I took this picture last week, right when we got our internet connection back. I'd much prefer the actual board game! Katya, however, loves the novelty of being a "big kid" with her dad in their private gaming room at Yahoo. She's growing up so fast...
All this time home sick has fueled her interest in Webkinz, too. I must admit, it's great to have her practice so many American grade-level skills on their web site... She has to answer a variety of questions related to school subjects in order to earn "Kinz Cash" so she can take proper care of her puppy. She's learning to use money, to budget, to earn for a goal... She also has to feed her puppy a varied and balanced diet in order to keep her healthy. The site is a bit addictive, but it's sure an incentive for good behavior; she only gets to log on when she accomplishes the day's behavorial goals.
Here's a picture of her Webkinz puppy that she took with her other big venture into the world of technology... Yes, she took that picture with her cell phone.
Katya had been asking for a phone since school started... She wasn't exaggerating that "everyone else" had one. That might be so, but it's certainly not a reason in our book for her to have one, too! I was a bit perplexed by all the kids running around with cell phones, and I discussed it with many friends. The general consensus for why to have one was summed up succinctly by one Russian friend: "Beslan."
Her comments instantly reminded me September 11, 2001... All my Brooklyn neighbors (myself included--but I knew that MY husband didn't work in the towers... Turns out he was UNDER them in the subway when the first plane hit) anxiously waiting to hear from their spouses, cell phones clutched... And those calls we have all heard, made by people before they died in the towers and from the heroes on board United Airlines Flight 93... Heaven forbid there ever be a dangerous situation, we want the peace of mind of knowing that Katya can always reach us.
She's not allowed to use the phone at school, though, even though it's in her backpack. If she uses it, she knows she'll have it taken away. I don't want to use it to remind her to bring things home, etc... Other moms do that, but she needs to learn those habits on her own...
We gave it to her the night before she went on her school trip to a former Soviet Youth Organization "camp" last month. It was great to hear from her over the course of those three days; the information we received was MUCH more accurate than the "fine" we had had gotten in response to "How was it???" when they went in the fall. Katya tends to get stuck on the negative, too--if anything goes wrong, that's all we hear about. This time, however, we were able to remind her of all the specific fun things she had called to tell us about.
I must add that Katya figured out how to take pictures with the phone, add to her address book and send text messages all on her own (and with the eager help of her classmates). Sorry, Rachael! Soon she'll be texting you into the ground!
The girls I tutor gave Katya this really cool cell phone stand for Valentine's Day... They couldn't have picked a more perfect present! She is quite proud!
p.s. Taking it easy, not feeling much better. Ah, I hate being sick!