Saturday, September 10, 2005

Aidan started school at Clarendon 2 weeks ago. We were very fortunate to get our first choice in S.F.'s school lottery. Literally we won the lottery. Supposedly Clarendon was on over 1/4 of the applications they received for Kindergarteners this year. Aidan is in the Japanese Bilingual program - which means he will learn origami, perhaps some Tiko Dojo drumming (in 3rd grade) and so far how to say good morning "ohayo" (say ohio) and good bye "sayonara" and teacher "sensi" and he claims to have learned how to say "wow" in japanese - but forgets. So if there are 180 days in the school year and he learns 3 words in 9 days - well I don't think he will be quite fluent by the time he finishes up in 5th grade... but I am planning on his being able to help mommy navigate around Japan on a graduation trip. Mrs. Morimoto his teacher seems absolutely great (altho I have to say most Kinder teachers are pretty wonderful). Aidan freaked out about the Cafeteria after lunch on day 2 so for the rest of the week he got to eat AT HER DESK with her instead. I wasn't convinced he would ever be pursuaded to give up her company for the loud bewildering lunch room again but somehow she did it and he has had a week without trauma in there now. I think his least favorite thing about school (other than the lunch room and not knowing anyone) is DEAR time. Which as far as I can tell is quiet time the kids are supposed to sit and look at books. Many of these books mind you Aidan has actually read before. But Aidan has never had any interest in looking at a book by himself. Many other children (including his brother) happily grab a book and spend time looking at the pics or telling themselves the stories. Not Aidan! He "can not read" so why on earth would he pretend? I have started reading more factual books to him (all about birds or sharks or tide pools or trains most recently) and he is quite interested and has great retention for facts. We love the Magic School Bus books. He also can actually sound out words if he cares too. He just doesn't particulary want to. We have also recently been enjoying the Junie B Jones chapter books and finished up Charlotte's Web a few months back. He isnt' much interested in playing by himself or otherwise entertaining himself so not wanting to sit down with a book goes along with that I suppose.

Quincy and Aidan (mostly) play amazingly well together. The also play well on playdates when another child comes into the mix. Sometimes Quincy has been left out - but he is fine about playing by himself fortunatley. I am always interested to see when Aidan has playdates that he mostly follows the other child's lead. I am not sure if he is just content enough with leading play with his brother that it allows him to be happy to have someone else directing or if he if just truly a follower. Time will tell I suppose. I ask Quincy most days if he "played with anyone at school today". He mostly says no. I know this not to really be true as once a week I am there and see him. He does however pretty much do whatever activity interests him at the moment - and if there is someone else doing it as well then he is happy to engage with them. I have seen the other kids ask him to play - and if he is interested he agrees and if not he says no. He truly seems content within himself in a way that I am a bit envious of. Lucky kid. Last week he and I were home alone all week. He sorely missed having his brother to play with! "when is Aidan coming home?!" was a frequent refrain. I just wasn't that fun I don't think. Oh well. He is quite cuddly with me and always tells me (in a funny voice) "I love my little mama".

We bought Aidan some shoes last weekend that actually FIT. Lace ups. And he now is quite quick at tieing his laces. We need to buy him a bike that fits. The 12" he learned on is so so small (it fits Q nicely however) and the 20" Pete got used is just too big. So this weekend we may invest $65 at Toys R Us in a 16" bike. We know Q will get to use it too. Q needs to actually learn to propell himself forward. He just doesn't have the drive that Aidan had to bike or scoot or want to play soccer. He does really really well at kiddie yoga however.

We went to Ringling Bros Circus last weekend. There were quite a few protesters outside protesting their use of animals. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about the use of animals altho I certainly didn't like them standing there trying to say things to my kids. Pete says that we need Ambassadors that will help people care about saving animals (a rationale for zoos). I know that I would have no interest in the human life on the road with the circus (or any other travelling act for that matter) and I am sure it is hard for both animals and humans - and I am sure that they do their best to keep the animals fairly happy and healthy - it is clearly in their best interest to do so. Pete and I both walked away with the sense that the circus hasn't changed much since our dim childhood memories of attending performances. I have seen perhaps 3 or 4 different Cirque De Soliel shows and they are all so incredibly unique and wonderful. The kids seemed to like the Clowns best interestingly enough. Quincy cited the opening husband and wife act of being shot out of a huge canon as his favorite. Aidan cites a clown skit. We all had a good time.

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