Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Day Jitters

Today was Ashlyn's first day of her language immersion program German Kindergarten. I'm so nervous for her. I know how frustrated and just DUMB I feel when people are speaking to me in German, (or French, Italian, etc.) and I have no clue. We are hoping that she will learn German, and this is supposedly the "best time" to pick up a foreign language. But, SHE'S MY BABY! and, I just fed her to the wolves left her with three very kind looking German teachers and several small children, where she was sitting at a table and playing a game. She hugged me and said "bye" with a smile. She seemed fine. I was on the verge of tears.
I'm sitting here thinking that she is fine, but maybe she's not. This morning when she asked where we were going, I told her that she was starting Kindergarten today. She said "I don't want to go to Kindergarten. I don't like Kindergarten." Of course, this weekend, when I told her that we were going to have fun, she said "I don't like fun!" (Moody? You think?) Allen also pointed out that she didn't speak to anyone at hourly care on post for over a year, and they all speak English. Obviously, she knows how to play with children without talking.
This getting to school at 8 every day thing is going to be tough. We are used to taking things slow in the mornings. Now, we all have to be ready to go early. I've had thoughts that we might be able to walk there a few mornings a week. It may be awhile before we are there. My original plan was for her to go only 2-3 days a week, but when I registered her I was told that she could go every day as first to help pick up the language. Oh, there is another American in the school, but she's in a different class.

I'm still nervous and probably will be until I pick her up. Unless things didn't go well and then I'll be nervous every day. Fortunately, she's only supposed to be there for two hours today (4 normally.)
OK, I thought writing about this would make me feel less nervous, but I possibly feel more nervous. Maybe cleaning the house will help. Or, really I should calm down, because I need to pick her up in only 10 minutes.

Of course, everything was fine. She was smiling when I picked her up. The lead teacher, Brigit, told me that she was fine. She talked to a few other kids as we were getting her stuff together, too.


Natalie said...

I'm still working on getting out of the house at a decent time! The program starts at 10:00 - so, my goal is 10:00 this week and my goal for next week will be 9:00. I'm still nervous for her and I imagine I will be for weeks. Though, she seems to actually understand what they are saying and when Matt and I ask her a question in Portuguese, she answers in English. So, she must have picked up a lot in swimming lessons. Who knew! She says she has a new friend named Maria. But, we also have a babysitter named Maria - so, we're not so sure. The Portuguese only have, like, 30 names their allowed to choose from (per sex -or some number like that). So, if she doesn't have a friend named Maria now, she will soon!

Good luck. Going through the same thing here so I can relate. Loved this post! At least you're finding humor in it all.

Natalie said...

Olivia can arrive as early as 7:30. Teaching starts at 10:00 - is what I meant.

Katie said...

Oooh! She is so cute! I went to German kindergarten when I was 5 and there were no other English speakers in the class. I was fluent in 9 months! And I don't remember thinking it was weird at all. She's even younger that that, so it will really be easy for her with the language. I am POSITIVE this is harder for you than it is for her....

And I'm JEALOUS she gets to go every day!! Man....can I move to Germany?

The Capozzoli Clan said...

That is fast....when you commented on William going to school and Ashlyn's coming soon I thought you meant a year or two! Hope today went great and that she LOVED it and wants to go back! You will have to do an update for us.

William is still loving school. Didn't bring home his first hug me yesterday (the sticker they get for being good all day). So we had a chat. Hoping today is better. Can't expect perfection everyday. Sometimes you just have bad days....I know I do!

The Smith's said...

Awesome!That is wonderful for Ashlyn. Having her in that is one of the best things you can do for her. Awesome!!! The exposure will help her map other languages through out her life. Early exposure is what we all need. 18 months -8 years is the critical period in language (some say up to 12 even). After that you can learn other languages but it is much MUCH more difficult. You have just made growing up in a flatting world easier. What a great opportunity. (can you tell I am happy for you?... I know it is hard to leave her but it's so great!)

The Matthaidess' said...

Ashylyn looks like she's ready to go! I'm glad that everything worked out well:-) Pretty soon she'll be able to communicate and translate for you. I know that when Ed and I went to Austria, it was nice having him communicate with the local population:-)


sara said...

What a cute first day of school pic! I bet she's having a great time! The first day of school is so much harder for the Moms. I find myself dreading Max's first day of kindergarten & we've got almost a year to go. Its going to be harder since I'll have him home with me for the 6 months before. Or maybe I'll be even more ready. We'll see.