It's been a tough week (few weeks?) for us. Grace's start in Kindergarten has been a roller coaster: she is really happy at school and loves it there, but is so exhausted that her behavior at home leaves a lot to be desired. She also had one physical fight with another child already :( We know other kids having different symptoms of adjusting to the structured school environment with lots of new activities (Kiswahili lessons, music, art, swimming, PE and library!). I know we're in good company, but that doesn't make it much easier in the middle of her extreme temper tantrums.
In order to be to school on time without sitting in an hour of traffic she has to leave the house at 6:20. Which means waking up at 5:30. Which means going to bed by 6:30. When school is over at 1:45 she either comes home (2 or 3 times a week) or goes to Nordic School for their after school program where she gets to have Danish lessons and be in a safe, comfortable place with her Nordic community for eating, playing, swimming. It is a wonderful opportunity for her to keep that Nordic connection and start learning to read and write in Danish, but also makes her even more tired. So we're still working on finding the right balance. At least she loves her school, loves that she has a lot of friends there and is making new friends even. Seems to like her teacher, who I will get to know a little bit better this afternoon at the school's first open house.
Then she got head lice (and so did Kristoffer...so far just him), which is MUCH WORSE THAN ANYONE EVER TELLS YOU. Or maybe it's just because Grace is impossible when it comes to anything related to her hair. Our past weekend was the worst one on record with new levels of screaming, separations, and very expensive medicines/hair products.
Then she got sick with a chest infection. As did Aya (who has both viral and bacterial infections). Both of them are on antibiotics now. I hate that Aya needed them already...although I guess Noah's first antibiotics in Kenya started at 16 days old, so at least she is not that young.
Speaking of Noah...he is adjusting to life without Grace at Nordic School pretty well, for the most part. But he misses her a lot so when they are together he is not always nice to her (teasing her a lot...for which she has no tolerance). We can see that their play is changing as she now feels a distinct difference in their age since she is in formal school. We will have to continue to help him - both of them! all of us! - navigate this change. One coping mechanism he is using is imaginary friends. He seems to be talking a lot about his "big brother Shredder" (the bad guy from TMNT) and "all of his little brother robots". Luckily he really loves to play with Oliver and when he gets home before Grace he will often decide whether he wants to play with me or her, and then he is getting a lot of focused attention. And you know...he's only 3, so he still has his fair share of "where did that come from?" meltdowns...although at school they don't believe me about that because they think he is just the sweetest boy ever. He is very sweet! But all kids are complex!
Aya is not sleeping through the night even a little bit...being sick has sort of ruined whatever progress we were making in that department. She is surprisingly mobile now that she can roll both ways, and she is very ticklish which I adore about her. I really hope she feels better soon - the antibiotics are helping her infections, but are not helping her stomach.
Kristoffer and I are really, really, really tired. Loving our little kiddos, but having three of them in three totally different stages is a little bit more challenging than we expected. Hoping we can start fresh next week with no illness, more sleep, and perhaps more patience with each other :)