Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jack Becomes a Preschooler

We celebrated Ethan’s Kindergarten debut on September 4th, and Jack went to preschool for the first time on Tuesday, September 11th. Our baby is in school! Although he is willful and disobedient at home with us (I considered getting his hearing checked until I realized that my voice is the only one on the planet that he “can’t” hear), Teachers Carole and Colleen assure me he is an angel at school. For now. He was so cute with his little Thomas the Tank Engine snack bag, posing for his pictures. He actually didn’t really see what the fuss was about, because he thinks he’s already been going to school for two years now, with Ethan. He’s done all the field trips, been there for party days, and knows the teachers and some of the kids. When I was hovering over, trying to give him a goodbye kiss, he was swatting me off like an annoying fly. So I left, but as I did I noticed a fair number of the first-time preschool moms staring at me in disbelief – “She’s just LEAVING her child here?” I think they may intend to stay in class for the whole month of September, to make their child’s (their own?) transition “easier”. Both Ethan and Jack have been really ready to start school, so I’ve been lucky and avoided any separation anxiety from them.

And as for me, although I was ready with a box of Kleenex for the first time they were both in school at the same time (Thursday they overlapped for 45 min), my emotions could best be described as… Glee? Joy? Liberty? I was so excited for them both, and so proud, and also so relieved to have a little time to myself. I am working on another blog post to describe a day in the life of me and the boys. When that is published, perhaps you will see how precious 45 minutes can be!

Ethan is settling in so nicely at his school. He really likes it, and there are some great moms in his class, too, which is good for me. During his first parent-teacher interview, he passed the writing assessment and the cutting with scissors test with flying colours! Madame said, “Oh, he’s a smart one!” and he’s been trying to live up to that, practicing his francais. He even has Jack saying “Comment ca va?” although neither one of them knows quite how to respond next.

Mike got back from Tokyo on Friday, full of stories about Japan, cultural differences, crazy subway maps, amazing food and the welcoming Japanese people. He was gone a week, and although he is jet lagged, I think it was a successful trip. He brought the boys some pretty cool little cars (after Ethan told him on the phone that he did NOT want another shirt, please) and he brought me a very pretty Montblanc necklace and some tasty little green tea and chocolate cakes. His birthday was weird this year – he left for Japan at 6 am on the morning of his birthday so it doesn’t feel like we’ve celebrated properly yet. Maybe once he wakes up, we’ll plan a night out. Anyone want to join us?

My brother Ben and his girlfriend Renee are engaged! They were in Paris, at the top of the Eiffel Tower, when Ben surprised Renee with a proposal. We’re very excited for them! They arrive home today so we plan on surprising them at the airport with Congratulations signs and a little hoopla. No date set yet, as far as I know, but I’ll keep you posted!

In other news, my girlfriends’ club (the 25 Club) is in the midst of planning our activities for the next year. We meet once a month on the 25th, and each month we do something different. These are my dear friends I have had forever – Carrie, Chantal, Ivana, Kim, and Marzia. The most recent addition to our group came in 1993 I think – that was Ivana, so even she has been with us for 14 years. Shanty, Mar and I have been together since Grade 6, and Carrie and Kim came into our group through spouses and friends, also in the early 90s. This month I am so excited, I am hosting a chocolate tasting party for us. I can’t think of a more perfect evening! I’ll report back later this month to tell you our favourite chocolates.

I also have another group of friends who I get together with semi-regularly – Jen, Jas, Sonia, Shannon, Breanne, Debbie, Tracy. We call ourselves the Experience Club, and we’ve done Pole Dancing, weekends away, Bhangra dancing for Diwali, snow shoeing and lots of lunches and Starbucks coffee evenings. Next on our agenda is a mini-boot camp session. We always have a ton of laughs and lots of food. Brie anyone?

Rounding out my social calendar is my Book Club – me and three other ladies who have been getting together on the first Wednesday of each month for about three years. I met Kristy through a class we took together at the YMCA – Baby Music for Jack and her son Magnus. Through Kristy, I met Christy and Brenda. It’s fun to read the books, but we also talk about our families a lot (we have six children and many nieces and nephews between us) and have a movie night here and there, too.

These first few weeks of school have been very busy, with lots of driving back and forth. The kids also started another round of swim lessons at the YMCA, and began daycare at Milli’s on Wednesdays, the day I work. It will take us some time to adjust to a morning schedule, leaving the house by 8:20, but I love having school done by 11:30 – I’m so happy we got the morning classes!
Until next week!

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