Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Day of Firsts

Steph and I love that here in Germany, kids start kindergarten when they’re three: with an actual curriculum and structure to the time.  Monday, the 15th of November was a day of firsts in our household:  one big and one just noteworthy and funny.  The big event was that Paul started kindergarten and he loves it.  We were eager to have him start at a local (German) private school and we finally came up on the list.  The school is awesome.  It’s small and balances the number of international students with German students.  Besides the obvious social skill development he’ll get, one of the things we want for him is immersion in the local language and culture as much as possible.  Last week, running up to our American holiday Thanksgiving, the school asked Paul if he wanted to draw a picture of something he’s thankful for.  He said he wanted to draw a motorcycle.  I’m not sure why he picked a motorcycle, but I’m okay with it--neither Steph nor I are anti-motorcycle folks and it seems these are one of a number of things that tend to capture the imagination of young boys (at least our boy), along with space ships, airplanes and robots.  From his very first day of school, Paul can’t wait to get there and when we pick him up, he’s all talk about what he and his friends did that day.  He loves going and we’re happy he’s having such a great experience with the beginning of a lifetime of learning.

The other first?  Well, I recently converted Paul’s toddler bed to what he calls his “big boy bed.”  It’s still a toddler bed, but I took the low rail off the front so that his entry and exit isn’t constrained.  Neither is he when he tosses in bed at night.  We went a week or two without incident, then early Monday morning (the day Paul started school), we heard the thud:  the distinct sound of his small frame hitting the floor.  It went like this:  thud...about five seconds...crying.  He was fine other than the tumble surprised him and woke him up.  Steph and I were already on our way to his room during the short interlude between the thud and the crying.  The funny thing about it was when we stepped into his room, he was laying on his bed.  We asked him what happened, not completely sure since he wasn’t on the floor.  He told us he hit his head.  At that point I wasn’t sure if he fell out of bed or not.  We asked him where he hit it and he said, “on the floooooor.”  It warmed and broke my heart at the same time.  Falling out of bed is one of those rights of passage.  Apparently when he hit the floor, he used some superpower to leap back into bed in the two or three seconds before we were in his room--the boy is fast!  It made me think, though, that he thought he did something wrong.  A little love and snuggling later, he was back asleep.  I left for work a short time later and he slept just fine until Steph woke him for that big, first day of school!
It’s great to be a dad!


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