15 08 2008

This morning I noticed that Eliana was being especially perky. I decided at the last minute before I left her at school to take her picture. Just then, her best friend walked into the room. She was quite excited. The other day, when I dropped her off, her friend was very excited to see Eliana. I’m glad that Eliana is making friends.


School Days

30 07 2008

This week, school started for the Chandler Unified School District, and that means that Eliana is back in class. This year, she is in pre-kindergarten class, and as far as I can tell, she is having a blast. Her sister, on the other hand, is seeing things a little differently.

Over the summer, Eliana and Annabelle spent a lot of time together. They went to every class and activity together. They played with each other, they fought with each other often. But now that Eliana is going to school, the mornings are a little more difficult for Annabelle. The morning routing is normal: wake up, eat, clean up and go. But that last part is where it falls apart. This morning, as Eliana and I were ready to walk to the car and head to school, Annabelle wanted to go too. She put on her dress as Eliana was getting dressed for schoool. As Eliana walked out the door, she thought she would go too. She went to get he diaper so she could go out. As I was walking out the door, she said she wanted to go to school, too. I told her that she had to poop in the toilet in order to go to school.  She immediately headed to the bathroom. She took me a little too literally, I suppose. When she returned, she was sad that her efforts were done in vain as Eliana and I were in the car, rolling out of the garage. I saw Annabelle’s sad face, and felt a little bad for her.  I remember as a kid, I always just wanted to get out of the house…often.

I understand that Annabelle wants to go everywhere with her sister. But, what she doesn’t realize I guess is that she now gets to spend a little one on one time with her mom. I’m sure her mom is really excited.

Turning the Tables

11 04 2008

It’s been a long week for me. I’ve had a ton of work, flew to Portland for a few days, and today, I had to take care of my girls morning routine. This is something that normally is handled by their mother. But, since I was out of town for three days, I figured I at least owed her a little break from the kids.

The morning was as normal, everyone scurrying around trying to get the kids dressed for school. Since Annabelle had a Little Gym class, she had to be clothed as well. I think my mere presence helped keep things on track, as the girls listed fairly well. Then, it was off to drop Eliana off at school. I do this twice a week, normally, so no big deal. It was tough to make sure both of them didn’t wander off too far on the walk across the parking lot at school.

After the first stop, we had about one hour before the Little Gym class, so we stopped at McDonald’s. I have never been to McDonald’s so often in at least 10 years. It is fairly handy to have a place with a play area for Annabelle.  As soon as we walked in the door, she bolted directly for the play area. She had a blast for about 10 minutes; then she became a little bored. At least some other kids showed up to keep her interest while I worked for most of the hour.

Next, we headed to the Little Gym. I’ve been to her class before, and Annabelle is such a free spirit in these parent-tot classes. It’s tough to get her to follow along with the rest of the group, but I do think she is making progress.  The class is very structured, and Annabelle is picking up on the structure. Today, she knew about the bells, and the balls and wanted to take part in those parts of class. She wasn’t too interested in the skill of the day, or with playing with the other kids.

Afterwards, it was back to the school to pick up Eliana. We arrived with a few mintues to spare, so we waited with the gathering crowd of pre-school moms. I was the only dad in attendance. Eliana was the second person in the line today, and something amazing occured when Eliana walked into view.  As soon as Annabelle saw Eliana, she ran yelling “Oni! Oni!” (Big Sister in korean). She gave her a big hug. And Eliana gave her a hug back. Sisters, indeed. It was a short, cute and nice moment to watch. I think those two will have a bond for life as the grow together.

But, back to the crazy morning, I packed everyone back into the car, and headed home. I gave them some snacks their mom had prepared, and everyone was happy, and a little sleepy. I wasn’t too bad; in fact, I thought the morning had gone off pretty well. It was nowhere near the hazard I imagined it to be considering how beat my wife looks after doing this all the time. either way, it was interesting to live the other side of the coin today and see a little of what goes on while I’m toiling away at work everyday.

Preschool is the new Kindergarten

12 02 2008

Last week, I had my first parent-teacher conference with Eliana’s preschool teacher. As with many first things, I was unsure of what to expect. I thought back to my days in school when my mom would meet my teachers, which probably wasn’t as often as it should have been, but was all she could muster from her busy schedule. I didn’t go into it thinking the worst: that Eliana was a bad kid, or shy, or disruptive. But, those thoughts do creep into the back of your head from time to time.

I was a little taken back when I first started talking to her teacher that she had this list of "tests" and "evaluations" that Eliana gets graded on. Now, these are anything like standardized tests, but they are more to gauge how well Eliana is developing in certain areas. Are her hand-eye coordination skills lacking? No. Does she correlate counting with objects? Yes. Can she cut a sheet of paper straight with no help? Sort of. Either way, I was certainly happy to hear that she is at or above where she needs to be for her age level. That’s about all I can ask for.

After a few questions, the topic of next came up. Currently, Eliana’s school is going through a few changes. They are going to be offering all day preschool because they received some funding from the state of Arizona. At this point, all day preschool is pretty much just daycare. But, even normal preschool was supposed to be a sort of day care, with a little bit of mental stimulation.  I was in favor of sending her to preschool to help her be social with other kids her age on a regular basis. But, then I reflected and mentioned that back when I went to school, all this stuff Eliana is doing at age 3/4 is what I was doing at 4/5 (or so my mom tells me). I asked "Is preschool now, like kindergarten then?" She responded, "yes". Most everyone else tries to get their kids ahead of everyone else by getting them into school early. It’s the sensible thing to do to help your children.

In all, our conference was a good way to see how Eliana is doing in class. It’s great to know that she is happy, well adjusted, social and talkative.  That is all I can ask of my children.