Happy to report that we survived the early morning hockey. It really wasn’t that bad. Considering thousands of Canadian kids, including my nephews, have been doing this for years, it really is a right of passage to being a hockey family. We’ve had it easy up until now. (Mind you some would say our out-door rural Alberta rinks are not exactly easy…)
Turns out the early morning hockey was one of the easier parts of the week…
I would have assumed that field trips would be a universally anticipated school tradition which all kids, everywhere would look forward to. Evidently not in Switzerland. Both kids had field trips this week. One worth excitement and anticipation; the other, not so much. Helena had a forest day with her class. Spending all day in the forest exploring. They each bring a sausage to be cooked for lunch. Having raised nature-loving-capable kids, this one is a no brainer. Good times await.
D on the other hand…
This week his class went to…wait for it…
The Dentist! Poor kid was worried beyond belief no matter how much I guaranteed him that they can’t actually do work on him without our permission. (They can’t. Right?) Considering that the kids are in a special class for newcomers, I guess this is necessary. Some of his peers may have never been to a dentist before.
So, contrary to the assumption that one field trip was easy & one would be more challenging, they turned out opposite of what we expected. Helena arrived back on the bus as though she’d been chewed up and spit out. The day was hot and hard. We’ve entered the mean-girl years which evidently is no different here than at home. There’s one in Helena’s class who has chosen her as her subject. This is always a challenge but it is especially difficult when the ability to talk and reason is removed because of the language barrier. The only common ground they have is that they both don’t speak the other’s language. Our mean girl Maria, knows German and so has the advantage of rallying the the other local kids with her. The field trip was a perfect landscape for her to play out this advantage. It was a hard, hard day for H but one I know that may repeat time and again in her adolescent years to come. Not something we can protect her from, all we can do is arm her with enough strength, courage and self confidence to weather the storm.
Oh, and she came home with ticks. After her field trip she was predictably dirty so a bath was necessary. After the bath, while cuddling with her in her bed, hearing about the mean tactics Maria used, I was rubbing her back and felt what I thought was a dried up scab in her arm pit. A tiny, black spot. I picked at it to remove it but couldn’t quite get it off, had to tug a few times. Once it came off I saw that it was alive! Shudder and activate the full body search! We found one other right by her groin. On the plus side, this excitement was just what she needed to stop thinking about Maria for a bit!
D on the other hand came away from his field trip feeling pretty pleased with himself. No cavities to report. His one English speaking classmate has 3 and another kid has a couple root canals coming her way. Such an odd thing to do with your classmates. Talk about fodder for a bully to fiest on. But in a perfect karmic way, it’s his class bully who has the most dental work required. Ha ha. (Sorry, was that mean?)
And so, when life hands your kids a bit of a tough week, plus the good news that there are no cavities, you take them to Winterthur’s best chocolate shop!
With a little chocolate in their bellies, everything began to feel right in the world again.
Today was the last of a stretch of really hot days. +28 for the last 5 days. It would appear that the cooler fall weather arrives tomorrow. (Only 23 in the forecast) So with this feeling as though it was the last day of summer, I decided that the season wrap-up required a swim in our neighbourhood fountain. We’ve seen countless kids in there but were never bold enough to get in ourselves considering its proximity to the nicest restaurant around – the fountain is literally the centre of the patio of this gorgeous restaurant. There are always beautiful meals being enjoyed and gorgeous drinks being consumed, the idea of ruining that scene with my screeching, flailing kids just felt too gauche. But let’s face it, I’m practically a dumpster diver -gauche is my middle name!
And so, with a little chocolate and some fountain swimming, you can restore the balance of happiness in your kids. Or at least enough to get us through to the weekend.
Oh, and guess what else is a commonality between Canada and Switzerland school systems?
Lice…for the love of God…thankfully this is not yet a chapter in our saga. Please, please let us be spared of this one.