Thursday, April 8, 2010
Thurs April 8th--almost a week home
We have been home almost a week already, and it's time to wrap up this blog. Ben continues to be an absolute delight! We love him more everyday. And what a smart boy! He's already working hard to learn English, and we predict that he will be fluent within a month. John is starting, ever so slowly, to warm-up to us. He still prefers Cheng's company to ours, and we feel as if we constantly need to watch him to make certain that he doesn't go on QQ (a chat service on the internet) or call China. Funny, we expected all sorts of adjustment problems, but we never expected to have to closely monitor the internet! John showed his memory/scrapbook today to Cheng. According to Cheng, all of John's friends wrote on the pages to make sure to "instant message" them etc. I explained to Cheng that we feel that John will not make an effort to bond with us if he keeps in constant contact with his friends from home. It's like going to summer camp; the kids who call home during the week are the ones that go home. We told Cheng to tell John that he can write letters to his friends and we will mail them for him. Cheng also said that in the scrapbook several teachers wrote comments about John having too many friends, talking, and not studying hard enough. He sounds American already! I sat with John for awhile today and helped him with a English matching game. Tomorrow, I will show him some English learning websites with games. We did have a small "incident" yesterday, that I only learned about today. Cheng invited John to watch track practice at school. John did this on Monday too, and he seemed to enjoy seeing the other kids and the school. Well, today I received a phone call from the principal of the school. Apparently, during practice, John just got up off the bleachers and headed up to the road (Rt.39). Mr. Henchen noticed John's disappearance, and sent Cheng running up there to fetch John. John told Cheng he was going to run home. Yikes! Poor Mr. Henchen was in a tizzy thinking that a young child (John looks to be about 11 years old), who doesn't speak English, was going to disappear on his watch. The principal told me that the school has a liability issue with John watching track practice, since he is not enrolled at the school yet. I pointed out that the registrar is not there this week, therefore we were unable to register the kids, but we would on Monday. Basically, the school doesn't want to have to assume any liability. What was surprising is that Cheng (our 17 year old exchange student) didn't even think to mention the issue to me. I don't know if the school is blowing it all out of proportion, or what, but obviously I can't let John go with Cheng anymore. Today, I was going to let John stay with Connor at the library while Connor worked with his Chinese tutor. Instead, I made John come with me (and Ben) to the hair salon. I was afraid, after yesterday's incident, that John might decide to leave the library when Connor wasn't looking. It sounds worse than it is though. John is a great kid, he's just testing his limits a little. I think he is not used to constant supervision. Overall, we are seeing small improvements each day.