morning at the kindergarten – part 2

About once a month, there is an open day at the kindergarten aimed at children who are not yet in daycare. The kindergarten bus, the one and only Thomas the Tank Engine school bus, picks up toddlers and parents at the nearby shopping center and takes them up the mountainside to the kindergarten for an hour’s play in the garden with the students and teachers. Me and my son used to join these days long before he started any daycare, but since he enrolled in the kindergarten I have taken advantage of these opportunities to go and play with him and his friends and see what his normal play life is like (although I take my bike there and not the bus).

My little boy is so at home at his new kindergarten, and for that my wife and I feel so happy. He even says it is like home, he has got a best friend and he has told us that he really really likes his teacher. So it made me very glad that he was excited to see me coming to play with him last Thursday. He came running and took my hand, indicating we should go and play with his friends in the sandbox. His friends were also happy that I came to play with them and had me get water time and time again for their mud making project.

When I first talked with my son, I used Swedish as always, but keenly aware of it only being him understanding Swedish there, he said pappa nihongo de. Dad, please speak Japanese. And while at home I would not have let myself be persuaded, in this case I indulged him and had a little school day myself as well practicing Japanese. To the amusement of his friends who was very curious about me and wanted me to make funny faces as well as a river in the mud.

When it was time to leave, my boy made sure I would meet him at the bus stop that afternoon before saying goodbye to me and running away with his teachers and classmates to have lunch. I so wish him a playful childhood, and I left his kindergarten with a feeling that for him this is as happy a place as we can find. And that made me so happy too.

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