School!

by yeshimiqbal

I thought I’d give it a little while before writing about out one of our latest major household developments, which is Cian and Ryah starting school (3k!) I was under the erroneous impression that as time went by, they would tell us so much about school, that I could then share with the world! Um. I have no idea why I thought this. Turns out that three-year-olds are basically adolescents. They like one-word responses and are already a bit too cool for me. I pick them up from school each day. The most I’ve been able to pry out of Ryah at pick-up is, “I played.” From Cian, I at least managed to get, “I played and played and played and went down the swirly slide.” However, given that I pick them up from a door that is right next to this swirly slide and they come out of school and run straight for the swirly slide, I’m sorry to report that this is not very much new information.

Oh, I’m exaggerating a bit. They seem to really like it, which I mostly gather from the fact that they aren’t having any trouble leaving the house in the morning (knock on wood!) and always seem like they had a good day when I pick them up (keep knocking!). Though, at that point they’re mostly just happy to see each other. Sometimes they run towards each other shouting each other’s names and throw their arms around each other and embrace like they haven’t seen each other in years. I’m not kidding. Yes, they’re in different classrooms, but the classes play outside together TWICE a day for heaven’s sake, it really hasn’t been that long (their teachers have reported to me that while they are each making friends in their respective classrooms…they refuse to play with anyone else when the classes get together).

Their teachers’ stories when I chitchat with them during pickup, and some of the funny things they do sometimes, tell me a little more about school. Cian’s teacher says he has a great imagination and is ‘working on sharing with his friends’ (ha!). She seems pretty tickled by his talking and (apparently, yesterday, in his class they were discussing how trees change color, and Cian drew a colorful tree, then looked at his tree, sighed deeply, put his head in his hands, and said, “I don’t understand this tree.”) Ryah is also quite the artist and comes home with her various creations, which are becoming more and more representational.

Ryah’s art. According to her, this is her in the woods. Beneath her is her mom, whom she was dreaming about while in the woods.

When I pay proper attention I can see bits and pieces of school coming out in their behavior. Cian is much more amenable to washing his hands with soap now, for instance. This used to be a battle, and I am especially glad that school has won the battle for me, because we’ve been taking the subway home and by God they both touch EVERYTHING. They touch EVERYTHING on the subway, it is SO DISGUSTING, I cannot tell you how outrageously DISGUSTING their touching things is. Why must you CRAWL up the steps with your hands? Why must you rub your FACE against the wall of the subway station? Anyway. Seeing the little flashes of them learning new things is fun. When we were walking home, they both kept yelling, “Let’s race! Start at the line! Ready set go!” so there’s some socialization of games right there, I’ve never seen them do that before. Yeah, little bits of school. It’s sweet in a way. I have been a bit hesitant about the whole thing, to be honest. I don’t know. I remember being small and wanting to stay home. They’re three! Cian is little! He’s my tiny miny! But, to be fair, for three-year olds, it’s mostly just lot of playing and art and the like, and, knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood, they do seem to like it. And, of course, they have to go somewhere. We the working moms and all that.

Getting there and back has been another story though, yikes. The plan has been that Kate will be biking them (the school is perfect biking distance away from our house, but awkward for any other mode of transport), but two kiddos on a bike really necessitates an e-bike, which for various reasons is not ready yet, so it’s been a lot of public transport. Kate does drop offs and I do pick-ups, and while it is working out OK, two three-year-olds on public transit is, um, a handful (and also DISGUSTING). They’ve both been perfectly happy at pick-up, but Ryah is somehow very high energy at that point of the day – Cian is too, but his approach to public transport is mostly to look out the window and keep up a peaceful, steady commentary about his observations and a series of questions about what would happen if we fell onto the tracks. It makes him pensive and introspective somehow. But my goodness is Ryah jangly! That kid does not want to sit still! And her being jangly riles Cian up, and then we’re just a lot of elbows and knees and chaos, they’re like two horrendous little minions (I’m thinking of those incredibly annoying yellow creatures, from whichever movie that was – the school has a school uniform of yellow shirts and navy pants. It’s pretty lax, there’s a variety of different interpretations of this, but they are both always in yellow and blue, so yeah, that movie with those irritating creatures comes to mind). Yesterday a lady on the subway watched us for a while, while they did some game where they were pretending to sleep, though it’s unclear why sleeping would be quite so loud, and involve quite so much thrashing and falling. Then she nicely asked me, “Are they both your children?” and I said, “Well this one’s mine, and this one is basically mine too, she’s my friend’s but we all live together so they’re all kind of all of ours” and the lady said, “Oh that’s so nice. They get along so well!” And Ryah hears this comment and decides, I presume, to ham it up for the lady’s benefit, throws her arms around Cian, and starts loudly kissing him all over the face. Cian just stands there with this long-suffering look on his face, not pushing her away, not reciprocating, just receiving these smooches and waiting patiently for it to end. The nice lady said “Aww that’s so sweet!”

Of course, the nice lady didn’t see us actually get home and the two of them CHARGE down the sidewalk, because they both have the first one to open our house’s gate, usually banging innocent passers-by with it, and they almost have total meltdowns and a ferocious wrestling match over it, even though…we open this gate…multiple times…every…single…day.

Aww, so sweet!