Sort of . . .
Teachers, give their hair a fluff with the hand after hat removal to restore style, please!
Pre preschool era the boys were delighting us with after sun up wake ups. Note the word after, as in, the sun shines and maybe it's somewhere between 7:15 and 8:00. Now with regular 6:30 wake ups to get everybody ready for the bus by 7:26--like dragging cold bodies from beds across floors and onto potty chairs-- biological alarm clocks are going off at odd hours. Four o'clock, 5:00, 6:00 (I can live with 6:00), little pitter-patter so early makes our eyes go wild and red! This morning it was 4:30 and Bereket who could not keep his hands and feet off me. Then Sira at 5:30, so what the hell, get up Tsega and I'll give all you stinky butts a bath.
Oh, and the illnesses! The ever and never-ending sniffling and wheezing (and whatever else, last week it was pink eye). I (and everyone else) have been well for about a total of two blissful weeks since August (actually, more like June).
So that's all the bad news (as I wipe my wild runny eye and hack a lung). Oh wait, one more . . . Sira occasionally cries (screams?) before getting on the bus (no coo-buth, no coo-buth, stay ome) and Tsega likes to say, No scoo modow, I sick. And they are giving the sweet old bus driver major belly aches with their escape artistry. One co-worker of ours reported seeing the bus about a mile from home, stopped and pulled to the side of the road, with 3 boys crawling all over the dash. That's my boys!
Here's some good news. Despite grumbles about school, they all adore it. Report from school: all three always happy, always smiling; excited, engaged and thriving; couldn't be happier with progress in language (see above child quotes, this is a long way we've come!); darlings of the school. Indeed my visits confirm this. Big fat smiles, totally excited, totally smitten with teachers and activities. All numbers and letters and colors at home. And get this, they never hit bite pinch or scratch, they obey the rules to the letter, and mind the routine like good little conformists. Remember, they are separated into three different class rooms. They are only disruptive little puppy dogs when they are together on the bus and the walk to and from the bus (who can drag the bus walker's arm the farthest or get away the quickest . . . guess Bereket won yesterday as he ran off and hit a clear glass door smack on the face. Oi!). Now, how to capture their obedience (I've seen it for myself, the teachers have a golden touch!) and non-violence at home. . .
Sira and Bereket are pretty much the shortest boys in class (but taller than a few girls!) but they are also nearly the youngest, and still have that baby way, but get along, like I say, as best as can be in a class with kids as old as five. Tsega looks 16.
Sira: I accompanied him on a field trip to the fire station. His little quiet self hardly paid me any attention (and the smile never faded) and he was always the first, dead center, in the crowd of kids to go and try anything. He has friends, some who grab onto him always to play; brown, white, girl, boy, older, younger, talking & not-talking.
Bereket: Two older Latino girls adore him and he eats it up. They giggle over him and love him to death. At his field trip to a pizza factory we were the fun table. Those girls are a riot and they think he is the funniest thing ever. He's singing all the time now. Loves letters and is learning them quite fast.
Tsega: A door has opened in terms of language. He says stuff that makes you think he must have known these words and how to say all along, just didn't. He is over the top excited in class and a big helper. He helps the tantruming ones get up and get over it. His language is tripping my mind out! But now a little sass is growing as well; Let go of me!, his favorite thing to say right now. Nice thing for others to overhear at a grocery store when I'm trying to tell him not to run off from the cart. I swear I'm not stealing him!
I love hearing the little songs they sing, ones I don't know from school (something about a monkey whale and wicky water, although this can't be right!), and hearing names of kids they like. I asked Sira, is there anybody you don't like? No. And the library books they check out, so revealing. Sira loves books about families and farms. They often bring books home about animals or feature people of color. Sira's current book is in Spanish.
And for an ending . . . Suddenly Sira and Tsega are loving their brown handmade dolls I bought so long ago and the boys so ignored (other than to remove their clothing). Tsega's (girl) doll is Mimi although the other day he called her, very clearly, Maya. Sira calls his (boy) doll Leah (lee-uh). Not sure where that came from, but he calls it so sweetly with a sort of secret grin.