Monday, November 30, 2009

Second First Week

Well, we have another week of First Things.

Last Saturday, JJ had his First Play Date. Our dear friends Yongmei and Richard offered to meet us for lunch at JoJo Tapei and then take JJ to the Children's Museum along with her son Niles (JJ's First Friend, although JJ doesn't know it yet) and Selena (Niles' mei mei - aka little sister). It was a very nice family lunch and Joe and I got to try a new restaurant. You know a place is pretty close to authentic if 80% of the clientele is Chinese!

On Sunday, we had another First. The First Playground Play Date. We met up with the Lost Family from the China trip. They leave a few blocks from us so we met at their place, then walked to one of the many wonderful Brookline playgrounds and the fun ensued. Ok. So. JJ will never be a batter or a pitcher. Forget baseball. Ahem. But he's awesome at sliding down slides in all manner of contortions along with 4 other boys. Good grief! I never saw such a thing. Up the tube, down the tube, on the outside of the tube, inside the tube ... at the same time and in opposite directions. All I have to say is "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye...". Thankfully, everyone's eyes were intact.

Then onto JJ's First Birthday Party of our dear friend Jane's who turned 50. And there, JJ had his First Birthday Cake! Not sure how he liked it. Didn't seem too terribly enthused but he ate the whole piece.

Monday was JJ's First Field Trip with his class to the Boston Skywalk at the Pru. Don't really know how he liked it since I couldn't ask and he could say.

And then we had JJ's First School Bus Ride. Man. Were they off schedule!! The mentioned 7:30 am pick up was more like 7:37am. I rode the bus to school with him and went for a run from there. 4.1 miles felt great. Then in the afternoon, I walked to the school and got on the bus and rode it home. Interestingly, I thought the bus would be late for it's 2:40 pick up time. Especially since I passed it on my way to JJ's school. It was waiting at the Devotion School up the street from us. But it arrived right on time!

So, the bus was supposed to let us off at Devotion around 3:00. I had told Ms Chen to meet us at 2:50. Boy was I wrong. It was more like 3:15. We made 3 stops before we got there, all on the other side of Brookline! And then onto a fourth stop that was in another different area! ARG!!! This really cuts into JJ's homework time. Serious homework time! It seemed they were dropping kids off right around their homes. For crying out loud!!!

Ok. We survived the bus. JJ was major-league bored. Of course not having someone explain to him what's happening probably made it worse for him.

And on Tuesday, JJ rode the bus alone. He rode it to school and from school and Ms Chen met him at the bus stop. He is also more willingly doing homework. Positive reinforcement and a constant reminder from his Mama on why he needs to learn English seems to be working.

Tuesday afternoon, JJ brought home his First Project. He brought home Happy Thanksgiving cards he had made for me and Joseph. Mine said "thank you for taking good care of me" and under the English were the Chinese characters that said the same thing. Joseph's said something about talking to him every night. I assume that Ms Tang, the ELL teacher, helped him with the translation but it was all in his own handwriting. Even Ms Chen was touched.

Wednesday Morning, we experienced the First Third Grade Event - a breakfast for students, teachers, parents, etc etc etc. I had made banana bread the night before but it broke. GAH! So I made apple bread and promptly forgot the butter. It turned out surprisingly good! So I'm leaving butter out from now on. Less caloric! And afterwards, I went over to collect the carcass and it was gone. Not a single crumb was left! Anyway, we met some parents and JJ's teacher sat with us. He is still wandering around the classroom. I was a bit annoyed because it's not just about JJ. It's about disruption to the class! We are going to have a discussion about how it's not all about him, yes I know he is bored, well, maybe he wouldn't be if he would practice his English, blah blah blah general-nagging-mama-stuff...

We did have this discussion before. So I guess we need repetition. So while she was talking, I got annoyed. And I looked to see him staring at me, charting the course of the conversation through my face and he knew I wasn't happy. Interesting. So after, I told him that he cannot walk or wander in class when the teacher is talking or when kids are doing a group project etc. And when he got home after school, he proudly told me how he "listened to the teacher, didn't walk around, wander or roam!" I was so proud!

Wednesday afternoon, we took the First Long Car Ride to the Mountains. We went to the Berkshires to spend Thanksgiving with Ye Ye and Nai Nai. JJ sat in the back with the Dingle Doggie. LOL. It was truly uneventful until the dog decided to stretch out across the back seat. And of course, on top of JJ! LOLOL!

Thursday was the First Thanksgiving. It was filled with lots o' food, lots o' family, lots o' fun, and of course, the First Cough and First Sore Throat followed by the First Cold. I was glad it wasn't the First Flu or the First H1N1. That would have been very bad. I don't know about you but sometimes too much food, family, and fun equals a lot of stress! It was also the first time JJ had no Asian food or noodles in 5 or more days. I don't know if it was the cold or too much unfamiliar food, but we also had the First Refusal to Eat which led to the First Desire to Go To Bed Really Early. Especially since it was shower night and he wanted to. Must have been sick.

Anyway, we arrived home Sunday. We told him Saturday we were going home "tomorrow" and he seemed happy about that. He asked me again, "tomorrow, go home?" I said yes. And he smiled and said it again.

So that was it. He is still learning his ABC's and is vocalizing more English on his own.

Joe's mom is great. She gave me advice on learning to read books and how to keep it simple for him. She is also a great observer and she's given me a lot of insights into how he is doing. One thing she said was he may not want to say a word in English because he knows it's not perfect. I've been correcting his speech. But based on that info, I'll correct him less and only when I don't understand what he's saying.

And of course Joe's dad and JJ just get along great. Just like 2 peas on a pod. I can't even describe it.

Oh. On Thanksgiving morning, Joe, his sister Judy and I ran a race. JJ and Ye Ye came out to watch and support. And I guess that is JJ's First Race Spectating Event.

I thought that was worth mentioning. :o))

Onto the First Race, First Christmas and First New Years.

Talk to you in a few weeks.

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