One of the unexpected benefits of having our girls speak Norwegian is this unique experience of attending school in Norway for a day. I’d heard from a mom (whose husband is an old friend of Truls) that the schools there were quite open to having visitors in the classroom. I thought, gosh what a great experience that might be for Songwriter and Storyteller. I also thought that their cousin would absolutely love it, too. It was the first week of school, however, and a time when all the kids and teachers were still getting to know each other and I wasn’t so sure the staff would be agreeable to the idea.
We’d gone to the first day of our niece’s school to drop her off on Monday. It’s her first grade of school (which equates to Kindergarten here). At that time, the principal introduced the staff to parents and relatives then called out each student’s name to go stand behind their new teacher. Storyteller and Songwriter both asked if they could go with their cousin and we’d told them not that particular day but perhaps later in the week. My brother-in-law asked the teacher that day if it would be OK and they were set for Friday – the day before we returned home.
Songwriter and Storyteller have been in preschool and pre-K for the last couple of years. Asking questions of the teachers, sitting attentively in circle time, settling down to do art projects and experiments are old hat to them. The only tiny worry I had was how they’d get along with all the other kids speaking only in Norwegian. I mean, yea, both of them speak the language and understand it completely (thanks to Truls) but one is a bit more confident about her speaking ability than the other. I just hoped that being surrounded by Norwegian, Storyteller would force herself to reply in the language all the time…as opposed to retreating into a shell of quiet shyness. Luckily, Storyteller and Songwriter would be together and in new situations, they look out for each other. That thought alone relieved any doubt.
That morning, when Truls walked the girls to school with his brother to drop them off, he briefly met a mom of one of the kids at school. Seems that their one-day visit was well-known among the kids and parents. “Oh, they’re the twins visiting the school today!” I was glad to know that they wouldn’t remain strangers the whole day.
How’d the day go for them? Storyteller thought the day was really fun and particularly enjoyed the art project while Songwriter got a kick out of recess where they got to play with other kids. The teacher said everything was fine and the only complication was that the girls couldn’t understand why they couldn’t keep the books the other students picked up at the school library.
I’d say it was a rather successful day and an experience that without knowing the language, would not have been possible.
An original It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog post.
You may also find MommyTwinGirls at Silicon Valley Moms Blog telling tales of parenting in Silicon Valley, at Mad About Multiples recounting the ups and downs of raising twins and at Solheim Photography posting favorites from her latest photo shoots.