Thursday, December 3

School Parties

Attending school functions with all my kidlets, being outnumbered 3 to 1, gives me serious pause. And I've documented some of our less than finer moments here before, so you know what I'm talking about or can just plain empathize.

At Easton's cookie exchange on Thursday, if you asked me in the first 20 minutes whether we'd stay to the end, you'd have gotten a "you gotta be kidding me" smirk. We got there fifteen minutes early since I thought school got out at 2pm but is actually over at 2:30. (This is irrelevant information to keep in my brain since I always meet him at the bus stop close to 3pm.) The party was held in the cafeteria and Morgan utilized the empty space to run a dangerous route back and forth that I was sure would break me. Or her. She'd climb these two steps up to a window (used as Easton's class stage later) and then try to step down ON HER OWN even though her legs' height equals each step's height! Then she'd run straight ahead to the cafeteria entrance where less than 10 yards away is a big stairwell. Argh!!! It was shaping up to be yet another showcase of "How not to mother" in public. Again.

But then we heard bells and carols! The kindergartners were wearing their reindeer antlers, singing "Rudolf", and ringing their bells as they walked the mile long hallway! Very fun and totally adorable! I loved seeing Easton's face light up when he saw me there!!! I am lucky enough to have had parents who made it a priority to attend random functions as I grew up and I remember how happy it made me to see them there in the crowd! The class sang "Rudolf" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and I think we might need to work on Easton's rhythm. Poor kid would always miss the right time to stamp his foot to the "We WON'T go until we get some" part. But he sure tried and the concentration on his face was priceless!

Afterward, all children were invited to make a circle where music was played as a Christmas stocking was passed around. When the music stopped, whoever held the stocking got to go get their parent and the cookie box they decorated to begin taking one of each cookie assortment. McKay's interest wained, Morgan wiggled and hollered in my arms. Easton was fifth from last, being timid with a newly introduced game. His buddy Nolan is his exact opposite. Every time I've ever seen this kid, he's literally bouncing! Cute kid.

Easton chose a table in the way back of the cafeteria that was completely empty. We ate and tried some of the cookies while I tried to limit them to only two. The boys took that to mean they could try a cookie to see if they wanted to finish it. The ones they finished equaled two. Clever. Very clever!

As I prepared to round us up to head out, I got chatting with another mom whom I discovered I'd met via email when requesting a babysitting co-op so us moms can volunteer in the classroom. While we chatted, her twin kindergartners and another little girl desperately wanting a baby sister encircled Morgan and spun her in the stroller around in circles. It looked like a merry-go-round and Morgan loved it! They were a heap of laughter which bought me time. Until the fire alarm began it's test. Time to go!

Easton's teacher held this party early because she is heading home to see her poor mom who is suffering a relapse in her brain cancer and it doesn't look good. As I talked to Easton's teacher tonight at the PX, emotions were very raw and on her sleeve. Please offer a prayer up if you think to, the family could really use some comfort and peace to enjoy this Christmas season! She reiterated that she knows she's been blessed with a nice, mellow class this year because God knows the limits of our individual capacities. I truly love this lady!!!

So one party down, one more tomorrow at McKay's German kindergarten! It's an Advent celebration and they'll also talk about the German tradition of St. Nick visiting and leaving a present in each kid's stocking. I hope to get pictures of their decorations because they've been putting them up all week.

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Some random stuff about the teachers at McKay's school that I find interesting. Frau Bachman used to be a professional belly dancer in East Germany before the Wall came down! I love her! She so genuinely loves what she does and it shows every day! The kids love her guitar playing and singing songs with them. I really like how this school uses music to divert and settle the kids down, such as earlier this week when another mom and I served the kids a mini-Thanksgiving feast on Monday.

A week or so ago, the kindergarten had a professional photographer come do pictures. Man! I wish I'd taken it more seriously because every photo I've seen from the shoot has been really good! A genuine smile from each little kid's individual shots! When I get my scanner for Christmas (right, Ryan?), you'll see McKay's as proof.

Anyhow, one of the other teachers who sometimes wears spicy stuff like punk pink heeled slouch boots or 6 inch purple heels was getting her picture taken when I arrived to pick up McKay. There was something strangely different about her that I couldn't put my finger on! She was wearing a tight black tank top with long hair flowing and was pulling model poses. It was rather comical and a little embarrassing but fit her. She's Russian and is so very sweet that I wish we could communicate better.

Back to my story - a bit later I saw one of the little girls who loves playing dress-up parading around with long flowing hair and I realized it was a wig! The teacher's wig! Man I wished my friend Heike had been there to get a kick out of it with me! I laugh every time I think of it!