Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This morning, just after waking up, Rowan was lying on our bed waiting to get changed. Richard was in the bathroom and apparently Rowan did not realise this. When Rowan heard the shuffling of feet coming from behind the closed door, he gasped and said: "Who's coming? Ssh!" So we kept quiet and the anticipation was building. "Ssh!" he said once more as his body started wriggling around with excitement and as Richard opened the door Rowan shouted: "My Baby!"

Now we understand where Rowan's obsession with babies for the last week or so was coming from. He kept pointing out the babies everywhere we went. I thought he just really liked being able to say the word and therefor used it every time he had the opportunity, but then the other night while Richard and Rowan were playing, Rowan kept saying "my baby" and we just couldn't understand it because there weren't any babies in sight. It turns out that I am the instigator of this new name that Rowan has chosen for his Dad since I have been calling both of them "my babies" when I want to show my affection for them. What a nice way to start the day.

Here is a cute photo of Rowan and his "baby" being silly.

This afternoon we were very lucky to have some sunshine again and decided to spend some time outside.

When the sun is very low one's shadow gets very long. Rowan had some fun running around and jumping with his shadowy friend.

Just a happy kid enjoying the cool fresh air.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Since Rowan started going to school I have been planning several different activities for us to do in the afternoons when he gets home. I have been gathering materials here and there. Sometimes items that are meant to be tossed in the recycling bin get rediscovered and re-imagined. You will be amazed at just how many different uses one object can have when you put your mind to it.

When Rowan walked in this afternoon he started going through the drawer that has all my play/work materials in it. He found three hand-made wooden bowls and inspected them for a while. Now I know how things go with toddlers. It seems the first use they find for an object is usually the only use they will find for it for a long time. So before these bowls turned into really cute little hats or perhaps stacking objects I decided to show him what I intended for them.

They are sorting bowls. The idea is to gather many objects over time, natural and human-made, to be sorted into the bowls by various criteria. Today we sorted some glazed clay rocks by colour.

It might seem like such a simple task, but Rowan really gets a kick out of being able to complete it. Just look at the concentration on his face.

His favourite part however is pouring them back into collecting bowl. He then thought that it was time to do some pouring from one bowl to the next. I asked him to do some sorting one more time and he did. After that he could pour as much as he wanted.

When the sorting activity was all tidied away Rowan found the cardboard tubes that I have been saving, so once again I seized the moment to help him make a rhythm shaker using tubes, dried beans and painter's tape.

I am so glad that we have reached the point where he and I can work together on projects and tasks. There are so many wonderful projects and activities that we can do and I am very excited about them.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The sun decided to make itself seen and felt late this afternoon after it has been hiding from us for over a week now. So we decided to take Rowan to his favourite play ground and enjoyed some fresh air.

We got Dad to join in the fun too! Here Rowan seems to be doing an impression of the sun hiding and revealing itself.

Rowan has learnt that running around and around the play structures is also lots of fun. I think they do it at school. Now I understand why he is always perspiring when I pick him up from school. It takes him quite long to cool down.
Well, everyone, we hope you have a blessed week. Thanks for checking in on us.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Okay, so I can't let another day slip away without a post of some sort. The thing is that sometimes there is just not that much to talk about especially on a day like today where I didn't get to spend very much time with the guys.

I stayed home today in the hope that with some rest I will be able to get rid of the flu a little quicker. Richard and Rowan went off in the morning to spend some time in and amongst the trains at EnterTrainment Junction since the rainy weather washed away all possibilities of enjoying the annual apple festival. As always Rowan was very happy being able to see the trains and had a great time. I appreciated the effort that they made to give me some peace and quiet around here but I will say that because I wasn't really keeping myself busy, I started to miss them. So when they arrived back and Rowan excitedly said: "Hi!" when he saw me, I felt much better.

In the evening we had to drive quite a distance so that we could buy some homeopathic flu remedies. Our poor little guy was not too happy about being stuck in the back of the car again. He did however manage to enjoy some of the scenery on the way to our destination. As usual the sight of construction vehicles was something to behold. He also pointed something else out for the first time. As we were driving along a particularly boring road Rowan gasped and pointed up at the sky and actually said: "Look! Sky!" He couldn't keep his eyes off the clouds that were now, after a weeks worth of grey cover, parting and revealing the brilliant light of the sun. "Wow!" he said as the darker clouds moved across the sky and gave us some hope of a sunny Sunday to enjoy to the fullest.

