L’s debut

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Last Friday was the entrance ceremony at the kindergarten.  I set my alarm for 7a.m., knowing that we’d be late otherwise, and anticipating that I would be responsible for getting the children sorted and ready to go.  The previous night, before nipping off to the gym, I had their bags packed, and their uniforms laid out on top of them on the living room chair all ready.  I hate scrambling around in the morning, especially if I’m half asleep and bleary-eyed, so was glad I had done that.  We had to be there at 9:30, so I told Y we had to be there at around 9.  I feel no guilt for this big fat lie, as consequently, Y sat around for ages saying he was ready, and then as soon as we got in the car, he remembered a myriad of things.  I had already told him we had to leave a little earlier because I didn’t have any skin-coloured tights.  We left the house at 8:57..got to 7/11 and bought the tights, which I’d planned to put on in their loo, but they were cleaning their loo, so it was closed.  Thinking it would be easy enough to put them on in the car, I started going about it.  The ankle part was easy, but although I was wearing a calf-length dress, I still had to hitch it up and lift up my bum to pull the bloody things up.  Parked outside 7/11 doing said operation was harder than anticipated.  We were the fifth family to arrive at the kindergarten parking – SCOOOORRRRRRRRRE!  So we got parked, then made our way over there with about ten tons worth of pre-school baggage and our children. 

As we walked into the playground, it was clear something was amiss.  There were four teachers standing behind desks, each with the class names written on them;  Hiyoko class (chick), Koala class, Usagi class (rabbit) and Panda class.  The teachers standing behind Koala and Panda, I knew.  But the other two teachers..?  Who happened to be standing behind Hikoko and Usagi tables (L’s and H’s classes) were two 12 year olds.  Who are these children, I thought..On closer inspection, they seemed slightly older than I’d first imagined.  Only slightly mind.  But then this is Japan, where people are at least 10 years older than I think they appear to be.  Apart from grannies.  Grannies look old wherever you live.

Anyway, turns out these ARE new teachers.  Oh dear.  I clock H’s face.  She looks pissed off, and may start crying.  L is oblivious because they are all new to him.  I immediately regret playing the “which teacher do you think you’re going to get this term” game 😦  I also feel a bit duped, because H’s last teacher left too, but at least she informed everyone, and they all got to say goodbye to her before she left.  Two of the best teachers have gone with no explanation or goodbyes.  I think that’s crap for the children.  Not really a good example to set for them, teachers just pissing off without a word.  So I immediately imagine dramatic scenarios of why they left, and it entertains me for a while. 

Then we get to the which room to we go to first deliberation.  L wants me to go with him.  Of course, he is a Mummy’s boy.  But H has just spent two weeks at home with me and has forgotten how to say things in Japanese.  Aside from the fact that she has probably seen Daddy for a total of two hours in that time (apart from the weekends).  She has become a Mummy’s girl.  What to do?!?  “Split yourself in half,”she says…

So we all go together to L’s room first, deposit his many bags into the many boxes and lockers, show him around, find his picture is a cute little duck, and then off to H’s room.  She has no picture.  I assume it’s to encourage the children to read their names, but I think it’s a bit sad all the same.  Her room is huge, and her class has 22 students.  L’s room is smaller, but there are only 4 students.  After a really long and boring assembly in the hall, we go outside to have photos taken.  These will all be put into an album that we can get at the end of the year.  I’m quite excited to get H’s!  It’ll be nice that someone has documented her first two years of kindergarten, even if I have to pay for the honour..because it’ll be fun for me to see photos of her that I’ve never seen, and a brilliant keepsake!  So the photos went ok.  L looks like the cool rebel in the class…

Apart from the disappointment of new teachers, the whole thing went quite well.  The children had a little play in the grounds afterwards and I had a chat with the friend that I was supposed to lunch with but still haven’t.  We do chat quite a bit at the drop offs and pick ups though, so I’m glad to have someone there that I can call a friend.  On the way back to the car park, I realised that most of the cars were still there.  Damn my being early/on time plan.  I wished I’d been late because we were stuck right at the back of the car park.  Hungry…hot…fed up…thankfully it only took another 15 minutes or so before we could get out.

So this week has been relatively ok so far.  There have been no tears from L, H OR myself.  L often says that he doesn’t want to go in the morning and throws his hat at me.  But usually, by the time we get there, he’s ok.  He walks across the playground with H and she shows him how to bow and pray to the buddha statue, then escorts him to his room.  Today when I picked him up he was being a little terror though.  First of all, when the teacher called him, he went running off the wrong way so she had to catch him and carry him over, all the while he was wriggling and saying, “や~なや~な!” which is “stop it” in not even a very polite way, then refusing to put his shoes on, etc.  That was slightly uncomfortable.  I think today he was just tired, because despite going to the park straight afterwards (although that probably added to the tiredness), he has been naughty all evening.  I’ve tried to ignore it as much as I can, until he started getting violent, because I know that it’s just his reaction to the change.  We had a calm chat at bedtime tonight and he said he wanted to be in the same class as H.  I’d kind of anticipated this because that was the situation at the temporary daycare that they went to while I worked on Tuesdays.  He always seemed reassured when they were together, which is understandable.  They may argue sometimes, but H looks after him, and they love each other. 

So tonight, after our little chat, he kissed me goodnight and then was asleep in 7 minutes flat.  No more talking, no rubbing his eyes, no wriggling to stay awake, just a goodnight, then a conscious eyes closing and lights out.  As for me, I spent the morning organising old clothes and toys from the store room and feel worn out too.  I’m realising that my child-free mornings are becoming busier, but hopefully once I’m done with the spring cleaning, it’ll give me a chance to get the jobs done faster so I can do some studying/sewing/exercising too.  Happy days, fingers crossed for tomorrow..first packed lunch day!!

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