When a child first begins kindergarten in Germany, there is a time called “eingewöhnen” – or “getting used to.” This is a chance for the child, and parents, to get used to being in kindergarten. This can last from 3 days up to 2 weeks – however long it takes the child (and parents) to become acclimated to their new environment (ie. not being at home with mommy or daddy).
Usually the first day of “eingewöhnen” involves child and parent visiting the kindergarten and staying for about half and hour, together. Day two would be parent brings child to kindergarten, hangs around a bit, then leaves for about 15-30 minutes. Then comes back for child. The following days would stretch this time out longer and longer, depending on how child reacts to their parent being gone, until child can be at kindergarten the whole time, without being traumatized from separation (parent included).
I am just finishing up my baby’s “getting used to” time. It took longer than I expected, seeing as we are going on in week #2 now.
The first few days, she acted as if she were “home”, but after a few days, the realization set in that I was leaving her there! Tears!
Today, though, was her first full (half) day at kindergarten. Even though we left her in tears, she was able to settle down, and enjoy her day. And it is pretty nice that her brothers are just down the hall, and looking out for her. (They helped comfort her at kindergarten on previous days when I was gone.)
It sounds like she is already starting to use her German (not that I knew that she had any??) but I guess you pick up on language when you hear it around you.
It all started when the boys were very young. They didn’t know how important having wheels are for life, and had to be introduced to the concept. But they quickly caught on…
Soon, however, they outgrew them, and thanks to Papa B, a new set of wheels was provided.
Not long after that —precisely three sets of crocs which doubled as brakes— the low-riders were replaced by running bikes.
But after a while, their knees were up to their chins, and it was time, for the BIG JUMP. So, dad, bought two new-used birthday bikes, thinking they were the same size (never trust advertisers), but finding out after the fact that they weren’t, but thankfully that hasn’t made any difference. With many protests (I’m going to fall!), and reassurances (some kind folks at SHSU bought you some cool knee protectors and cool riding gloves), we were finally able to get them on the bikes. After keeping them up on two runs, they were off…
Fasching are the holidays leading up to Ash Wednesday here in Germany, and nearly everyone celebrates it. Everyone dresses up and has a good time, including the Kindergarten where the boys attend. In the weeks leading up to it, Kristen started prepping costumes for the boys. Apparently the classes had a play and a program and need specific costumes. M was to be a wild boar, and J a duck. What?! Kristen worked her genius. I took some time off and together with Kristen we showed up on the appointed morning. Turns out, we were the only parents there! Nonetheless, we enjoyed it, and the boys loved it, too. They performed just for us!
Kenya is an amazing place. I had been there a long time ago visiting an Aunt and Uncle, and to accept an invitation to a weeklong intercultural studies conference was a no-brainer. To swap stories and experiences with intercultural practitioners from all over the world was truly stimulating. I only wish I could’ve taken my family along, but they wouldn’t have liked the all-night 10 hour layover on the way back.
We finally got some snow… FINALLY! It snowed once, and we hastily shoveled it into a pile for the kids to enjoy, because sure enough, it hasn’t snowed since, and it doesn’t look like it will again. The boys were loving it, Emilie, was not so sure about all this.
Emilie has a love for anything computers… now, how did that happen? Surely, this doesn’t come from MY genes?
The kids continue to grow. Amazingly the boys will soon by five years old. (*did I just say five?*) Emilie is turning into a little queen. Indeed, she expects a certain standard of living.
Yesterday was special, too. I took one of the boys to a nearby castle for a hike, and all us boys are now outfitted with suspenders! Watch out! A new trend is coming!
We picked up our Christmas tree this weekend, at the local hardware store. The tree man used something like a huge pencil sharpener to shave off a bit at the end of our tree. (I think that is supposed to help it soak up the water better and fit in our tree stand??) Then they sent the tree, bottom first, through a little tube with netting on it, to wrap up the tree. This makes for a compact tree, easy to transport home, without damaging the branches.
Once home, we got our tree in the stand and then snipped off the netting. Easy peasy. Oh, but watch out for flying branches.
Then we, and I mean all of us, decorated the tree. Even baby girl helped hang an ornament. (She wouldn’t have it any other way.)
We also have an advents calendar!
I took old baby socks, put numbers on them and then filled them with either a treat or a task (ie. make a present for your teacher, sing Christmas carols together, make cookies for the neighbors). I strung it on our heater… if you cross your eyes and squint, it almost looks like a fire place… :D. Voila!
It’s that time of year… the Christmas markets are back, along with the carousel.
Every Friday, after kindergarten, the boys get a treat for going the whole week. This all began last year when the boys first started kindergarten, and weren’t always excited to go. The carousel was a good reward to get them through the week. But after Christmas time, the carousel was taken down, and we needed to find a different reward. It eventually evolved into ice cream
Up until last week, the boys have still been insisting on ice cream, even though it was freezing outside. I kept trying to convince the boys to try something different… not so cold…
But, alas, I knew the only thing to “break” their pattern would be the carousel.
Hooray! Hooray! Today was the day!!
I pulled out some Christmas decorations today, cut out some snowflakes, and this is what my kitchen window looks like.