I'll let you know how it turned out. I promise.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Unfortunately I do not have much to blog about today since Rowan was feeling a little under the weather and we spent most of the day at home doing things you have already heard about a couple of times. Hopefully tomorrow will be a little bit more exciting. The poor little guy really does not like being sick.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Every morning when we arrive at Rowan's school, we pull the car up to the front door and one of the teachers comes out to greet us and walk with him into the class room. There is one particular teacher that Rowan seems to have become attached to. No, actually, this boy is completely smitten with her. She has long brown hair and speaks with an English accent. I like her too and it is very comforting to know that she will be his preschool teacher next year.

So, when Miss T comes walking through the doors, Rowan's eyes get really big and he starts waving saying "Hey! Hey!" with the biggest smile ever! The other day he even started giggling with excitement. So when I help him down from his car seat, he immediately takes her hand and can't say goodbye to me quickly enough. I don't mind. Really!

On occasion, Miss T is busy helping some other children to the door when we pull up and I can see the disappointment on his face when Miss ? comes towards us. Can it be that our little boy is already experiencing his very first crush? Hmm... I wonder.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Montessori Method of teaching relies heavily on what is called a work period. During this time the children are given the opportunity to engage in any activity of their choosing without interruption. In this way the child learns to concentrate on one thing at a time, thereby allowing more intense exploration of the subject. All the while the child learns about the world and everything in it and more importantly develops independence and self-control, the ability to make decisions and an eagerness to work hard.

In other words, when we as parents refrain from constantly interrupting our children's work with trying to teach them everything we know and by constantly praising them for every little thing they do, we actually are giving them the opportunity to develop and grow in a much more productive and healthy way. This is something I had to learn through experience. Before Montessori, I was one of those mothers that would praise him for everything he does. In fact I am still that mother and it is quite hard to break the habit of saying: "Well done Rowan!"

So today I tried my very best and succeeded. I let Rowan go about his work and I am amazed with how much he concentrated on every little task. He spent an entire hour playing at the kitchen sink just pouring water from one container to the other and trying out many different types and combinations. He even knew to wipe up when he made a mess.

Below are pictures of Rowan putting pegs around the walls of a bowl. It is a very simple task yet there is so much to learn from it. At one stage Rowan had all the pegs on one side of the square based dish and the weight made it tip over. When he moved some of the pegs to the other side it didn't. So just to check he tried moving them all to one side again and again it tipped over. At this point he got frustrated and just packed it all away. I can't wait to see how he tackles this specific activity tomorrow.

So having seen how well he goes about his work when I am not interrupting him, I am going to try even harder not to open my mouth every time a thought pops into my mind. I think I will save them for the end of the day when I can express them through the blog and for that special moment in the evening when I tell him calmly and without too much excitement just how proud I am of him for all the good and hard work he has done throughout the day. Yes, I think I can do it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Clowning around? Oh no. We were doing something much more sophisticated than that today!
Rowan's new kitchen cupboard came equipped with a very lovely little tea set. I was hoping that this little boy of ours would take to having tea and a snack. All his little girl friends like to have tea time and we even attended such an event a little while ago. Back then Rowan wasn't interested in sitting around a table drinking from tiny cups, but at that time he also wasn't doing any of the pouring himself.
Rowan first discovered his tea set yesterday and his Dad obligingly joined him at his small table to show him just how it is done while I cooked dinner. So today, he was very excited and remembered exactly what he was shown yesterday.

One of the great things about having tea (milk) in every single cup available is that you get to wash them all afterwards. Washing them all takes long and when you do it over and over again, you can keep yourself happily busy for at least an hour. I admire his work ethic :) I wonder how long it will last? Well, I hope it lasts long enough for it to rub off on me. Perhaps I too will one day again enjoy doing the dishes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

To celebrate Rowan's quest for Independence we thought of a special surprise for him. He now has his very own cupboard in our kitchen as well as a snack shelf in the pantry - all within reach. This means that he can now prepare his own snacks and get his own drinks. He just loves being independent. Of course this cupboard is also great for unpacking and repacking and I am sure it will also be a wonderful inspiration for imaginative play.

