Monday, September 1, 2008

Der spi sie ween sie een

This past week brought us our first week of “full day” school for Andrew. I expected him to be tired. He was. I expected him to be hungry. He was. I even expected some unusual behavior, and I was blessed with some of that too. I must say, however, that overall everything went pretty smoothly.

I try to put myself a little bit in his shoes. Could I sit through seven and a half hours of first grade? Well, okay, I’m not six years old. But, consider having a seven and a half hour off-site with everything planned. No, you can’t run out and answer your cell phone. No distractions. Raise your hand if you need to go to the restroom. You have 30 minutes at recess, and even then someone may well want to play with whatever you had planned. All this after a 12 week vacation . . . . You see my point.

So, he wanted to have a few things running his own way last week. I made sure he had a few of his favorite meals. He gave me a dissertation on why he didn’t want to wear a red shirt on red shirt day. There was no whining. He didn’t wear a red shirt. I was disappointed (fortunately, I’m not six and was able to get over it quickly).

This all brought me back to my very favorite protest ever, at least so far. It was about this time last year.

Andrew had started with a new piano teacher a few weeks earlier. The new teacher had started him at the beginning of a different teaching method, which required him to play easier songs than what he had been playing. The teacher was moving quickly, but Andrew was not feeling patient on this particular day.

“Oh, just play your lesson. Just play it one more time, okay?” I said that. I’m his mother. That is my job.

There was some silence. There was some rustling of the lesson book. Then, the music began.

I didn’t recognize it. I didn’t want him to stop, so I just moved closer to see what he was playing. Then, I began to sing along (he won’t let me do that anymore, but he used to let me sing along). Note by note, I sang it just like he played it.

. . . . spout ter wa the up went der spi sie ween sie een . . .

He has never played that song any other way since.

“Der spi sie ween sie een”?

I call it ‘German’ for “I’ll do it my way, thank you very much.”


Rhea said...

Your little Andrew sounds pretty strong-willed but cute. I have a son in first grade right now also and he loves it.

thanks for stopping by my site!

Anonymous said...

It's good that you realised this. The same is true for the older kids - all that concentrating is hard work.

Here in the UK, kids start school really early at only 4 1/2, - much too early, especially for the mothers, well it was for me. Six is much better.

Singing along makes my son cringe now that he's fourteen and only plays guitar (rather well). Ah the good old days when he thought my singing was cool! :-D

enthalpymama said...

Rhea - Thanks for stopping by! I can't wait to hear more about your first grader!

Scatterbrain - It is tough for them to keep things together at school for that long. It is frustrating, though, because the progress is so slow my son is often bored (making it even more difficult to be patient). I have lots of ideas, but I suppose if I'm going to get on my soap box, I ought to do a whole blog post about it!

I would love to hear about pros/cons on the UK system. My sister-in-law lives over there with her family and they have really enjoyed it, with some challenges, of course.

Anonymous said...

You really don't want to get me started on that! It'd mean setting up an entirely new blog to address all the let-downs we've had with the UK schooling system - including teachers viciously bullying my son, not being allowed to attend the school of choice, calling the Police out on students who pulled knives on him etc......I've torn my hair out over it so often - even removed him and home-schooled him for about five months.

Thankfully he's very happy in a good school now and is blossoming - like a little flower....good thing he doesn't read my commenting;-)