Sunday, September 09, 2007

At the start: the twins at St. Teresa's preschool

With some pomp and circumstance (added namely by the accompaniment of two parents and one big sister), Adam and Royce started preschool last week. They are going to a small local preschool, 3 mornings per week. We take our apartment building shuttle bus into Stanley, the nearest town and from there we have a short walk to school. Adam and Royce know or at least recognize most of the kids in the class, a mix of many expatriates here but mainly French kids. And of course they have each other but we are finding this is not as much a comfort as we anticipated.

While the first week has been an adjustment for all of us, Royce is taking it in stride. She sits with other girls and does her own thing. Adam tries to sit with her but it squeezed out by other girls –and perhaps by Royce herself. Adam tells us that he spends a good part of preschool just looking at Royce. While this breaks my heart, he has come up with a plan. His plan is to “orbit” Royce. On the playground- and at times in the classroom- he runs in circles around Royce, semi-protecting her and semi-frightening the French kids. I am not sure this is a long term solution but Adam loves to run and he does seem happier.

Preschool in Hong Kong, and perhaps the world at large, seems to start very early. Kids here typically start some sort of school right at two years of age. Being all of four years old and late comers to this education thing, St. Teresa’s expressed some concerns about how the twins would fit in with the class. So far, Adam brings chapter books (as opposed to picture books) to class on a daily basis and Royce is surprised to find the class studying “pets” this week. She told the teacher she is more interested in Ancient Greece. So the concerns remain but are slightly adjusted from temperament to subject matter.

One of Adam’s concerns is his cubby and it is a well-founded concern. In a class of about 12 kids, there are 3 Adams (two of which happen to have twin sisters!). Our Adam is concerned another Adam will put his things into his cubby. Royce volunteered the use of her cubby and this seems to work for now. We are really hoping that all these Adams will spur our own Adam to learn how to spell and write his last name!


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