Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Best Friends Say Good-Bye

Last Wednesday Katya's best friend moved back to Sweden. They've been friends since their first day of school together, September 1st, 2005. They were both new at M-----, a kindergarten with Russian and English. I realized that poor Amanda knew neither Russian nor English--not a word! Fully aware of what it's like to be new in a school where you don't speak the language, Katya went over to her and took her hand. And that was that! Amanda's mom and dad have become good friends, too, and I'll also miss them. Her little brother is also adorable... Alas, it's part of expat life that people are constantly coming and going...

Amanda had never been to Mir Dyetstva, so we took her there on her last weekend in Moscow. That place is an absolute DON'T MISS spot in Moscow if you've got kids. It's a three-story complex that houses a puppet theater, pediatric dentist, early childhood/parenting/pregnancy classes, boutiques with toys/clothing/educational toys/books & videos/art supplies, indoor playground where you can check your kids in, a restaurant, a cafe, a paper arts studio, jewelry-making workshops, face painting, toddler play area in the cafe... Check it out! http://www.ogo-gorod.ru/ (Click on the bold options in the main body of the text and you'll see some amazing photos of the place). Amanda LOVED it there. The last time we'd been there had been with our new friends Rachael and Katya, before they returned to America. Here's Katya with the horse (of course) that she made, and some pictures of what my Katya and Amanda made:




The kids really had a fantastic time. Afterwards we went to a playground we call the "Pirate Ship Playground" because of the ship it contains.
Amanda then spent the night at our house--their last sleepover. As usual, they spent almost an hour in the bathtub playing with all of our little plastic animals (the ones Grandpa Portland bought for them at Sea Wold in San Diego right before we moved to Russia). The girls painted pictures of themselves together, played on the swing in their room and made Katya's bed into a fort. The next morning I took them to Gorky Park for a final "hurrah" on their own. We had the park to ourselves and they LOVED it!

The following day we picked Amanda up and took her out to eat for her last night in Moscow. We went to "Jigsaw," the new kids' cafe/entertainment complex. The rainforest theme is VERY cool. I let the girls go wild with the arcade games and they were giddy with joy (I've never let them play more than two games before). They didn't want to leave, because they knew that once they did, we'd bring Amanda home--and then it would be time to truly say "good bye." I was so sad watching them, knowing how sad Katya was going to be...

When we brought Amanda home, she gave Katya a stuffed cow. They had done a dance in the last school play to a song called "33 Cows" and had matching cow costumes. Coincidentally, the cow's bow also matches the bonnet of Katya's Swedish American Girl doll, Kirsten--and Katya was so happy about that. She cried the whole way home from Amanda's house, but calmed down when I put her to bed with Kirsten, her new cow, and her favorite Leapster game. This past week has been very hard for Katya, but she's looking forward to visiting Amanda in Sweden sometime this year. I hope to go there with her for Santa Lucia day in December.

3 comments:

Rachael said...

YEAH!!! I'm so excited you finally delved into the blogging world. See how much fun it is? I can't wait to show my Katya the pics of her "America Girl-friends" in Moscow.

So, you beat me to the punch on the kid's guide to sightseeing in Moscow. Now, I can just direct everyone on over to your site for all the facts! :)

Annie said...

Mir Dyetstva! That's where we went for Andrei's birthday with Alla and her family. Yes! It is amazing (and I didn't even visit the dentist or go beyond the first floor.) One of my main memories, however, was the guard at the gate and the walls around the parking lot - perhaps because it seemed so unlike a party-spot! - more like a military installation!

I forsee that if I comment on all your posts, I am going to become very tiring, so I will try and "hold it down".

Annie said...

Mir Dyetstva! That's where we went for Andrei's birthday with Alla and her family. Yes! It is amazing (and I didn't even visit the dentist or go beyond the first floor.) One of my main memories, however, was the guard at the gate and the walls around the parking lot - perhaps because it seemed so unlike a party-spot! - more like a military installation!

I forsee that if I comment on all your posts, I am going to become very tiring, so I will try and "hold it down".