Lucky Mom

May. 26, 2007

My Son’s School Scares Me

My son Alec, who is still 3 years old, is now attending a Montessori school here in Austin. (He went to a great Montessori in the Seattle area and figured we’d keep him in the same type of school since he seemed to do well and enjoyed it.)

For those of you who may remember my sheer gut-wrenching trauma at Alec just attending school, you know, I couldn’t imagine him not being with me every second of every day for fear he would be injured/sad/happy to be away from me…well, let’s see, times have changed. I have another kid, moved across the country and a few other time stealers.

Now, I pretty much kick him to the curb each morning by slowing down the car just enough to ensure he lands on both feet, then throw him his lunch box out the window as I’m peeling out of the school driveway to get to my 'next appointment.'

Well, I’ve admittedly been a bit busy lately with packing AGAIN in prep for moving into our new home, fighting to get out of our rental house lease, getting vehicles licensed in Texas, insurance matters resolved, trying to sell our Seattle home, negotiating with contractors, and oh, taking care of an infant.

So, when I’d scream into the school parking lot to retrieve him, I not only had 0 idea what he learned that day but usually was on my mobile phone crying to my mortgage broker and would robotically hand Alec a box of raisins and a bottle of water to shush him while I did my phone business.

So, the school had been inundating us lately with e-mails, papers, reminders etc. about some event that was to occur last week which I sadly paid approximately no attention to except to know I had to take Alec and a fruit plate to some park at 5:30pm.

O.k fine.

What I’m finally getting at is Alec kept saying things lately, like Priviet, Jambo, Ohio etc. He also kept singing weird sh*t.

Annoyingly, I ask him to quit talking gibberish, he’s nearing age 4 for crying out loud. My husband heard him and said “Wait, I think he just said ‘hello’ in Japanese or Russian but hell, I don't know".

Well, this appointment at the park was actually a Spring International Celebration of the World and consisted of the kids singing Happy Birthday in 18 languages including Ethiopian, Portuguese, Mandarin etc. etc.

They also learned to say 'Hello' along with various other common phrases in pretty much way too many languages.

I just played along like I of course knew all this but in actuality was and am, stunned.

I was also advised that we parents need to continue teaching our kids math over the summer so they won’t lose what they learned. Huh? Math? Continue?

This school scares me. If Alec starts asking me questions in Swahili, I’m doomed. I thought I was a hot mom by teaching Alec a few utterances and numbers in Spanish.

He’s going to think I’m an idiot.

I’ve got to go. I need learn 16.8 new languages, pretty much now.

8 Comments Posted (Add Yours)

1

Hi, Kristine,
When are you going to get that contract for writing a column for a (parent/children) magazine?
I love your writing! You make me laugh so hard. Your sense of humor is amazing and the way you get it on paper is a real talent. I'm so glad you can share it with so many. Keep up the good work and good luck on all the "stuff" you are trying so hard to get to turn out right - it all will, I'm sure. And when it's over, you can relax. Congrats to Alec, too, for all he's learning - it sounds like a fun school.

2

Again, you are too funny! Hey, at least you showed up at the park on time, fruit plate in hand. Could have been worse! How do they say "fruit plate" in Japanese?

3

Going from 1 Montessori school to another can be scary - they are as different as the people running them (and there is no standards body). That said,
your comments bring back memories of my own children in pre-school saying 'Merry Christmas' in a variety of languages. Maybe they knew what they were saying - I certainly didn't. Lots of fun. -Lex
(Port Moody / Coquitlam Montessori)

4

This is the first time I have ever responded to anything on-line but I did a double-take when I read your story. We moved to Austin less than two years ago from Seattle where my then-4-year-old daughter attended an amazing Montessory School. So we enrolled her in one here too, although it doesn't sound like the one your son goes to - no new languages unfortunately. But it was a great way to meet the families in the neighborhood which made up for a curiculum that didn't come close to what we had in Seattle. Anyway, I read some more of your stories and had to laugh at how much we have in common. I had the same reservations about moving to what I thought was going to be cowboy country and have been pleasantly surprised. I had been in Seattle for 15 years, married and had my first child there and had a tough time following my husband and his new job to this part of the world. Since arriving, we have had another child and are trying to do the career / family dance at
an age where most people are expecting there first grandchildren. Anyway, I was checking out the listings for mom's groups (particularily for "older" moms)in the area and ran across your stuff. Maybe we'll run across each other sometime and share some stories. Good luck.

5

Christy,

I'll ask Alec and get back to ya~

6

Kristine:
That was a great read that you wrote! You should write in all of your spare time. I took a writing class last year, four decades after my last real writing assignment, and came to the conclusion that writing is not easy in fact it is a lot of work. However, some seem to have a talent for putting words together and I think you are one of them. I could see, feel, hear, live, and almost taste what you experienced. Bravo to you! You should write more and more often!!
Keep up the good work! Send more!!

Love, Karen (Sonja Schoenleber's sister)

7

Sonja & Karen,

Wow, I wish you cats were the hiring folks at the various mags as I'd be sure to have a job!

Thanks for reading and commenting,
Kristine

8

Oh I'm sure you'll be writing for a magazine in the future. You seem to know what you're doing. You write as if you are talking to each of us individually, & that it talent, my dear. I look forward to your stories. I'm certainly going to keep in contact with you no matter where you are, so I can one day say, "I know that girl!!" Anna

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