Savanna goes to Kindergarten


I swear that one minute she was just a little baby, and next minute she chooses what she wants to wear for her first day of school. How did this happen?

The night before school, Savanna told me, “I’m going to be too shy tomorrow.” I said that’s fine, I’m shy too, but sometimes I pretend that I’m not shy. She said, “I don’t want to pretend.” I said, that’s fine too. You don’t have to pretend.

When I went to Kindergarten, I clearly remember refusing to nap next to the other kids. The principal eventually caved, and let me sleep on the couch in the office. Out of the entire school, I was the only one who got to sleep on the office couch, while the other kids napped on the floor. And look how I turned out? I’m 41 and still a socially awkward introvert. But hey, I manage. So what if Savanna decides she’s gonna be too shy? Oh well. Who am I to judge?

According to Cliff, though, Savanna was shy the first day when I went with her. Starting the next day, she had no problems talking to the teacher or the other kids. Apparently this week she is initiating to help the teacher in the classroom. This kid is going to do so much better than her mother.


How do you have time for all that?

Cliff and Savanna

Often when people find out what I do–tax consulting work, photography business, and two little kids–I get this question: “How do you have time for all that?”

The answer is simple: Cliff.

Cliff is the one I call when I have forgotten my wallet, my work security card, or my keys. He’s the one to do school drop-offs and pick-ups and snacks and baths. When I have fallen asleep on the couch yet again, he puts me in bed and plugs my phone in the charger. When I have forgotten to take my leftover lunch out of my bag and went on a business trip, he’d find the surprise days later and clean it out for me. He runs all my bank errands. He takes the kids to various activities during the week, so we can spend family time together on the weekends.

Early in our marriage, I learned that having him on my team is a good thing. Right now, while life is busy and the house is always messy, having him on my team is the only reason how I “have time for all that”.

Ice skating

When we first moved to Canada, I have never seen an ice rink before, let along skate. I added PE 11 to my class schedule, because I assumed it was mandatory like it was in Taiwan. In December 1992, our PE teacher took us to play ice hockey at the rink next to our school. It was my first time in my life putting on ice skates. I loosely tied the lace of the skates, grabbed a hockey stick, and got on the ice. I was super wobbly, and used the hockey stick as a crutch to inch along the ice.

The PE teacher told me to go right in the centre for face off. I took forever to get to the centre of the ice, the teacher dropped the puck, I tried to reach the puck with my hockey stick, and that’s when I lost my balance and fell. Because I had tied the lace so loosely, there was no support from the boot. When I fell, I twisted my ankle inside the skates, and the bones in my ankle shattered, sending a hairline split half way up my shin bone. I ended up in surgery that night, with a metal plate and 8 screws added to my bone to help hold my ankle back together.

Last weekend Josh had his first ice skating lesson. He was so excited about his lesson that morning. When I told him ice skating isn’t very easy, he said, “I think I’ll be very good at it.” I smiled and said nothing.

Once he had his skates on, the teacher asked them to all walk around on the rubber ground. He was wobbly, but managed to walk around just fine. He was still smiling and waving at me.

Once they got on the ice, the poor little dude was slipping and falling everywhere. Initially he was having fun and still smiling. But after a while, I can see his smile starting to fade. He struggled with getting up and staying up. My lips started to quiver on their own and my tears started to fall. I felt so bad for him.

Even after all these years of my incident, watching Josh fall on the ice just reminds me of the pain I felt. With each fall he took, my heart nearly jumped out of my throat. Good thing the lesson was only 1/2 hour. I wasn’t sure if I could endure any more.

Josh was no longer smiling when he came off the ice, but he was stoic. He said in a matter-of-fact tone that it was really hard, and he didn’t like it so much. I held him tightly in my arms, and told him I was so proud of him for working so hard and not quitting. As a parent, nothing makes me more proud than seeing my kiddo work hard and having a good attitude about it. And thank goodness nothing broke.Josh skates-2

Where did September go?

