Friday, December 12, 2008

Hmm... Who's the Pack Rat?


Edited at bottom.

This morning I had a conference with Katya's teacher. We got there early, before the other kids had entered the classroom. Do you think I had any trouble guessing which desk is Katya's? (This is what I saw when we entered the room, before Katya had even left the cloakroom downstairs...)

I KNOW! 

I mean, GEESH! Her DRESS from the other day was even on her chair!

If you look carefully, the shelf under her desk is full... So her pencil case has to be on top... She has her own purple clock, a purple messenger purse, and a stuffed backpack!

OY VEY!

Her teachers have basically given up. I'm not surprised... So did the teachers at her preschool and kindergarten (two separate schools)... I mean, at the preschool -- she even "broke" a veteran teacher, one who had taught the children of the KGB elite for her entire career! It was a truly a sight to witness!

Lest you think she's keeping everything at school, let's talk about all of the ceramics projects she brings home... They've been gobbling up what little space we have... 

I learned last week that she's been bringing home ceramics projects that had been abandoned in the art room! Made by kids Katya doesn't even know! Her response? "But they're beautiful and special to me!" Quite cleverly, she won't tell me which things she has made... And which she has adopted. She loves all those clay animals equally...

Future adoptive mom, perhaps?!

Oh, yeah, the parent-teacher conference? Still among the top in her class, our smart little K-bear! Not bad for the only foreigner!

I just had to respond to your comments... It's not just a few ceramic animals, Olga. It's a couple filled backpacks' worth! They come home EN MASSE! She does it after school twice a week and is PROLIFIC!

About changing clothing? Why do you think the dress she wore to school yesterday is hanging on her chair! Her need to change clothing according to whim (body temperature, how anything feels against her sensitive skin) is only exacerbated by the regime in a Russian school...

At the preschool it was even worse since they were required to change into pajamas for nap time (Russian preschools even have rooms of bunk beds; they take nap time SERIOUSLY). 

These days she's required to change for: physical education; outdoor play (if her outfit won't be warm enough/waterproof); dance class (part of the regular school day); and swimming (obviously). In addition to this, kids are asked to keep a spare set of clothes in their closets (two rooms off of the school's entryway that are filled with rows of wooden non-locking lockers). The shoes for dance and gym are different from the pair of shoes kids are required to keep at school for indoor use (сменная обувь).

Аs a result, she does change throughout the day... She hardly ever comes home wearing what she had on when she left the house... All I can do is take it with a grain of salt, with humor!

15 comments:

Tina in CT said...

I'm sitting here laughing. The minute the picture popped up, I knew which desk was Katya's. The clothes over her chair look like a vest.

That is so funny about her bringing home all the ceramic "junk". I think you're going to have to do a big purge when you get back from Xmas in the US as you'll need the room for all that you'll be bringing back.

I remember when she broke "Stalin" at her first school and how we laughed. At least she's not changing her clothes all throughout the day as she did then causing her teacher to throw up her arms and give up on that.

Katya does like to make her fashion statement.

What a wonderful report from her teacher. She, and her sister, are very bright girls (and I, as her grandma, am not prejudiced at all).

Rachael said...

Too funny about the adopted ceramics!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations,
that is so nice.
And do not worry about the small things - what is a few extra clay anymals between the friends.
Olga

Annie said...

How cute. She reminds me of Nastya. Nastya is very organized - so long as she has upteen zillion bags, folders and packets to work with. Now, her desk at school looks FINE - but that is only because she can leave all of her paraphernalia in my office!

Oh, my gosh! Changing her clothes all the time, too! Those girls must be soul mates.

Tina in CT said...

Annie,

Katya would change her clothes while watching a DVD according to what was showing. She went the whole gamut during Cinderella from "rags" (she doesn't have any) to her Cinderella blue gown. The first Halloween party they had, she would disappear into her room throughout her party to appear in a new dress-up outfit (as Tamara told me the next day). I haven't asked if she still does the costume changes while watching a DVD.

Tina (Grandma Streusel)

The Expatresse said...

My girls both have that same backpack. Out of all the LLBean options, they picked the exact same thing. I also got them the little thermos thingies for water . . . now I don't have to remember to buy little sports bottles of water every day for them. I'm slowly catching on . . . (someday my kids will attend a school with drinking fountains and not water dispensers in the lunch room).

Annie said...

How cute! That's the definition of "getting into" the movie!

Annie said...

My daughter is at a nice American school with a drinking fountain outside the classroom - but the teachers all want the children to have water bottles! So, I guess that is the wave of the future (I hope they are prepared for the extra bathroom breaks.)

Tina in CT said...

Holy crap! All those ceramic "things". Can't you just tell her that she's allowed a certain limit per week and the rest will get tossed? Where are you keeping all of them?

Has she lost clothes?

Natalie said...

That is so funny about the ceramics! I was such a packrat in grade school too. I had the kind of desk that you had to lift up to get into it, I always struggled to get it shut. It was usually too full with junk to close, so I can completely relate! Hope her locker doesn't stink like mine always did from old dirty containers and lunches!

Anonymous said...

Natasha,
Happy Birthday!
Olga

Tami said...

Hahahah! That is too funny. And too familiar! :) Anya is the same way, although I do have to say I'm glad she's not allowed to change clothes at school! Heaven helps us when she gets to high school!

Anonymous said...

now Tam, I remember you were a bit of a pack rat at Renbrook:) The fruit doesn't fall very far from the tree...

hi Tina, thanks for the note. I'm better and now Adam is sick!

Tina in CT said...

Yes, you too were a pack rat (inherited gene from me).

garnet said...

I still remember the day my mother visited my school and found a slip in my desk. I have no idea why -- and didn't at the time either. I don't think there was exactly any opportunity to change clothes during the day, either. I think I'd go crazy if my kids had to do that all the time. Now my son often goes through several changes of clothes a day as he gets them soaking wet or covered in mud.