Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Erica is definitely teething! Her cheeks are bright red. That little white spot on her gum is getting bigger and whiter. Mum, I was right! Remember when she was just a few days old and she was crying with a big open mouth like they do and I said, Hey isn't that a tooth? Well I think I was right, her teeth are not far under her gums, showing up as white spots. And here she is, teething much too early - she can't even hold on to her teether properly, I have to sit there and hold it for her while she frantically gnaws on it.

She is also sitting up, leaning forward. And she laughed out loud again yesterday, with indefatigable Amy playing peek-a-boo. She was aniticipating Amy's reappearance, and looking around for her over my shoulder, then Amy would pop up and she'd get just enough of a fright to make a noise, mostly a 'gnnnhhaa' or a nose-blowing noise she's taken to making lately, but then just that once, a real laugh. And then she giggled in her sleep not long after which the girls found so endearing - clearly dreaming about her fun time with her big sisters before bedtime (not that she went to bed, oh no, she took a short nap, then stared up at me with her big eyes until I looked at her, whereupon she grinned from ear to ear and cooed. She stayed awake until her Daddy got home, then some...finally nodding off at around 11:30 again)

Both girls had a parent observation day yesterday.

Lena's was all morning, from 9:15 and scheduled to run until 12:00, but it didn't finish until 12:45 due to some last minute prep and practice for the mothers' performance at the kindy concert. I like going to see what she does at kindy, but really, do they think we have nothing better to do for THREE HOURS? Especially when they didn't do anything that they do on normal days. We played a game together in the hall, a human board game which was fun and really well done.
The kids, acting as board squares, sitting in a circle as the teachers explain the rules
Lena was the 'Take 3 Steps Forward' square
Then they had a bunch of traditional and New Year toys set up in the other rooms and the kids took their parents to play with spinning tops, cat's cradle, cards, and 'kendama', and kind of cup and ball.

Then we had a class meeting with the teacher, in which she spoke in vague terms about the behaviour of the kids, what they have gotten good at (taking turns, sharing, chores etc) and what still needed work, including how some of the girls (Lena and her crew) fussed too much about whether their hair and clothes were labelled 'kawaii' (cute) by their friends or not. Then each mother in turn (and Kanji, the only Daddy) spoke about her concerns or things she thought were working. Japanese people often won't speak up unless everyone has a go in turn! Kanji talked about our worries that Lena wasn't adjusting to kindy the easy way Amy had, and that we were worried that she couldn't speak as well as Amy. The other mothers thought it was great that she could speak English as well, as that it would be to her benefit later. That was nice to hear. And also enlightening to hear the other mothers of Lena's best friend/nemeses that it was much the same for them - their girls also come home complaining that so-and-so said she liked/didn't like me today. So it looks like it really is just silly little girls with no social skills. It hurts her so much though.

Amy's was next, after we went home for a quick lunch. Erica was wonderful through all this, didn't cry once. I fed her once in the hall, and walked her to sleep during the meeting. First, she looked at the pictures on the wall and cooed at them, which was super-cute, if a bit noisy, but at least she wasn't crying. She dropped off to sleep again during Amy's class. I wanted to as well, or at least to sit down, it's a hard slog carrying that heavy baby! In her class, we watched as they first read aloud, then examined a story. Lots of independent thinking going on, but I kind of lost track, as I couldn't hear what the kids were saying very well. It was a mystery story about Who Broke the Vase?

Amy's classroom. Her art work - plasticine turtles

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