After Ethan realized that he could easily ride his bike without training wheels he constantly asked to ride his bike in front of our house. This particular day he didn’t even take the time to put socks and shoes on; he just threw flip flops on and started riding. I was hoping that none of our Hungarian neighbors were watching since it is a cultural no-no for him to be bare foot (or in flip flops) in cool weather.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Some Hungarians use training wheels on bikes when their children are young, but what seems to be the more common thing is to use something called a balance bike. It is a bike without pedals. Children use their feet to push off from the ground and stop, and they can hold their feet up which helps them learn to balance. We bought a bike with training wheels from someone for Ethan last year but this summer we also borrowed a balance bike from a friend. Ethan used both during the summer and I kept thinking he was more than ready to try his bike without training wheels. However, we didn’t seem to have many opportunities to bike this summer, so we never took them off.
Finally, in September we took the training wheels off. We were going to drive to a nicely paved road in our area that was large and flat for Ethan to practice. I was getting my camera and putting my shoes on when Gary walked in the house and said that Ethan was already riding the bike around the street. Ethan basically just said he wanted to try, got on the bike and started riding it on his own!
So, unfortunately, we didn’t get to see (or take pictures of) Ethan riding the bike for the very first time without training wheels, but I did rush out of the house soon after to watch and get some pictures. Sienna enjoyed riding the trike (passed down from Ethan) while he rode the bike.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Ethan began ovoda (the Hungarian word for preschool) near the end of September. It started the beginning of the month, but they only want one new child to come each week. He ended up being the last new child to begin for the first of the school year. Other children will begin coming when they turn three (which is the age children start attending ovoda, though Ethan is four and a half).
Ethan in front of the ovoda. Everyone calls it the blue container because it looks like a shipping container. It’s actually the ugliest ovoda and has the smallest playground in our village, but we have heard wonderful things about the teachers in this ovoda and requested that he attend here.
Some kids eat breakfast at the ovoda. It’s basically bread and drink such as children’s tea. One teacher motioned for Ethan to come over and sit down on his first day. In the picture above he is trying children’s tea for the first time. He didn’t care for it. Nor does he like eating the breakfast there. At home he gets either eggs and cooked ham, cooked oatmeal, or pancakes every day along with fruit and homemade granola. However, he is like his dad and enjoys having a long breakfast time, which isn’t possible anymore since he is supposed to be at the ovoda at 8:30.
During recess on his first day this little girl in the red coat, Vivi, started playing with Ethan. They played together the rest of recess. The next day she came over to him as soon as he arrived. Ethan isn’t shy and just jumps in with playing with kids who don’t speak English, but I was still thankful that she took such initiative to play with him.
One parent of a new child is supposed to stay for the first week to make sure the child is adjusting well, etc. Gradually they are supposed to leave for 30 minutes, then it builds up to one hour, etc. to help the child adjust. Before Ethan began he asked us not to stay with him. After being there for 30 minutes on the 2nd day, the teacher told me that I could leave for an hour or so and return during their recess (which is the last thing before lunch—and Ethan wasn’t going to begin until later in the week). She told me to tell Ethan that I was leaving. When I told him he asked if I could not come back. The teacher ended up telling me that I didn’t need to come back at all the next day. She was quite surprised at how quickly and well Ethan was doing, especially with not knowing the language. I just told her that he loves people.
Each child has a symbol, and Ethan’s is a ball. You may be able to see a ball drawn on the top, left potato in the picture above that shows it is Ethan’s. There are balls like the one below on Ethan’s cubbyhole, where his hand towel hangs in the bathroom, etc.
Friday, October 18, 2013
One Saturday in September there was a child safety time in the same town where Gary’s office is located. We took the kids after Sienna’s nap to check it out.
But the fire truck was a different story!They were letting kids climb up on top of the truck, so Ethan and Sienna were both able to go. Gary had to be with Sienna since she was so young.I found it interesting to see what was in the sides of the fire truck. When going to the fire department in the States I don’t remember all of this kind of stuff.I’m not sure if you can tell in this picture, but the hose is on the side of the truck, near the top. There is a little red door sticking out that had all different kinds of axes, etc. attached to it.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Each September our mission has a cookout/pot luck meal for everyone to catch up some after being gone for the summer (many are in the US raising support each summer). It’s also a time to introduce new people with the mission.
For our kids it’s a time when they get to play with a lot of other kids, so they both love it.Eventually the game of Duck, Duck, Goose that was being played in the picture above turned into lots of physical contact with the boys (not in a bad way).