Thursday, September 13, 2007

First Day of School Ever

(first edited a few times because of wrong date, and then to add a detail about his lunch)

Last Thursday -- a week ago -- was Kelvin's first day of school.
It was 6:45 am (1h trip from the old house) when they left and his eyes were still puffy from being woken up so early, but he was so excited that he was smiling the whole time -- so cute!

You may recall that I was planing to keep him at home and register him at a charter (publicly funded) cyber-school, but I finally realized that this was not really an option because I have a dissertation to finish. When we took this decision two (now almost three) weeks ago I felt bad to be so lousy at planning my son's schooling, BUT we also decided only after our offer on the new house was accepted because before then we didn't even know where we were going to live! Our lives are just so complicated right now I know you guys can hardly keep up with us :).

Our new house's school district is excellent and fairly small (the Elementary school has 450 students and I was told that this is good -- I have to confess I know very little about this country's school system), but I didn't want to send my son to public school -- he's definitely not prepared to face a big school. Our other option was a tiny private school at the back of a church five minutes from our house. I was skeptical about its small size, but when we visited it a week from the day he started, I just loved it (and Kelvin did too)! It's a two classroom (which are located in an annex at the back of the church), 10 student (11 now ;) K-8 school with two teachers. My son's class has 4 other boys (plus a 4 year old who comes two mornings a week for their experimental 'pre-school' program) up to 2nd grade -- 5 kids for one teacher, isn't that great? The classroom itself is roomy, brightly decorated, and with a nice kiddie bathroom at the back, some toys, and a reading corner with many books. It also doubles as the school office, with a computer, copier, telephone, etc. The other classroom has the upper level students and also contains several computers. The children eat their (brought from home) lunches in the church's fellowship hall, which is also their "playroom" at that time, they can heat their food in the microwave, and on Fridays the school orders pizza for whoever signs up for it.

I'd been just the tiniest bit apprehensive about how Kelvin would react to being away from home for so many hours, but he was totally ready to do it. In fact, he seemed positively happy to leave mommy and home to go. He started saying "Bye mama" even before he had eaten and was ready to go (too bad the goodbye photo on the right was fuzzy because of the low light). Talking about eating, I was inspired by the now classic lunches of Jennifer McCann's Vegan Lunch Box to prepare a kind of sushi (Shmoo's first lunch was sushi) -- not because I can prepare sushi, but because I bought a kit for this particular one at a Korean grocery store and it was very easy to make even while moving, I just cooked the rice, mixed it with the seasonings and filled the tofu shells:
Edited to add: I just found out that this sushi, which I over filled, as you can tell (I made more rice than would fit the little pouches), is called Inari sushi, and it was featured in the very first month of of the Vegan Lunch Box blog here. I guess I should get a Bento box and become the "Vegetarian Lunch Box" blog since Jennifer is no longer updating her blog and I'm sure I could add several Brazilian inspired dishes to her repertoire :)

I added some pieces of tofu seasoned with cumin, curry, salt and other spices. I put a piece of edamame in the center, but unfortunately Kelvin doesn't like it. Can you believe that he ate the whole thing? I guess he was quite hungry after his 6:30 am breakfast. And here's the rest of his lunch:Some grape tomatoes from the garden, super sweet honeydew melon -- which he didn't eat because it turned to mush in a plastic bag :( -- and dessert chocolate cookies (Newman's Own Alphabet Cookies) spelling his name, plus some Trader Joe's cat chocolate cookies:
I'm proud to say that even through our move he's eaten home cooked lunches everyday except for the pizza day (Fridays). Of course on Monday I brought our lunch (Brazilians eat a dinner-like lunch) from Sunday that I helped my sister-in-law cook so we could have enough left over for Kelvin, daddy, and for their family. Good thing we have a kitchen in our hotel room too.

I'll post photos of his lunches once in a while if you'd like to see them, OK? Let me know :).

So here are some other photos that daddy took in his first day of school:
It wasn't actually the first day of school -- Kelvin was almost two weeks late because of our move, but what could we have done?
He's very happy, but a bit shy. The teacher was stuck in traffic and a bit late, and he was shy and reserved until she arrived and then he felt at ease. I guess he loves his teacher already. I'm including this photo, but I may delete it later since I don't feel comfortable posting her photo without her permission, what do you think? Is this a big deal? She's expecting a baby for January and she will be away for only 6 weeks and I'm already sad for the non-existence of maternity leave in this country (in Brazil it's 4 months of PAID leave) and worried about her and the baby (I want to help her find a way to pump her milk during the day -- something which will be really hard in such a tiny school with only two teachers. I'm already thinking of volunteering to be there at lunch time so she can pump... I'm just that committed to breastfeeding -- I guess I'm definitely a lactivist :).

Anyway, I have other school-related stories and comments, but I'll have to post them later because I now have to go to the new house -- the moving boxes will be delivered today!


Sandra said...

Awww, he looks so happy! How cute!

Yvette said...

What a big step for him! Very, very cute. And the school sounds so charming. I'd be interested to hear more about it and how you feel over time about your decision of that school over your other options.

Anjali said...

So glad he's adjusted so easily. What a doll.

Leela's favorite food is cucumber sushi. I'm going to have to teach myself how to make it so I can pack it for her for preschool! Thanks for the idea!

(And we have the bento boxes -- I LOVE them.

Caroline said...

Congratulations on this huge transition! I hope he keeps loving it.
I'm so lucky/grateful that my son's school provides a good lunch (organic ingredients! vegetarian choices!) so that's one less thing for me to do before racing out the door in the morning...The lunches you're packing look so good, I want to eat at your house!

Keiko said...

Ah Lilian, que bonitinho!!!
E que legal essa escolinha pequenininha, eh adventista?

E adorei a coisa dos lanches, eu bem gosto desse blog (que descobri obviamente através da sua lista), esse Inari tá um charme, btw, Inaris são o único tipo de Sushi que eu gosto...uma autêntica japonesa eu, não?

Gente, quando vc muda pra casa? Quarto de hotel ninguém merece...


The Hen said...

How sweet and adorable...and you are so fabulous for making that lunch! I love Vegan Lunchbox too. Guilt over here when Maria started pre-school...I am quickly over it. :)