Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A robin hatching on the circuit breaker box on our back porch, earlier this summer.

First day of kindergarten today. The usual bundle of nerves, pride, and excitement among parents and child, and accompanied with the usual parental wistfulness. My beloved spouse and I both got close to getting misty, and I might have, except that I have a wicked cold and my eye was dripping already. The kid was in “serious” mode, which accompanies a Big Deal that’s also a New Experience. We have two friends in the same class, and those parents were feeling it all too. Whew!

When I picked him up at the end of the day, he liked it, he’s excited -- and I hope he doesn’t get too bored. He shouldn’t -- it’s a Mandarin immersion program, so half the day will be doing that, which, although he’s been doing it for two years in pre-school, should still present fresh challenges.

He’s more than ready. He’s reading English better all the time, stumbling over fewer multi-syllabic words, and his math is pretty well along. Haven’t made it to division, but he’s doing some multiplication, and some percentages. In his head.

“If the bill is $50, and there’s nine and a half percent tax, what will the total be?”

He thinks for a moment. He needs to break it down. 10% of 50 is 5, so 9.5% would be four and a half. Four and a half added to the original $50 . . .

“Fifty-four and a half.”

Not quite, but close. Fifty-four and three quarters. His mother and I are both good at math, and we work on problems together, but we weren’t this good at 5.

We’re still making our way through The Hobbit, more slowly now that we’re not all on vacation. The kid knows there are 305 pages. The other night I told him we had stopped on page 189.

“That means there are.” he paused for a moment. “116 pages to go.”

I know a lot of adults who couldn’t subtract 189 from 305 in their heads. I don’t tell the kid this, but I do give him a high five. I was somewhat startled.

We’re all still enjoying The Hobbit, but I think he likes the Bugs Bunny DVD collection that our neighbor lent him even more.

First day of school!

Bigger deal for parents, probably.

And that’s fine fine fine.

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