Another way of reinforcing his independence and also his importance as an equal member of our household, we have placed an easy to use display system at his height, so that he can hang his artwork or perhaps any other pictures that he might like all by himself.

To the same end we also needed another small table and chairs for the kitchen area. Here he is actually screwing the members together. He was very careful, serious and patient throughout the construction process and made both his parents very proud.

Then, to conclude we would like to send out a special thanks to Granddad and Gran for a very special package that arrived this week. Rowan really loves his new fire engine. We have not showed him that it can spray real water yet, but will do so at some stage in the future. Also to Gran, we hope you have a lovely birthday tomorrow. We love you and wish we could be there with you.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What a busy day we had! It was fun too!

We went to a "Renaissance" Festival today. They call it the Renaissance festival but it is really more a Medieval festival in my opinion. In any case, people were dressed in period clothing and the entire setting was really well designed. It felt like stepping into another world.

Rowan did not feel very comfortable in this strange setting. There were actually a few times where he would gasp and say: "Hide! Hide!" as he ran to stand behind us, hidden away from the strange old man with the big hat and patch on his eye. Even the beautiful faerie made him shy away. There were some things that really got him excited though. The site of the pirate ship and some horses in a stable brought a smile to his face.

After a long nap in the afternoon we decided to clean out our pantry cupboard. I knew Rowan would like this task since it involved unpacking many different bottles, boxes, bowls and baskets. He took to task eagerly and pushed full steam ahead until every last item that needed to be removed was stacked on the kitchen counter.

He was very proud of himself and had just enough energy to give us a big smile and a thumbs-up before he finally collapsed on the floor.

It only took about a minute of relaxing and then it was time to admire his handy work on display on the kitchen counter. He also thought of a new game. Playing peek-a-boo as Mom tries to take a photo of you is much more fun than posing.

The reorganisation of the pantry is only step one of a nice surprised we have in store for Rowan. We will let you know more about step two tomorrow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

This morning at the playground, Rowan and I got to see the power of imagination turn a play ground into a treasure island right before our eyes.

There was an older girl playing with some younger kids. She drew an X with her fingers in the sand and said excitedly: "I found an X. X marks the spot!" One little boy was very interested and wanted to see what she was talking about. She then started telling him that X marks the spot where treasure is buried and that they should dig until they can find it. If they find enough gold, they can buy a pony. The boy immediately started dragging his tiny fingers through the earth. Soon she had five little kids surrounding her. All digging for treasure. The rest of the playground was deserted.

When Rowan noticed all the digging action he looked up at me and pointed in their direction to see if it was okay for him to join in. I said: "Sure!" and off he went. He dug for a little while and then decided that his solo expedition, climbing Mount Everest, was much more exciting. He really loves the climbing wall these days.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ever since Richard took Rowan to see a warehouse full of model trains, Rowan has been wanting to go back. Every time we get in the car he suggests: "Train. Train." So today I thought I would treat him with another visit.

He thoroughly enjoyed it and didn't want to leave. I think they'll be seeing a lot of us this coming Winter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rowan, like most kids his age, loves attention. When he is at home he gets it all the time. When he is at school, the attention from the teachers is shared among all the other kids. This is something that Rowan has very obviously noticed. So he tried his best to secure a little more for himself.

About half an hour into the morning session, Rowan seemed bored and maybe a little lost. He was just wandering around the classroom, looking around when he suddenly came up with a plan. He walked over to his small plastic chair, stood behind it and gently started tipping it backwards. I thought he was going to make it drop to the floor, but no. Instead, just before it would have dropped, he pretended that his hand slipped off which then made him (pretend) fall to the ground. He thought it was very amusing and I was astounded by this little act that he has put on in front of all the kids and more specifically right in front of his teacher. This is where I have to say that I admire these teachers, because they very calmly, without any expression or intonation, told him to get up off the floor. He did and had to find something else to do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I arrived a little too early at Rowan's school this afternoon and decided to go inside and have a look at what he was up to. What I saw, was quite amusing and a little bit concerning at the same time.

