Schule Days

Nora’s school, Frankfurt International School,  has begun and it’s as if the U.N. has reconvened except all the delegates are children.  People hail from all over the world here and listening to the range of chatter in the halls could keep you busy trying to detect the different accents. There’s also a sizeable contingent of German students too which is good since this is our host country and we don’t want to be isolated from them.   I hope it will also bolster Nora’s German skills.  She’ll be taking German classes 2 days a week and they also incorporate German into art class, which I think is very interesting.  

The school campus is very modern, colorful, and fitted with all the amenities you can imagine.  My favorite feature in the primary school are the 2 working kitchens, scaled down to their size, where they learn how to cook.   It’s amazing to think it all started in 1961 with 6 families.  Now it’s filled with some 1200 students from over 50 countries, all aged 3-18.

When I picked Nora up today, she was pleased to report she has a new best friend. Abigail is from England and her mom, who is from Scotland, tells me that Abigail had the same report.  

Just as I was thinking that Jack was enjoying himself at preschool, I started getting calls from the director.  “Jack’s been crying all morning….he gets really upset when we speak German to him…he wet his pants again….”  When I was driving him there on Monday he said “Mommy I don’t want to go to school, let’s go home and watch a movie.” Jack has always been Mr. Social, Mr. Easy-Going, Mr. Early Potty Trained, so this was all a surprise.  I guess the transition to our new world continues.  

But, last night, at bedtime, I decided to lay down with him and have a talk about it.  He’s 2.5 now and ready for longer discussions. I asked him if he wanted to bring Bunny, his favorite lovey, which he has stopped carrying around the last few months but still always sleeps with him.  Jack seemed delighted with that idea.  Then I gave him a kiss on his palm and pressed it on his cheek.  I told him that if he ever feels sad at school, to put his palm on his cheek and it’s like getting a kiss from me.  I wish I could say I invented that concept but I happened to remember it from a phonics activity Nora had last year.  And, if none of this worked, I was prepared to pull him out of there if I needed to.  But, I really want to have 2 mornings a week to myself and Jack needs to make new buddies too.  

So, he cried a river when I dropped him off this morning and I decided to stick close to the area, expecting to get a call.  But I never got one.  He still wet his pants but, otherwise, they said he had a happy morning.


3 responses to “Schule Days

  1. I do hope things will work out for Jack in preschool. Dylan’s had phase-in this week where they go for 2 hrs. a day and he’s been a little more clingy lately. I think they’re just going through some separation anxiety – they are transitioning from our little boys to our big boys, can you believe it? I’m ready, but I’m not.

  2. Tina Kuhlmann

    I’m sorry to hear Jack was sad! He was always confident in our class and seemed like a little man to me. I think it’s fairly common for kids his age to go through some separation anxiety, even without switching schools, let alone countries! I’m sure he’ll settle in quickly and regain that confidence.

    • Ellen Willson Hoover

      Thanks, Tina. The last two times were much better for Jack. It’s a nice atmosphere there so I’m glad it’s starting to click for him. And, yes, I think there’s something developmental going on as well as the dramatic change to a new country, new language. He’s still the sweet little man. Wish you all could see each other.

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