As we dropped MissM at school earlier than usual this morning, I thought, gosh, we expect so much from our children.
She’s been at school for one day. She is still learning pretty much everything about her new school – the layout, the routine, what’s acceptable and what’s not (e.g as class is lead out at pick up time by the teacher, each child must shake hands with their teacher and wish them a very good afternoon before walking to their parent), let alone connecting with a few kids and actually being friends.
We walked her to the Mirror Room, where the kids (oops, sorry, CHILDREN) who arrive between 8am and 8.20am are looked after by two teachers. On cold, wet mornings the children sit quietly and watch a DVD. On mornings when the weather is suitable they play outside before being escorted to class at 8.20am.
This morning, because we were so early (opted to drive DH to work so I could have the car) there were only a few children there when we arrived. Mia knew none of them.
We still expected her to be happy to be ‘left’. To ‘go make a friend’ and wait until someone she knew arrived.
There is absolutely NO WAY DH would be happy doing anything like this! Mind you, as an adult of course he’s had to learn to put himself out there, but compared to moi, he’s still a rather shy person who would rather spend time with people he knows than not.
Yet, we both expected MissM to.
In Japan she spent much more time in non-English environments that I did! Swimming lessons were taught in Japanese …. Just watch what they do and copy I’d say LOL
Ballet was taught in English, Japanese and French, tho the majority of the kids in class were Japanese speakers. Go enjoy ballet MissM, smile nicely and listen to the teacher and you’ll be fine.
While I shopped locally, I didn’t have to talk or befriend the shop assistants. My hairdresser was Australian! The restaurants we frequented got to know us with a smile and a giggle. We tried to communicate as best we could – us with small amounts of Japanese and them with tiny amounts of English but we got there.
But to do what MissM did – attend a weekly class taught totally in Japanese, no, I did not ever do this, tho we expected her to. Well, she had to learn to swim! I’d always hunt down an English speaking teacher, or beg a Japaense friend to join me and ask them to translate.
MissM’s first day at school is not unlike a first day at the office for DH, or my first coffee morning, but we are ADULTS. She's seen me meet'n'greet someone I don't know (but have been introduced to via email from a mutual friend) and guess she's just watched how I do it.
I've networked and met new people most of my adult life; first as a sales representative in media in Sydney, at business functions etc. Then as a business consultant facilitating introductions between business specialists and clients. Then of course, our first Adventure in Dublin - go forth and meet new friends for all of us. I guess because of my career background and personality meeting'n'greeting new people comes rather naturally. I also enjoy it. My heart goes out to people who are shy, or quieter in nature because it must be very hard to get out there and meet people.
We really do EXPECT our kids (oops, CHILDREN) to be very mature at times, yet we don’t want them growing up too quickly.
I’m sure MissM will make friends easily and fit into her new school really well, but for now, I am sitting in the apartment having my lunch and blogging, hoping my baby’s ok on her second day at school.