He was busy with an activity that involves sticking different coloured plastic pegs into a foam pad with a grid of holes in it. The idea is that you place each colour in a different row and then sort the rest of the pegs accordingly. Rowan, however, has thought of a different way to play this game and this was actually not the first time that I have seen him doing this. The plastic pegs have holes in them at the top - the exact width of the bottom of the peg so Rowan thought it obvious that you should stack them vertically rather than sort them horizontally.

The first time he tried to build a tower his teacher came running over within the first three stacked pegs and corrected him. But the thing that amused me most about today was that I watched Rowan as he watched his teacher move about the classroom and when he was sure she would not be looking, he quickly started stacking one after the other. By the time his teacher saw this construction the tower was already as tall as he was. So, she came over and showed him how it was supposed to be done. Rowan was disappointed and pretty much ignored her.

Now I know I am supposed to be concerned about the fact that he didn't pay any attention to the teacher but it was late in the afternoon, he was tired and his dreams had just been crushed.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I found myself smiling quite a few times today. I am not talking about that everyday kind of smile you have when you unexpectedly run into an old and dear friend, or perhaps the one you have when you see your son running towards you with his arms wide open anticipating a loving embrace. No, although those are great smiles to have, the smiles I am referring to today are the ones that come from deep within you when you suddenly realise that you are satisfied with things as they are.

So, when I realised that Rowan, having fetched his back pack half an hour ahead of time, was eager to go to school today, I felt pure contentment at the fact that our little guy has really come a long way in just two weeks.

When I walked outside and experienced the beautiful sunny morning, I felt content.

And then, this evening, hiking through the woods, there it was again. The setting was beautiful and the company could not have been better. I watched Rowan looking around curiously, stopping to get a closer look at anything and everything. There were sticks, and flowers and rocks... but the thing that touched me most was when he stopped and looked up at the canopy above and said: "Wow!" The fact that he already has such an appreciation of nature is something that I am in awe of and that makes me very very happy indeed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

This past week there has been a lot of writing on this blog and very few photographs, so for today all I will say is that we had a nice early morning boat ride. Here are some photos of our little guy having fun in the sun.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


For those of you who are not familiar with the word, opa: it is an exclamation of joy used by the Greeks at various celebrations. We attended a huge Greek festival in our area this evening where the music, dance, good food and jubilant atmosphere was the perfect way for us to celebrate a tremendously successful and satisfying week.

Rowan reached many milestones over this last week and we are very proud of him. Not only did he bravely take on the challenge of going to school for the first time, he actually reached the point where he enjoyed it and wanted to go back. School has been really good for him. He has become very confident in just the last two weeks. He used to shy away from kids at the playground, but this week I witnessed a very confident little boy standing his ground as a few older kids tried to push their way through where he was standing. He also copied some of what they were doing and inspired another little girl to do what he was doing.

He also learnt how to jump. Yes, jump. He has been trying to jump for a while now and finally all the hard work seems to have paid off. He even says jump with a smile as he lifts both his feet off the ground.

Then we had some success at potty training too. Rowan actually asked (gestured) to use the potty. He did great!

Lately he has also been able to keep himself busy and best of all, he has learnt to tidy up when he is done playing.

So after an especially challenging yet rewarding week and a long day of watching and helping Dad complete our deck/stairs we felt we had reason to celebrate and decided to go to the Greek festival. We enjoyed the music and traditional dance. Rowan could not contain his excitement and ended up dancing too. His new dance is very cute. He jumps to the beat of the music and claps his hands when it stops. It was lovely to watch. The food was great and the atmosphere was something I have never experienced elsewhere. Fantastic! Opa!

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Oh ye of little faith"

"Oh ye of little faith." Somehow that phrase always seems to apply to me, and it seems especially apt today.

If you had asked me on Tuesday, if I thought Rowan would be loving school by Friday, I would have said: "There is NO way!" But, as usual, things worked out just perfectly. Let me explain.

