[The last time I posted was Oct. 11th?!! Sorry about that. To make up for it, here is a post about everyone’s favourite subject. (grin) ]
There have been a few firsts in Annie’s life lately. A couple of weeks ago was an invitation to her first birthday party in Austria. I was so interested to see what parents did for their children to celebrate birthdays. Some of the regular blogs I read have been talking about Snow-white parties, fairy tea parties, planning for 3 months for a birthday, and one sad, teary video lament from a mother who, due to having lost all of their money in the Madoff scandal, can’t mount the birthday extravaganza that all of her daughter’s friends put on.
Unsurprisingly (as I have gotten to know these Austrian types a bit better), birthday parties here are decidedly lower key. We walked in and the birthday boy, Jacob, opened Annie’s present (and all subsequent presents) right away. There was a table set up for snacks and cake, there was a space for dancing, and then by the time I picked Annie up, they were all watching a DVD. Due to a mixture of things including my innate laziness and my hatred of the MTV show “Sweet 16”, I’m quite pleased with this discovery that birthday parties here are just easy and fun.
Here is the girl when I walked in. My little 3-year old ingenue.
Last week was also Annie’s first time riding her bike to school. It took almost as long as when we walk together, so I’m not sure this will be a regular thing just yet. And of course, winter is coming and I’m not one of those crazy people who encourages bike riding in the snow. (Very common here.) Nevertheless, Annie was pretty stoked.
And perhaps the biggest first, last week was Annie’s move to Kindergarten. Children start Kindergarten here at 3 1/2, not at age 5 like in Canada. It wasn’t that much of a transition, as she is just going across the hall to a new room. Annie knows the teacher well and is friends with half the kids. The transitional phase can be up to 2 weeks, but by day 3 Annie was spending her whole time with Melanie in her new classroom. At this particular school all of the children take a second language, with a choice of Italian, English or French. We stuck with English; this kid has had a lot thrown at her in terms of changes in her little life, so adding a third language seemed, well, just a wee bit pushy. The English teacher is in the classroom a couple of hours a day, which I’m sure Annie will enjoy.
I took the camera to school on her first day of Kindergarten and asked her to smile. This is what I got.
Oh, Annie-girl, you are more fun than 10 barrels of monkeys. I hope that as you grow and go through hundreds of other firsts, the joy stays the same.