05 June, 2012

A bit of unwanted excitement

Today the Senior do the oral presentation of something that I don't fully understand, but it is a large project that they've worked on over several months. It is supra-subject, from what I understand. That is, it isn't just for one subject that they're studying. Today they do a something like 30 min presentation that is assessed by a panel of three teachers. That means that all the teachers of the school are pulled in to do this and all the students of the school are given a day off. Middle and High schoolers are required to go and listen to one or more of these (depending on their grade level).

So, with the end of school only days away, I have the kids home today. I feel almost like holidays have begun. Wednesday and Thursday, the last full days of school, are just bonuses!

But what I didn't want to do today, and what I never try to do when I have the boys on my own, is to shop. Especially clothes shopping. But it turns out that our 13 y.o. needed a white shirt for French tomorrow. In typical fashion he told us too late, and today was the only time we could do it. So, I marshalled the boys and we headed off on the "long" route to a very local, cheap clothing store. (The "long" route to help get rid of some energy.)

Turns out the shop was shut. So our most reluctant shopper (9 y.o.) immediately turned around and rode home, without waiting to hear what we were going to do about it. I sent my eldest off after him, and he had a terrible job trying to persuade his brother that he needed to stick with us a bit longer. (I figured it was just deserts, considering that the whole excursion might have been avoided if our eldest had communicated appropriately with us!)

So we rode a fair bit further to a shopping centre and found a white shirt. But by this time it was getting close to lunch time and the bad-boy-shopping syndrome was happening: pushing, shoving, tickling, wrestling, running, etc. Arggghh. So, we dropped into a bakery on the first floor and filled up. Yummy bread!

In the middle of all this I also managed to buy a (late) birthday present for my dad and a father's day present for my husband (trying to get with the Japanese date for Father's Day). But I tell you, the girly side of me just wanted to do a little browsing. My boys just don't understand that. They say things like, "Why are you looking at that?" "What are we doing now?" Or they trail around on my heels like lost dogs.

The other amazing thing we bought was an exercise book for my eldest to practise his Japanese in. This is a new development. We had him in Japanese school back in Grade 1 and that turned out to be such a bad experience, that it basically has turned him off learning Japanese ever since. However this week he has to decide what subjects to take next year and he's decided to do Japanese, instead of the French that he loves. His reasoning:
"I'm not going to have a chance to use French any time soon, but I live in Japan and it would be quite useful."
Well, couldn't have said it better myself. But it is amazing how motivating it is to come to the conviction yourself rather than have someone else's conviction imposed upon you.

School doesn't start until August, but he's decided to do some preliminary study to catch up a little bit on what, presumably, his classmates already know. Certainly things that he used to know.

His brothers have been learning Japanese at school (it is compulsory in Grades 1-5). It was touching to see his 9 y.o. brother gently teaching him some basic Japanese characters last night after dinner. Very rare that his younger brothers can teach him anything that he doesn't already know. Very rare that he's willing to be taught by them too!

And now, with the day's excitement over, I'm back at the computer, working on my "to do" list. To truly, I really could do without the "excitement" of taking three boys shopping.


andrea.johnson1@me.com said...

Sounds like you "marshaled" the boys into a good day of living responsibly and kindly in the midst of unexpected challenges...you're a good mom.

Evangeline said...

I agree with Andrea! You are certainly living up to your name! :-)