When Rowan's teacher walked up to our car this morning, our little man, without a peep, picked up his school bag, took the teacher by the hand and said: "Bye!" waving quite casually as he walked off. Fantastic!

Then when I fetched him, he calmly collected his work and placed it in his bag and the bag on his back. We came home and had a very busy and interesting (because of some severe potty training mishaps - three of them) afternoon. After a while of playing about the house, he picked up his back pack and asked that I help him to put it on his back. So I took a chance and asked: "Are you ready to go back to school?" His eyes widened and I could see that he was considering this idea before he said: "Yeah! Car!" pointing to the door. I was flabbergasted, and quickly had to explain how we can't go to school now, but that we will be going back on Monday.

So once again, if only I had a little bit of faith, this week could have been a lot less stressful. I am working on it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This morning as we pulled up to the school, Rowan was very calm. While we were waiting in line, he looked around and pointed at all sorts of things. When the teacher walked up to fetch him, he did begin to cry, but soon stopped.

When he walked into the classroom he seemed relaxed and got busy with some work. He seemed happy the entire hour that he was there and his teachers were very pleased with the progress he has made. I was relieved too.

Because I had to fetch him after only an hour, I got to meet him in the classroom. I opened the door, walked in and talked to his teachers without him even noticing. And then he looked up from where he was busy cutting some paper and when he saw me he screamed out "Yay! Nonny (Mommy)!" He was so overwhelmed with emotion that he started crying again. Perhaps he wasn't sure if I was going to leave again. After he calmed down we had to remind him that he still had to tidy up his work station. I have never seen this kid put anything away as fast as he did this morning.

So, all in all, we are happy with the progress. Rowan is really going to like school once he gets used to it. Of that I am sure.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

As you know, we decided to give Rowan another chance at attending school today. This time I was there most of the time and was really able to get a handle on the situation so here goes.

Once he entered the class room he seemed to settle down quite quickly. Today was a lot easier for him than yesterday although he did still cry quite a bit. I noticed that he only really cried between activities and because he is not used to the idea of doing things by himself, he doesn't start any new activities on his own and thus he keeps his teachers on their toes.

One thing that I was surprised about was to see how well he did at circle time. When they told them to go to the mat he promptly went over and sat down exactly where he was supposed to. He stayed there for the duration of the lesson. The reason I was surprised by this is that Rowan has up until now, not felt comfortable in such formal group settings. This was very encouraging.

I was able to speak to the principal of the school about how we feel about Rowan's rate of adjustment and our concern that he might not be ready for school just yet. She suggested that we bring him in tomorrow and Friday for an hour each time, to see if the continuity will help him settle a little easier. So that's what we will do.

The nicest part of this day for Rowan and I was when he finally got to walk out of the school building. As he stepped out I pulled up with the car and stopped right in front of him. When he saw me, his crying immediately turned to a very very loud and excited "Yay!!!" as he waved his arm so high and so vigorously that it made all the other parents in the line behind me smile and say: "Aw, poor little guy." What a day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This morning, when Rowan realised it was a school day for him, he got very upset. He didn't want to get in the car with Richard and tried to force Richard to leave by saying: "Bye!" to him a few times, hoping that Richard will just go to work as usual and Rowan would get to stay home. Unfortunately we just had to give school another try and off they went.

As they got to a t-junction close to the school Rowan kept pointing in the direction opposite to the school saying: "There. There." meaning that Richard should turn left instead of right. It breaks your heart, doesn't it?

When Rowan met one of the teachers at the door he waved a tearful "Bye!" to his Dad and disappeared through the doorway.

I decided to stop by the school even earlier today and watched my boy battle his way through the last hour or so. It wasn't easy watching him out there all by himself, crying hopelessly every five minutes or so. So now, having seen how he suffers and how his suffering is not really being alleviated by the teachers, I am, we are, beginning to have serious doubts about whether this is in fact the right time for Rowan to be doing this. We have decided to give it one more try and then we will make our very important decision.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Train! Train! Train!

