Andrew started half days at the school on Wednesday after Canadian Thanksgiving holidays. He had been counting off the days on the calendar and was SOOOOOOO excited to be finally (in his mind) on his way to school.
For the last three days, we have picked him up from school after he eats lunch with his class. This arrangement had been planned in order to ease him in to the school setting and provide extra time for him to settle into our home and family and to adjust from his Ethiopian routine of long afternoon naps. Obviously, we have learned, this plan was NOT Andrew's idea of the way things should be. Every day, sometime after I've brought him home from school, Andrew dons his backback again, comes to me, and--despite his limited English--clearly communicates his desire: "Andrew go school for all done, then home."
The plan is to discuss his progress with his teacher and school administrators after Monday.
Andrew does continue to explore his communicative abilities. We've been playing some ESL games I found online, reading lots of books, and have been purposeful about trying to use as much descriptive and identifying language as possible. He seems very eager to learn, often asking "What's this?" as we go throughout our day.
We have also tried to be consistent in our rule-keeping. While it might be easy to sometimes be more lenient with the "new" kid, especially the one who you waited for and agonized over for so long, but we recognize that such an approach probably wouldn't serve us well long-term. So, Andrew gets his fair share of "No's" and "the Mom look" and the laying out of consequences.
This afternoon, we walked down to the grocery store for a few things. As we were walking down an aisle, Andrew called out to me. A bag of bagels had captured his attention. "What's this?" he asked. I named them. He spoke again. Apparently, he thought he should have those bagels for his lunch at school. Well, I have nothing against bagels. Actually, I'm a big fan. But I am not a fan of the price of the particular bag of bagels that Andrew had discovered. So I told him that we were not buying those bagels, turned, and started back down the aisle. From behind, I hear a familiar voice trying to work his angles: "I love you."
I turned, suppressing my laughter, gave my boy a big hug and informed him that he had all my love, too, but he was not going to have those bagels!
Since we try to keep Fridays as our family fun night, I thought the kids might enjoy a trip to an Ethiopian restaurant. There are several not too far from our house, I was pretty sure Andrew and Jadon would be impressed, and Ethan and Abby are rather curious about all things Ethiopian, so we decided to give it a try. As expected, Andrew and (especially) Jadon dug right in. (Literally, of course, since Ethiopian meals are served without silverware.) Ethan was game to try everything, but he wasn't too successful at finding anything he really enjoyed. As you can see from the picture, Abby mostly just watched!
Then we headed to the pool for family swim time. Unfortunately, the lighting and my camera were not working well together tonight, but you can at least get a taste of the wild adventures that are involved in a Tapper pool experience.