I don’t know where September went. Did you see it?

Between the kids starting school, me freaking out about school, and traveling for work, all of a sudden it is October. Many friends have asked how the kids are doing in school, so I figured I’d give a quick update.

Savanna, since day one, walked into preschool like she has done this before. She never had a moment of hesitation or separation anxiety. She runs in happily, and leaves happily. I hear she had one meltdown once when the teacher asked her to put a stick down. Aside from that, she’s always talking about her teachers, her friends, and her preschool. She is loving it.

Josh loves kindergarten. During gradual entry, he complained the days are too short. He comes home providing very little information about what he has done all day, so we just don’t bother asking generic questions like “What did you learn today” or even “How was school today”. His teacher keeps a pretty good blog about the class, so at least us parents know roughly what they’ve been doing each week. Most days he eats very little of his lunch and snacks. His teacher told us that he talks so much and gets so distracted that he doesn’t have time to eat his lunch or snack. Funny how he gets those genes from his daddy. Since starting school, he has falling asleep at night quicker. I think all the excitement of being in school all day wears him out pretty good.

As for me, I’ve been keeping up with running four times a week. Since June this year, I have run just over 400 km. For the first time in my life, I have started to enjoy running. I never thought this day would come. On the work front, I spent over 100 hours in August and September writing a tax technical paper, and presented it last week in Ottawa. The presentation was a little nerve wrecking, knowing that I was presenting to people who are experts in the field. October will see a few more overnight work trips, but nothing as long as being away for a whole week like last week.Josh and Vanna-2 Josh and Vanna-3 Josh and Vanna

I survived the first day of school (sort of)

With Savanna’s first day of preschool today, I felt nervous. We’ve never had her out of our sight, so I had no idea how she will do. When Cliff told her we were leaving to take Josh to school, she didn’t even look at him. She focused on the new toys she was playing with. When we came to pick her up, it was almost like she had done this before and it was no big deal that we showed up.First day of schoolSchool-14 School-9

With Josh’s first day of kindergarten today, I felt sad. He couldn’t wait to get into his classroom. After Cliff and I walked out of his school, I sobbed all the way back to the car. It’s a new phase of Josh’s life, and I have just lost him a little bit more.

He came out of school complaining that one hour was too short and he wanted to stay longer.

First day of school-2 School-10


The countdown is on

We’re a week away from the first day of school, and I am in total denial. I just can’t believe my not-so-little baby will be going to kindergarten. Here comes the start of the school system. Shit just got real and I am freaking out.

When he started preschool, I had the same thoughts–how could this be happening so fast. But at least preschool back then was twice a week, for 2 1/2 hours. But now he’ll be spending the majority of his day with OTHER PEOPLE I DO NOT KNOW. This idea seems completely ridiculous to me. Why can’t babies stay small and on their mothers’ side forever. Does anyone else feel that way?

Joshua-2 Joshua-3 Joshua

Baby forever

Josh is now registered for kindergarten this fall. This week, the school hosted a “welcome to kindergarten” event for all the new kids. All the families went in and sat in the cafeteria, waiting for the 1 1/2 hour program to begin.

The vice principal explained that all the new kids will be going with the teachers to go see their new classrooms, while the parents are taken on a separate tour of the school. Josh had no problem running over to his designated group to meet his new friends and new teachers. As his group was lead away to their new classroom, my tears fell.

I have always been very resistant to the idea of my baby growing bigger by the day. Ever since he was born, everything just felt like a whirlwind. Why does it feel like everything is going by so fast, and I have just barely gotten to know him well enough in the last stage?

Today, I was watching Josh play while he followed a complicated instruction booklet to build a Lego structure. I said, “Hey, buddy, would you please stop growing?” He looked at me with a smile and said, “Mommy, I have to grow. But I’ll be your baby forever.”

Buddy, I’m going to hold you to that!

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