Thursday, January 15, 2015

Andrew skates

This week Andrew started skating lessons with his Kindergarten class.  They only have 4 sessions total, but I think it’s an awesome introduction to skating, and it’s something I love about school - he’s getting into activities that I might not be inclined to get him into on my own.  I know one might argue that skating is a stereotypical ‘Canadian’ thing to do, but the truth is I don’t personally know how to skate.  Like, at all.  I went skating a few times in my childhood, but never enough to get truly comfortable balancing on the ice.  Let’s put it this way, the last time I went skating was on my Dry Grad night (so...um...in June of 1998…) and I may or may not have used one of those bars that little kids usually use for skating.  So yeah...I wish I could take Andrew skating but the truth of the matter is, not being able to skate myself means I can’t unless I enroll him in a class.

At the skating rink we’re going to with his school, they don’t believe in those bars because they don’t feel you learn properly unless you just get out there on the ice and start trying.  Almost all the kids did awesome today, despite it being many kids’ first time on the ice.  Andrew went skating twice with his nana in the past, but not enough to really ‘know how to skate.’  He hadn’t been for ages, either.  Yet within about a minute he had mastered how to get back up when he fell, and it wasn’t long at all before he was (slowly but surely) skating around!  I remember when I was little, even WITH the bar I tended to want to stay close to the sides of the rink for fear that if I ventured out too far into the middle I may never make it back again.  Not Andrew, he hardly ever came BACK to the sides!  I was really impressed.  With the other kids, too.  I really love the kids in Andrew’s class and I feel I’ve gotten to know them a little bit over the school year so far, and I enjoyed seeing their different skill/comfort levels on the ice.  I was surprised to learn that a few of them are excellent skaters already, and one little boy is already in a figure skating class and he was doing amazing.  I was envious of his skill, TBH!

My mom spent the day at our house, and looked after the girls so I could take Andrew to the rink.  I also drove 3 of his classmates, and the teacher!  It went well and the kids were all good.  The teacher felt she should go with me since I had no one as a helper and she thought 4 kids might be overwhelming.  I enjoy her company so it was nice to ride with her, but I hadn’t even thought of being overwhelmed with 4 in my car!  I guess because I typically have 3 with me anyway LOL.  I’m used to a zoo full, it’s my life!  It’s true, 4 Kindergarteners is a different type of handful than a 6 year old and two 2 year olds, but still.  I could handle it!

That being said, I was COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED once all was said and done.  We came home and brought one of the kids with us that I’d drove, because he lives around the corner from us and I thought it’d be a nice break for his mom to not have to walk to the school to get him, since she has another child she has to bring with her, and it was so cold out.  So Andrew had a little play date after school, which was pretty cute.  It was with one of the boys who came to his birthday party, so he was already comfortable being at our house.  We walked him home after and hung out at his house for a few.  It’s so nice to feel connected to some people who live right in the neighbourhood.  Sadly, we don’t have many connections right in our area, but having Andrew in school has made a huge difference, and it’s pretty cool that his new routine has also helped us along in making some new friends.

Andrew has been doing really well in Kindergarten.  His teacher is always telling me little things he says and does that she loves.  Yesterday she told me that he’s wise beyond his years, and is an old soul.  I’ve had so many people tell me that, since he was a little baby.  He’s always seemed like an old man in a little body.  She said he grasps certain concepts that are not typical for a person his age to understand.  On the one hand I think it’s just him and that’s how he is, but I also think part of it is how we talk to him.  Not patting myself on the back or anything, to me the stuff we chat about is stuff I’d expect any and every parent to discuss with their kids, but I realize that’s not necessarily so.  For example, it’s apparently unusual that a child Andrew’s age can fully understand the concept of a ‘resolution’ and the fact that it’s about bettering one’s self.  The act of bettering one’s self usually goes over their heads.  But when his teacher asked the kids to give an at-school and an at-home resolution for the year, Andrew right away had his answers and they were definitely resolutions.  The thing is, to me I guess I don’t find that hugely impressive, because we talk about resolutions each year at new year time, so he’s been exposed to the idea of what they are for a few years now.  I guess more so it makes me wonder what parents talk about with their children?  Or maybe it’s that a lot of families aren’t sitting down and spending enough quality time together?  This is something I love about dinner time.  While right now (and for a while now) it’s been a bit of a gong show for us as there are often screaming children and arguments about who needs to eat what and how much and so on, it’s also a time that’s so important for us to talk about our days.  We occasionally have a casual meal where we just eat in the living room (and feed the girls from our plates) but I’d say 98% of the time (at least) we sit at the table and it’s a time when we talk about things, such as resolutions, or whatever is on our minds at the time.  

Anyway...I enjoy hearing from Andrew’s teacher what she thinks of the things he says, and she definitely thinks very highly of him.  He’s a really good boy at school, plays by the rules and is good with the other kids.  When Kindergarten first started he basically latched onto one of the lunch monitors and she was his best friend and he shadowed her every day at recess and lunch.  Now, he has a group of friends that he likes to play soccer with every day, and while he still enjoys saying hi to the monitor and might share a few thoughts with her, he primarily plays with his friends.  So I’m happy there’s progress being made there.

Initially we thought we’d want to move to a different area before the girls start Kindergarten, but now I’m crossing my fingers that we continue to have quiet neighbours (as we currently do on both sides) and nothing else major goes wrong with our place, because I kind of want the girls to be in Andrew’s teachers’ class for Kindergarten!  She’s already talked about teaching long enough for them to be in her class, and I’m really hoping it can happen.  (They got Minnie Mouse backpacks from my parents for Christmas and wear them to school in the mornings now and act as if they’re already a part of the class!)  I really love Andrew’s school, and more importantly, he loves it, and I think it would be great to give him the opportunity to stay at that school long term.  Of course, I know things can change, and I’m open to that, too.  A lot of the kids in his class are in rentals like ours, which I guess means all our situations are potentially less stable than if we owned, so who knows if Andrew will grow up with a lot of these same kids he’s started out with.  Regardless, it’s nice to feel good about where we’re at right now.

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