You can usually find China Surprise and me in the under-4’s classroom at a local registered church.
Unlike American churches, the mom or grandma stays with the younger kids during the class, which makes for a hot noisy room with about 15-16 toddlers and at least the same number of adults.
Utter chaos with no personal space (the norm here, of course)!
We are getting ready for the Christmas performances next Saturday, in which 2 of my children (oldest and youngest) will take part.
The other two prefer to stay with Papa in the main service, which is fine.
Most of the children are with their mom or grandmother, and it’s kind of like a Chinese version of playgroup.
Lots of kids in split pants, with somebody scurrying out with their little one every few minutes into the hall to tinkle on the community plastic potty.
The occasional accident on the floor, quickly wiped up.
Everybody passing out snacks to share with the other kids.
Note to self: any snack I bring should be in adequate quantity to share with all the kids, if possible.
It’s certainly been the norm on any outing and field trip I’ve taken with the other kids as well.
Songs are sung, with lots of body motions, and the kids introduce themselves every week and we chant back their names in unison.
It’s a great way to learn more names.
I still struggle with given names, often not knowing what are male names and what are female.
And we talk about all the usual mom-kid kind of stuff, with Chinese characteristics.
Gradually, I am having more meaningful conversations and gaining a deeper understanding of some of the pressures the young Chinese mom faces from all direction.
Sometimes I can encourage, and often they encourage me.
Two of our foster children also attend the class with their foster mom quite often, which also enhances the diversity of the group.
It’s a great community to interact with, and I love it!
Here we are, trying to line up for a photoshoot by somebody with a fancy camera.
PS I apologize for the photo quality–I am experimenting with the iPod camera but not quite satisfied yet…plus these are on-the-go kids with no pause buttons.