Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Amy at the kindergarten; Bettina's birthday party

Today, I brought Amy to kindergarten.

Stella wasn't feeling well, so she asked me whether I could take the day off work; as it happened, that worked fairly well, since our connection to the database servers still isn't up after the network switch we had over the weekend (all the workstations are on the new net, but nearly none of the various servers are so far).

So I took Amy there by myself. Only one girl was there so far: Adriana, who speaks German and Polish, with her mother Gosia. (Who was surprised that I "knew" [= guessed correctly] how to spell her name after having heard it. I just thought it sounded Polish, and since it didn't sound quite like [S], it was presumably [s\], which should be spelled <si> in that environment.) Incidentally, I was surprised how well Adriana spoke German when she later spoke to me; I assumed that since her mother spoke Polish to her (and vice versa) that her Polish would be much better than her German. Which it possibly is, but at any rate, her German seemed completely adequate.

Later on, Christine (who speaks Swedish and understands German) and Sana (who speaks Urdu and, to some extent, English—though she's already picked up a little bit of German) came with their father and mother, respectively, so there were four children, and we all had breakfast together there. (Amy sat at a table by herself [well, with me]; she seemed unwilling to sit at the main table with everyone else.)

I talked to Sana's mother, Shama, and asked whether they spoke Hindi at home and she said, yes, well, Urdu actually. I was going to ask how to write Sana's name in Indian, so this was good news as my command of the Arabic script is quite a lot better than of Devanagari :) They're سنا and شما, respectively.

Shama said she speaks not only Urdu (her mother tongue) and English (the language she received all her schooling in), but also Kannada, the official language of Karnataka, the state she's from (she's from Bangalore/Bengaluru). She can also read and write Kannada very well, which (as I understood it) she learned at school; in contrast, she had to learn to read and write her own language more or less by herself, since there's next to no formal instruction in/on Urdu where she comes from. (She also says my Arabic handwriting is better than hers, which I found surprising; since I only learned to read print, rather than handwriting, and I don't have any examples for good handwriting style, mine looks fairly close to type—which led one Arab to say that my handwriting looks like a first grader's.)

After a while, Vivien suggested that I withdraw and not play directly with Amy, since she's supposed to get to know the other children and the teachers and get used to them, rather than to expect me as a playmate, so I went into the kitchen (which adjoined the room where the children were most of the time). Amy still occasionally came to me, but for the most part, she played by herself. (Hardly at all with the other children, but perhaps/hopefully that will change later.) I also suggested to her several times when she came to me for help that she ask one of the teachers during the time she's in kindergarten.

Things went fairly well for about three hours, when she began to grow tired. When that happens, her frustration threshold goes down and eventually she started crying because a doll wouldn't fit properly into the pram, so I decided it was time to go. I took her to the toilet in case she fell asleep on the way home, and though by the time we came back, she was ready to continue playing, I got her dressed and we prepared to leave. (In the mean time, the other girls had all left, too, though two boys had come: a German(?) called Timo and a Lebanese called Hussein.)

Steffi (the leader, aka she of the amber eyes; I has asked her at breakfast time what she would prefer to be called and she said that with most parents, the teachers are on a first-name/"du" basis, and she's fine with "Steffi" rather than "Stephanie") accompanied us to the door. I asked her whether I might give her a hug and she, after apparently thinking about it briefly, extended her arms and so I gave her a quick goodbye hug.

Since the bus wasn't about to come for another few minutes, I set off walking with Amy to another bus stop, from where we would be able to take a bus straight home, without having to change.

Amy stayed awake (and walked on her own for most of the way, though it takes me about eight minutes on my own, probably twice that with Amy next to me) and we took the bus home. We ate yesterday's pizza for dinner, and then Stella went back to bed, where she had spent most of the morning, trying to recover a bit more. I "parked" Amy in front of the television for two showings of Der kleine König and most of Miffy.

Towards five or so, Amy was in Stella's bed, talking, cuddling, joking with her, and eating a biscuit I had brought her, when she started to fall asleep—something she normally never does voluntarily during the day. We kept her awake since we wanted her to fall asleep during the evening instead.

We had been invited to Bettina's birthday party, at fairly short notice since she had only decided on having a little party a couple of days previously. And indeed, Amy fell asleep in her pushchair on the way there, so that was good.

We had a four-course meal that Bettina had cooked (mostly by herself); it was worth 10 Weight Watchers Points, which was something that all the guests but Stella and I needed to know. (WW is fairly popular in our ward at the moment; all sorts of people are doing it, and Stella has asked whether I shouldn't consider it, too.)

After the food, we retired to the couch to continue our conversation, which was rather pleasant.

Later still, Peter broke out the "UltraStar Deluxe" software, and we sang a bit of karaoke.

Amy woke up and fussed a bit, but we managed to calm her down again.

Brigitte drove us home, which was nice since it was rather windy, and it had also rained when we came. (And besides, it takes about 25 minutes to walk, or 15 minutes if you take the unlit shortcut through the park).

When we got home, Amy let herself be undressed and put to bed; she was already half-asleep, apparently, so that all went fairly well.

Tags: amy, hugs, kindergarten, weight watchers

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