Am I being a bit too protective? Well, too bad. I'm already the funny foreign mum at school anyways, the one that writes cursive differently, has different ways to work out maths problems, dares to complain about the quality of the teaching, doesn't understand that any weather under 15 degrees REQUIRES a beanie and gloves and scarf on your child without exception, sends her kids to bed at 8.30pm instead of letting them stay up as long as they want, yadda yadda yadda.
Otherwise we are pretty much moseying along. Jem is on a work trip to Lisbon (yes, I mean Portugal) this week and I am just a tad envious. I have made him promise to bring back a baked custard tart. I read somewhere once that custard tarts in Lisbon are one of the 100 things you HAVE to eat before you die. Can't complain too much though, because I'm preparing for field work in Brazil in November, this time we are taking a professional cameraman, so I'm on a crash course of "documentary making for dummies" at the moment. Steep learning curve there.
After a few stressful summer-learning experiences, we decided to put Mik into a very formal pre-school coaching situation this school year, where he is learning to sit at a desk and listen to the teacher and sharpen his pencil and read and write. With great trepidation we saw him off on his first day, wishing for our friendly montessori madness. Amazingly, Mik is seeming to thrive in this structured environment. He totally digs the fact that he is big enough to learn in a "grown up" way, and the thing he wants most in the world is a school bag and lunch box to accompany the experience. So wonders will never cease!
And one final note - I now have a wheelie bin, and I am daily excited by this luxury! For the last ten years we have been hassled by the daily issue of taking the rubbish out - for the first few years we could only take garbage bags down to the garbage truck and toss them in the back, when it stopped daily outside our 5 storey apartment block twice a day - once at 8:15am and at 6:45pm. Needless to say, on an average day we would miss the truck - not be home at that time, or would forget, or wouldn't feel like running down five flights with garbage bags, or reticent to stand in the snow and freeze waiting for the traffic to clear so that the truck could get to our stop. Later, we got big dumpsters in the back courtyard, which were almost always full, and still 5 flights down and accessible by trudging through the elements. But last week, our wheelie bin was delivered to our new house. Right outside our front door. Emptied once a week. I can't stop in luxuriating in the fact I can put full bags of rubbish out there whenever I want. As many as I want! I guess you never appreciate the little things till they're gone, do you. Or until they're back again :)