This weekend was definitely Train Weekend. On Saturday Thomas (of the tank engine fame) was in town so we went down there to see him. And contrary to popular understanding it is possible to see everything and also leave with the same amount of cash as you entered with!
But then today as the climax of this long weekend Rowan and I went to this new place in West Chester called EnterTrainMent Junction. It's a huge building completely filled with the biggest train setup I've ever seen.
So as we hopped in the Honda and drove off to see the trains, Rowan was already excited. Oh yes, I should mention the reason we were in the Honda. You see Elaine went to get gas for the mower yesterday in the Rav4 and a bit spilled out in the car and made it stink. So we left it outside with all the windows and sunroof open, which we forgot all about of course, and then in morning we awoke to a nice soothing patter of rain. After about an hour of listening to the rain we realized the car was still outside and slowly turning into a mobile duck pond.
Anyway so while the Rav4 was drying out we were arriving at the trains. We were there early but we still had to wait for about 5 minutes in the line to get tickets. These must have been very long minutes for Rowan 'cos he could see past the people's legs to the trains running around inside and we had to wait very patiently on the other side of a velvet rope.
Once we made it inside, we saw a whole world filled with moving trains all going chug-ah chug-ah and baaaap-baaap and lights and little people and cars. All really well done and impressive.
Rowan's excitement was palpable and after a while I asked him if he was going to have a heart attack.

He didn't answer, just ran off to the next window.

At the entrance they have a stack of Ikea stepping stools that you take and use the short folk to see into the displays. As we walked around sometimes I could not get the stool down fast enough for Rowan and so he decided he'll carry it around that way when you just have to see that train coming down the track you don't have to wait for slow old dad.

They have a lot to look at and too much to type about and after a lot of fun we made it out without any heart attacks.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Richard was very busy building a deck and some stairs for our backyard entertainment area today and because he was using some dangerous woodworking tools and equipment, Rowan had to stay indoors for the duration of this project. We placed a chair in front of our sliding door for him to sit on. This way he had a front row seat to all the action.

As I watched him paying such close attention to what Richard was doing right beneath his feet, I was reminded of a little fib my father once told my sister when she was little. Somehow it came to him telling her that he built our house himself and that Yolande helped him to build it. She believed it for a very long time and was very proud of herself. It was the sweetest thing ever. It was their little thing.

So now I wonder how Rowan will feel about all the little projects that Richard includes him in. We have photos of him planting trees, a vegetable garden and of course a few where he is wearing his carpenters outfit and hammering away at whatever Richard is working on at the time. I think it will make him feel very good indeed and if we need to inflate the story a little the way my Dad did, I don't think it would do any damage. Here's to our very busy little helper, Rowan!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Another walk through a beautiful park and I feel compelled to tell you about it. Now I know you might be thinking: "Oh Elaine, give it up already. Seen it!" and I am tempted to agree with you, but you see, it is so very important to me to acknowledge these moments that we spend together as a family, exploring and experiencing the natural world, for these are the moments where we feel most connected to each other and to this amazing world of ours.

I have always enjoyed visiting new places, be they natural, man-made or both. At my core I am the observer. As I walk through this world and encounter new places and people I am most likely to find a comfortable spot, look around and listen. I take it all in. Then, when I have the courage, I might report on what I have seen through some writing, a drawing, painting or a photograph.

I am so grateful to have found a partner that is eager to take me on these wonderful journeys and for us to be able to share it with our son is a privilege.

There is something very special about taking a little boy along with you on a walk like this. He looks at the world in a different way and forces you to look at it anew. He is the one that notices the smaller less traveled path off to side and wants to go there immediately. He is the one that stops to hear that bird call. He is the one that stood next to me today and, as we gazed up to the glittering ceiling of leaves above some very tall trees, said: "Wow!" with awe oozing out of him.

So today, as we stepped on rocks, pebbles, sticks and leaves and heard the thump, thump, thump of our feet across the wooden bridge, I felt at peace and thought to myself: "I have finally learnt how to live."

Friday, September 4, 2009

So, even though there wasn't any school for Rowan today, we still had to drop by to pay his tuition for the month. I was very nervous about how he might react and tried to prepare him before our arrival. "We are going to school to drop off a check, okay Rowan?" to which he promptly replied: "No. No. No." I tried to explain and again he came back with the triple negative. So I braced myself for some action.

