Wednesday, March 05, 2008

School went great!

The boys did great at school on Monday! We went to Dima's class first and Zhenya and I stayed there for a little bit while Dima got oriented. Then I took Zhenya to his class. Then I went to the office for the preschool and the office for the school and paid everyone lots of money. Okay, it's not really LOTS of money, but it feels that way. :) Before I left, I checked back in on the boys. I peeked in on Zhenya but they have one-way glass in the classrooms so he couldn't see me. They were having storytime and he was sitting and listening to the story (actively, trying to see the pictures as she turned the pages) so I went on upstairs to Dima's room. I stepped into the classroom and his face just lit up like you wouldn't believe. His teacher gave me two thumbs up so I stayed for a few minutes just to see how he was doing and then I left. He was interacting and participating and talking so I knew he was okay, at least at that point. I went to the grocery store, home, and then back to school to check in on everyone. Dima's class was working at their tables on a coloring page. He saw me, so I came in and talked to him about what he was doing and asked him if he wanted to stay. His response was an emphatic "da", so I went downstairs to see Zhenya in the lunchroom. He didn't see me until I was standing right next to him. When he saw me, he just stared at me like he couldn't believe I was really there. As soon as he got over his shock, he threw his arms around me in a big hug. I think he was probably ready to go home by that point, but they were sitting down to lunch so I told him I would be back in a little while. I went home again and left an hour later to check in again (I spent a lot of time driving 2 miles back and forth on Monday LOL). I stopped in at Zhenya's room but they were napping so I went on upstairs to Dima. They were at recess so I waited for a few minutes for them to come upstairs. I could tell when I saw Dima that he was getting overwhelmed, but he was still talking and looking me in the eye and he still wanted to stay. So he stayed--for the whole day! I went downstairs and Zhenya had just woken up. He was pretty groggy and out of it so I went ahead and took him home so he could process at home alone for a little while. We picked Dima up at 3:30 and went home. I was surprised to find that their behavior was good for the rest of the day, and Dima actually seemed to be behaving close to age-appropriate.

Of course, that was before the blizzard. :) :) It snowed Monday night into Tuesday and school was closed yesterday and today. Their behavior has been pretty standard the past two days, although we have had a couple of tantrums from Dima. I'm not sure if it's due to overstimulation from Monday (it doesn't really seem like it) or just from being stuck inside. They'll be at school tomorrow and Friday so we'll see how they do with going two days in a row. In some respects, I think the school thing may actually be good for their attachment. They see us leave them with other kids, same as has happened to them in the past, but we come back. This is a new experience for them. So we'll see how the rest of the week goes, but so far so good. They both want to go back to school! :)

The blizzard:

The boys at "school" (at home):

Focusing on cutting (Dima) and tearing (Zhenya):


David & Monica said...

Courtney and Mark,
Congrats to the boys! I am so impressed with your wisdom in parenting given that these are your first children. Of course, they did great - you have done so well with them in the few short months you have been home. Thank you for continuing to blog - we love hearing about the boys. Good news, Kostya has given us the GO to re-do our docs and he wants them in ASAP. Don't know what is up but I am certianly not questioning a thing :-) Take care!

Mark and Courtney said...

Thanks, Monica! I usually don't feel very wise, but I'm spending lots of time in prayer and trusting that God won't let me screw up the kids He's given us. :) :)

Meghan said...

I am so glad to read that the boys did so well at school! And you seemed to have done well too.
I trully enjoy reading about their progress and celebrate with you as the boys reach new milestones in their relationships, learning new skills (yeah! puke in the toilet) and continuing to settle in to their home and family.
I also wanted to thank you for posting about Starfall. I started using it with Elly to help her speech and she loves it. Of course, Ivie and I "play" it too.

Ola said...


I came across your blog and read about your experience with great interest, especially about the time at home.

We came back home with our Alyosha on 31st October last when he was 4.5 years old so now it's 4 months home for us. I recognize a lot of what you write - that's what was our experience, very similar discipline issues, whining to get things (still perists..), growing attachment (but still way to go) and most of all great progress.

I will definitely keep reading your blog - all the best to your family!

Greetings from Germany!

DoveFamily said...

Glad the first day went so well! :)

musicmommy3 said...

I'm glad for you that the first day went well. I would agree that you two are doing a super job, especially considering this is your first parenting experience. :)

Sarah Halter said...

I'm glad it went SO well! Praise God. You are doing such an awesome job with these little guys!

Christine said...

Good to hear the first day went well!

Diane said...

Yay...more Olmsted's that like school:) 75 days home! It doesn't seem like it's been that long from this side. Love you all.