, but I feel like that's his own fault for saying his junk has engines. Actually, at the time I placed the blame solely on Husband having taught him the word "junk" in such a context. 

Maybe it's the sun and the mild temperatures and all the outdoor time that comes with it, and maybe it's that he'll be four years old in just a few weeks, but perhaps we can hope against hope that he's turning a corner. Neither Husband nor I expects that Boy will suddenly be cooperative and have superior (or any) listening skills, but as long as the violence dissipates and the tantrums become fewer and farther between, he's headed in the right direction.

I'll take it.

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