July 3rd, 2016


Tricky Transitions

Transitions are tough. For me at least. We are suddenly into the last month of Kinderkrippe (nursery) for Patrick and of Kindergarten for Markus.
Babyhood and childhood is full of firsts and these are generally easy to spot and record. Oh look, first steps! First words! First tooth out!
But the lasts slip by unnoticed, until suddenly you look round and realize you can't remember the last time.

This last week has been particularly tricky to navigate. Patrick had his first visit to Kindergarten, Markus had his first visit to school, we had two meetings at the school he is assigned to. We still have an appeal pending for our local school (just round the corner) but still haven't heard. I have needed emotional energy this week, to help the boys prepare, but also to prepare for my inevitable discomfort of transitions and change.

Since being a Mum I have been constantly pushed and challenged. The children change before I am ready :-) It takes me a long while to document and reflect and be ready to leave that stage behind. So this time I am giving myself a few weeks' head start!

Below are some (nearly) lasts and some firsts. Two years ago I was staying goodbye to my solo bike ride to work, this time I am sad that I only have a few more weeks of cycling with Markus to Kindergarten. He has been riding solo the last 18 months, he is so confident now on the 1.5 km cycle. I will miss this. He won't be allowed to cycle to school :-( Another last was the Kindergarten performance a few weeks back - they did a dance performance on the topic of jungle. Markus has made so many friends there and they are all now going to different primary schools. I think we will keep a couple of those friendships, but I think it's tough for him to imagine yet. I have to savour each time I still have to bring him in and pick him up. Talking to the other parents, then rushing off to work. Then I have another 2 years with Patrick there. Even though he is a regular visitor to the kindergarten, his visit was a bit bumpy. Too many other kids and chaos. But he found some tractors so was happy :-)

It will be so strange soon not to be doing the journey across town to get to the nursery and Hardplatz. It will have been 6.5 years in total.  The nursery has really helped us bring both boys up. It will be a tough day on June 26th. Not just for us, but also for the Kinderkrippe Manager, who I have since become friends with. And even Hardplatz is changing - they are digging it up to extend the no 8 line over the Hardbrücke. This won't be finished until Dec 2017!

But some things stay the same - on Friday I picked up Markus then Patrick and we went to our favourite "Roundabout Park" aka Bäckeranlage - which is halfway between Kinderkrippe and home. The kids paddled, got wet, played football, watched the air display and then sat on the horses!


Patrick at 4 years, 4 months to 4 years, 11 months (months 52-59)

Our Patrick is a complex bundle of contradictions. He is so full of energy, is almost as tall as Markus and as heavy and in fact they get mistaken for twins the whole time. But you listen to him talk and you realize he is 2 years younger. His stutter has mostly gone. He swings from gasping sobs of crying to hugging me and kissing my hand and saying things like :
"mummy, when I hug you harder and harder, it means I lub you more and more"
"mummy I lub you really much"

there are quite a few german word order sentences that creep in still, like
"for who are you?" and *there is it* (for there it is)
"But you know..."
"had you saw that?"
"had I won?"

Like Markus he is obsessed with "mummy phone" and "mummy laptop" and favourite game is the Minion one. He is also very good at taking selfies!
When playing on his own at home, he likes creating mashups of dinosaurs, emergency vehicles, cars
When he plays with Markus, anything goes. They cooperate and play together really well, until they don't!
Patrick likes board games, partic Uno, the ghost game, Lottie Karroti

He still loves swimming, adores watching the football on TV and goes crazy for every goal score, jumping up and down and screeching.
He has less than a month left of kinderkrippe and then it's time for Kindergarten. Not sure how he is going to get on - he is starting to go a bit crazy at Kinderkrippe (Bored I think) and has started to copy Markus' emotional behaviour - storming off when he doesn't want to do something. Let's see,,,

Some more Patrick-isms
"When I "hippuc" then I know my tummy's grumbling."
"It was only an accdident"
on finding small boy out of bed fully dressed "but you know i just wanted to be ready to play again in the morning quicker"

Months 59, 58, 57,

Months 56, 55, 54

Months 53, 52


Markus at 6 years 3 months, to 6 years, 10 months (months 75-82)

Our big boy is more than ready for school, but it is hard to believe that the 2 years of Kindergarten have gone so fast.
The last 3-4 months have been a bit challenging as Markus learns to control his emotions and reactions to others - we have had some difficult instances. He has taken a break from swimming as it wasn't fun any more.

On the other hand, he is writing names nicely, can do lots of addition, subtraction and multiplication in his head. With Alan he's learnt loads about dinosaurs adn they are now tacking the solar system. He is fasincated by the football and has learnt all the rules and is swapping panninis with all his Kindergarten friends. He visited his new school last week and although shy at the beginning, did really well with it. Some big girls helped him and he was really proud to complete 2 work sheets!

He is still as creative and draws beautiful pictures, often as an apology.
He has 7 baby teeth gone and the front four adult teeth are through.

I have brilliant conversations with him when we walk to and from kindergarten:
Markus: Mum, Switzerland has lots of banks, lots of robbers want to break in don't they? I bet they have lots of alarms in the banks!

On 5 min walk to chindsgi M & I discussed WW2, nuclear bombs, Swiss neutrality, Swiss army & role of Swiss banks.
mummy i'm not happy or sad I am just in the middle. emotional awareness from eldest boy!
mummy, you are an odd mummy, mummy!

He still has some interesting language constructions:
He did it extra!
over yesterday
over next day
For who are you?
Can I please say something?

Months 82, 81, 80,

Months 79, 78, 77

Months 76, 75