Big Ive’s First Day of German Kindergarten – 15 August 2012

Big Ive started at the German Kindergarten on Wednesday, August 15, 2012.

It had been 7 weeks since she’d been in the building because of the summer break and our travels.  She was excited about going, but I think she thought it was going to be like it had when I followed her around on Friday afternoons.  She wasn’t ready to be independent and go away from me sitting on the “Mom Bench”. [[“Mom Bench” is the wooden park bench they have in the hallway outside of the first classroom.  They call it the mom bench because moms (and dads) sit there waiting for their child(ren).]]  I was trying to be as uninvolved as she would let me, but she was being clingy.  She really wanted to play but was afraid and apprehensive to be without me.  Which is kind of funny because it seems like all she wanted to do was play withOUT me on Friday afternoons and here she was only wanting me WITH her.

Still puffy eyed from sleeping, eating “flocken” (Haferflocken = oatmeal).

She is such an independent little girl.  I wish I could describe this sauntering stride she has when she’s going places.  You can just see she’s on a mission.

The grandparents came along for this momentous occasion.
And to help with Little E.

Little E chillin’ in the stroller. 
We had to bring diapers and wipes along because Big Ive refuses our attempts at potty training.  I am going to try that single day toilet training method after I read the book.  Fingers crossed it works!

One of the teachers, who speaks very good English, got paired up with Big Ive.  I think they pair up the new children with one main teacher so they have an adult they get used to and feel ‘safe’ with.  All of the teachers look after all of the children, but this one is especially looking after Big Ive right now in the beginning.

She tried to lure her into the classroom with a puzzle; Big Ive loves trying to do puzzles.  Big Ive thought the puzzle sounded Great!, but she didn’t want to go into the room with the teacher.  After a little convincing she did go to the table and play with the puzzle for a few minutes.

Any Kindergarten would not be complete with out a snack time.
Later, when other kids were snacking Big Ive sat next to one and promptly proceeded to steal his food.  Grapes, I think.  Food thief on the first day.  Great…

The teacher then pulled out the bucket of play dough.  Big Ive loves to play with play dough, as I don’t let her play with it at home.  I don’t want to deal with the mess and cleanup so we never take it out.  Bad mom, I know, but it’s what we do here.  Plus, that 1 year old younger sister who walks and can reach 6+inches onto the table?  Yeah, she’s another reason to not play with play dough at home.

They went outside to play after a bit.  Big Ive did not want to put her sneakers back on for some strange reason.  You usually can’t get her to stop asking to play outside and here she was not wanting to go out.  The teachers asked.  I asked.  Still, “No.”  Then I told her she could play in the sand with a shovel.  That was the best idea Ever to this ginger toddler.  Her face lit up with the word shovel and she tried to run outside with her Housschuhe (inside shoes).  Got her sneakers and hat on and she was off to many adventures on the playground.  After I saw that she was fine without me outside I asked the teacher if I could go for a little bit.  We agreed on an hour, with me returning at 11:30, just in time for lunch.

When they went inside she did end up having a crying fit and they tried to call me.  Our house phone battery was dead — Woops! — and my mobile phone doesn’t get good reception in the part of the house I had it in — Woops!  The teacher got her to calm down when she told them they were going to sing songs in a circle for the 2 birthday kids.  She calmed down and was fine.

Little eaten lunch of fish sticks and tater tots.  The fruit for dessert was a big hit, however.  She ended up staying in the lunch classroom well after all the other kids had left to keep eating fruit.  She finished the grapes and then started in on the honey dew melon.  Apricots were not a favorite that day. 

The lunch teacher told Big Ive to come get her once she finished with the fruit and then she would finish wiping that table off.  It was cute.  I’m glad they allow the children to eat as much or as little of everything they want.  No one forces a child to eat.

And on the walk home she HAD to carry that birthday chocolate bar in her arms and hands the E N T I R E way home.  There was no prying it out of her hands.  I at least convinced her that it was too hot and melty to eat on the way home and to wait until it had cooled off in the refrigerator for a bit.  She seemed ok with that answer.

I don’t know where she came up with this carry it in her armpit move.  It was hilarious.  I think she was treating it like a shoulder bag.  She usually pins her arm to her side to prevent the bag from slipping off.  Anyway, it went from armpit, to hand, to other armpit, to folding it in half in her hands because it had melted so much, to draping it on her forearm.  Funny kid.

She did let me put it in the fridge while she took a nap and promptly requested it once she awoke.  That kid doesn’t forget much.

“Take a pikchure, Mom.  Take a pikchure.”

It was a good start to school for her.  The next day I stayed only about 15 minutes.  She cried as I walked away.  The teacher said she cried for only about 2 minutes and was fine the rest of the day.  The 3rd day she cried for just a minute as I walked away.  I heard her stop crying even before I got to the gate of the school grounds to walk home.  Every day since then it has been me asking for a hug and telling her to say, “Tschuss Mom!”

She loves school.  She loves to play with the kids and toys and games.  She loves the teachers.  LOML and I are so happy that she likes it there and is being immersed in this new language.  The kids like her and play with her and ask for her and are excited to see her.  It makes me smile.

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