As we pulled up he just calmly looked around - raising his eyebrows - not too sure of what the deal actually is. We parked the car and to my surprise he remained totally calm even as we entered the building. I was relieved.

When the staff started talking to him, however, his lip started curling down and the tears came rushing in. Slowly the crying got louder and louder. This was when I decided it was time to go. I said to Rowan: "Say 'bye' to your teachers!" and with a bit of a howl he managed to push "Bye!" out as we left through the door. So sweet. But then something even more precious happened...

As we got outside he took in a deep breath, and without any more crying he exhaled a very relieved "Shoo!" and wiped the tears from his face. All I could do was to hug him as hard and long as I could.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Our boy's sense of humour is developing at a rapid pace and to make it even more impressive he has acquired an entirely new way of laughing. "Huh-huh-huh-huh!" he pushes out from deep inside his belly in quick succession as he bends himself in half at the sight of the ball unexpectedly landing on the roof of our house. He has never seen a ball land on the roof before and thought it was the funniest thing ever. So we made it happen a few more times just to see and hear him express the humorous delight he felt inside. Good times!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day 2 of school, I am relieved to say, went very well for Rowan. He was still a little sad and confused at times, but I was told that he spent most of the day doing his work.

I decided to go to the school a little earlier today. This way I could sit in the observation booth, behind a one-way mirror, and watch Rowan go about his work. I am so glad that I did, because what I witnessed convinced me that Rowan is really settling into this new world of his. He got visibly sad a few times but was able to pull himself together and get back to the tasks at hand. He still seems unsure of himself in this strange place but I am sure that he will eventually reach a point where he can be his happy-go-lucky self again very soon.

His teachers are happy about the progress and seem positive that he will adjust within a couple of weeks.

There won't be any school tomorrow or Friday and I am sure we are going to enjoy just spending time together at home again. These last two days have been a challenge and we could use a bit of a break I think.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On a big day like today, Rowan's first day at school, I always feel that the blog entry should be a little more special than all the others. I guess it is because we make such a huge deal of these milestone events in our lives. Yes, our little boy is going to school. Yes, he is stepping out into this world all on his own. And that is big! The anticipation of it all is even bigger, but when it's all said and done, it was a pretty ordinary day where Rowan got to try out something new and his parents had to learn to put trust in others and have faith that he will be all right.

So this morning, after a healthy breakfast, Rowan enthusiastically said: "Car!" which indicated to us that he was ready to go to school. Backpack on his back. Ready to go! But first the obligatory first day of school photo.

Richard offered to take Rowan to school for the first few days, since he would be able to remain calmer than I would. I gladly accepted the offer. I really did not want to witness my little guy have a breakdown and not be able to help him out. So off they went.\

As soon as Richard got back to work I called him to get a report on how things went. Much to my surprise, Rowan got out of the car without any fuss and walked to his class room with his teacher. He did seem a little confused at first but went along with it anyway. So when I heard this news, I was ecstatic.

Feeling more relaxed about the whole situation I set out to do some housework with music blasting (so that I wouldn't feel too lonely.) Rowan's playroom was the first thing on my list. Before I knew it two hours had passed and I had just enough time to drink a cup of tee before I had to go fetch Rowan. I thought that Rowan would probably enjoy coming home to a nice clean room where his favourite new toy was ready and waiting. And not only can you see the bed again, it also received a new quilt. Won't that be great for a little cat nap?

I was very excited about seeing Rowan again. I was nervous about how he might react, but mostly hopeful that it all went all right. I was expecting a smiling face running toward me. Unfortunately this day turned out to be very challenging for him. As his teacher opened the door the first thing I noticed was his drooped posture and when I gazed into his eyes, my heart sank. He was sobbing. Not even the site of his Mom brought a smile to his face. He was not happy at all. I picked him up and told him that everything would be okay.

So now I wonder: "Is it really worth it? Does he need to go to school just yet?" But then I think about our little walk this evening, where Rowan walked out in front of us creating an ever bigger gap between us and him, and I know that he is ready for the next step. We just have to find a way to make it a little easier for him.