As you may remember, K is now in preschool. The first few weeks went swimmingly - he was excited to go, had fun, and would come home and tell me all about it. Then out of nowhere, he decided he didn't like school and no longer needs to go. He makes up excuses (e.g. he has to go to work) and cries a lot. For a while he was waking up multiple times during the night begging and crying to not go to school, even on non-school days.
Quite obviously this has me concerned. I have asked him what the problem is, and he says he loves his teachers, his friends, the bus, the toys, everything, but the classroom is scary. During his field trip the teacher told me that the other day he went up to her and said something really long to her in English and she couldn't understand. He said it again and she still couldn't get it and then he cried. Apparently he cried for quite a while. I asked him what he told her, but he didn't remember. This broke my heart. Maybe the classroom is scary for him because he has worked out that if there is a problem and he can't express it in Japanese (very likely), then he is kind of screwed. Gaaa...just writing that makes me want to cry.
We have worked out a little plan - more one-on-one time (i.e. Japanese only time) with Y, me being super encouraging of his Japanese (I think he knows more than he realizes), and playing with school friends outside of school. So, last week I called a mom of one of the boys he talks about and they came over to play last Wednesday. The boys didn't really play together so much, but I think just becoming more familiar with a classmate will help.
A few days before coming over, I asked K what snack he wanted me to make for the play date. He said he wanted dinosaur cookies. This came as a big shock to me, since I didn't even know that he knew what dinosaurs were. Luckily, however, a few years ago on a trip home to the States I picked up some dinosaur cookie cutters!
I started by making a half-recipe of my sugar cookies and cutting them with the dinosaur cutters. This was a tad challenging since the tips of the tails are really tiny and kept tearing off in the cutter. I was able to salvage most of them, but some had to be scrapped.
Then, using leftover icing from the Shinkansen cookies, I decorated the dinos. I think the icing had lost some of its water, making it quite difficult to spread. The purple/pink color was the worst. Y said he thought it make them look more like dinosaurs, but I just thought they looked kind of messy.
That being said, they tasted just the same as they usually do, so it all worked out. The day after the friend came over, K had to go to preschool. He cried and cried the whole morning before leaving the house and finally the teacher had to pry him off of me to put him on the bus. It totally bummed me out, but he came home and said that he had such fun! What a relief. After that, I figured all this crying and stress would be finished, but he cried quite a bit on Saturday and Sunday just thinking about school. Dear me.
Monday morning rolled along, however, and he took it like a champ. There were a few times I thought he would lose it, but he held it together and didn't cry the whole day. Again, after getting home he told me about all of the fun he had. I'm hoping we have turned a corner, but I imagine there will be good days and bad days. Let's hope Thursday is a good one!