Thursday, July 29, 2010


I know how important it is to have open lines of communication with your children's teachers. After all, they are like your child's second family. I just never expected that those lines would be so busy when it came to Jack!

I'm not saying that Jack is a bad student. Academics seem to have been the last thing his teacher and I have been discussing. Jack is just a continual source of amusement to us, his teachers, his classmates, and their families. "Jack from Canada" is well known at school. Though famous or infamous I'm not sure.....

The first time I got the call in Grade 1 was a bit of a sticky situation - literally. The class was doing an art project and Jack somehow glued his fingers together. Who knew glue sticks were that powerful? I don't know why he didn't just wash his hands or get his teacher's help. Boys' minds just work differently I guess. No, instead Jack and his friend decided - as only two 6 year old boys could - that the best course of action would be to cut his fingers apart. I asked Jack why he would let someone else near him with scissors. He claimed that after their first failed attempt he had expressed some doubts, but decided to go ahead anyway. Not surprisingly, his finger got cut. On his way back from getting a bandage at the office, he ran into the gym teacher who thought he looked a bit pale. (He did admittedly look a little Edward Cullen-ish, but do you know many redheads who aren't pasty white?) She asked him if he was o.k., to which he replied that he was going to explode. She took that to mean that he was going to spew everywhere. In actuality, it was just my dramatic son's way of saying that his heart was racing. (Probably from the sight of the blood - he is his mom's child). I got the call to pick him up from the school. No one wants a kid that's going to puke! The next day several curious moms wanted to know if the story of the glued fingers was true. I guess when they asked their kids "what happened at school today?" Jack's episode rated higher than the usual "nothing".

Not long after, I got an email from his teacher. She was trying to verify Jack's birthday for a class project they were doing. Jack was adamant that his birthday was in July but all of the school's documentation listed August. I replied back that his birthday was indeed in August. When I picked him up that day a laughing Miss Wilson beckoned me into the classroom. It seems that when she told Jack his birthday was in August he simply nodded his head and informed her that because of the time difference, his birthday was in July in Canada but August in Australia. Who knew there was an international birthdate line?

My latest chat with Miss Wilson was really quite hilarious, though embarrassing. It's not everyday that you get to discuss flatulence with your child's teacher. Apparently, the kids had been sitting quietly on the carpet listening to a story when Jack let out 3 (the # is subject to some debate) rather large, loud rippers. When the dismissal bell rang for the day, out ran one of Jack's friends, making a bee-line for me. Will couldn't wait to explain how Jack had been sent out of the classroom because he had "fluffed" 3 times. (I find it strange in a country where they bluntly call restrooms - the "toilet" - that kids here refer to "farts" as "fluffs. But I digress). Will's mom told me she had heard 5 fluffs when he was relaying the story to his family later that night. Luckily, Jack didn't actually get kicked out of the classroom. His teacher thought it best that he excuse himself and take a visit to the toilet, as he obviously had some stomach issues. Afterwards I clued into the fact that pepperoni and Gouda cheese sandwiches might not be the best lunch combination in the future - at least for the good of his classmates.

With 5 more months of school left I'm sure Miss Wilson and I will have many more conversations regarding my accidental comedian. I just hope she doesn't have to put me on speed dial!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sporty Sports Day

The kids were walking home from school recently and their conversation went something like this:

Caitlyn: "These Australians are really serious about their sports!"
Jack: "Yeah, they are so super sporty!"
Josh (their Canadian friend): "They are like outside all the time running around! You know, we Canadians are like, happy to sit in front of the T.V. every once in awhile."
Then they all nodded in earnest agreement.

A couple of weeks ago Caitlyn had her "Sports Carnival." Although the kids had fun, I would agree that it was far more serious than the Sports Days of our Canadian past.

In Calgary, some of the kid's favourite sports day events weren't really even true "sports". While technically running is a part of "duck, duck, goose," I don't think any of the kids actually realized they were exercising. And the reason that particular game station was so popular - the person who was "it" got to drench the "goose" with a wet sponge.

My personal favourite was at Caitlyn's grade 1 sports day, where all of the kids fought for their turn to roll down a hill in an empty refrigerator box! Classic!

I guess I expected a less competitive edge to Caitlyn's Aussie Sports Carnival. Maybe some races of the wheel barrel, egg on the spoon, potato sack, or three-legged variety? Instead the day was filled with shot put, long jump, high jump, and a 100 metre sprint. It was like a mini-Olympics! The kids were all divided up into their school houses with the goal of winning points for their teams. Chants and house songs filled the air. I had to stifle a giggle when Caitlyn's team did their chants - her house has the unfortunate sounding name of Meibusch (pronounced "my bush"). I know, I'm juvenile!

They had fun cheering for their teams, wearing their House colours, doing their House chants, but it was definitely a competition. Caitlyn gave it her best, and that's all we asked. She was disappointed with her performance but soon perked up upon the presentation of a special treat. No... not a medal or even a ribbon... she was happy with a cupcake (or two) from the bake sale table.
So, while some of us Canadians are not so "super sporty" we will give it a go when there's chocolate at the finish line!