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back to school holiday

Serving in Kenya, shortly after we got married and before we even thought about having children, we tried to take advantage of every extended holiday weekend to get out of Nairobi and explore the country. We continued to travel a lot after Munchkin was born, using our posting in Moldova as a springboard to explore Eastern and Central Europe, but we also came to appreciate the value of spending long weekends at home to soak in the wonderment of new parenthood.

Now that Munchkin is older and we have a new baby who also needs love and constant attention, we are beginning to appreciate another potential of holiday weekends – the opportunity to enjoy some quiet time at home while our favorite troublemaker is away at school. Having all but given up his afternoon nap during this summer’s transitions, Munchkin can sometimes be a handful to handle. Fortunately, his love of school has remained constant through our many moves, and he is much easier to manage after a day of expending energy with classmates than when we have to entertain him from sunup to sundown.

Munchkin’s school eased the kids into the new school year with just two days of classes before a long holiday weekend. With a Rwandan holiday on Friday and an American one on Monday, D enjoyed a four-day weekend snuggling with Junebug while S took advantage of her mom’s two-week-long stay to engage in one thousand and one home improvement projects. Munchkin’s school was closed on Friday, but not on Monday, so we got a brief reprieve from his antics for a day.

Because of the age bands the school uses to divide kids into its “pre-primary” grades, Munchkin wound up in a different class from the friends he made last year, most of whom are six to twelve months older. The principal explained that the first month will be a feeling out period, and the school might move Munchkin up to be in the same class as his friends from last year. She also cautioned that the school would use behavioral progress – and not just academic achievement – to make the determination. Imposing terminology to evaluate a three-year old!

As if on cue, just as the principal explained the school’s methodology to S, Munchkin picked up a trash can and launched it off the second floor balcony into the stairwell. There is no question that he’s grown wild and unruly over the course of the summer. We’re hoping school and a return to routine will help smoothe some of his rough edges.

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