Walter Walrus

Bath time, a time for relaxation, especially after a crowded day, lots of listening and learning. These 15-30 minutes, my saving grace when Kai’s had a tiring day.

This evening while having his “private” time in his hot bubble bath, I paged through his letterland book that he brought home today. I really enjoy being “let in” to his school world; Gr.1 is very different to Gr.R … especially when coming from a school environment like Carel du Toit!

Let me not digress!

As I page through his letterland book, I notice how vibrant and colourful his drawings are. Each drawing detailed, a reflection of the instructions “draw Oscar Orange on top of a box”, “draw Vicky Violet in front of the volcano” – all spot on, good listening and understanding of prepositions.

Then I get to Walter Walrus, and I am astonished by the detailed image and can’t help but wonder if someone else drew it for him. Surely my son is not yet able to draw like this…My 10 minutes are up and I go to the bathroom for our evening chat.

Me: “How was your day?”
Kai: “Fun!”
Me: “What made your day fun?”
Kai: “When I heard we could buy stuff at break!”
Me: “That’s so cool, but you didn’t have money.”
Kai: “I know, but tomorrow I will take more than a R5. They will still sell things tomorrow!”
Me: “I enjoyed reading your letterland book.”
Kai: struggling to get to the words “Remember that Wicked Witch letter, how you say it again?”
Me: “w, Walter Walrus”
Kai: “Yes! Did you see my Walter Walrus picture? I drew it today.”
Me: “Yes, it is very impressive, so detailed. I can’t believe you drew it! Did you copy it from the board?”
Kai: “I know, not even I knew I could draw so well! I didn’t copy it I just found out today that I can draw like that! You must just try your hardest and not let other children annoy you or distract you.”
Me: “That is so awesome; it is my favourite picture in the whole book!”
Kai: “I know hey, it is so cool! My teacher gave me her best sticker!”
Me: “Yes, I see she gave you the GREAT sticker, and your picture really is great.”
Kai: “Okay, now tell me about your day.”
Me: “My day was okay.”
Kai: “Why only okay?”
Me: “Well nothing exciting happened; I had work to do in the office. Then I had to go to Cape Town, but I was a bit late.

Kai: “Why were you late?”

Me: “I had to wait for someone to collect something.”
Kai: “What did they have to collect?”
Me: “Just some work vouchers.”
Kai: “What is a voucher?”
Me: “It is similar to a gift card, when you use it instead of cash to buy something at a shop”
Kai: “What is similar”
Me: “When something is the same”
Kai: “Okay, I need some privacy now”
Me: “Okay, thanks for the chat, don’t forget to wash you.”
Kai: “Okay, close the door.”

I left the bathroom, so grateful that I can have these special chats with my son. It is often here where I pick up on any challenges he’s faced during the day, his achievements, special moments with friends and learning how to express emotions and deal with difficult social scenarios at school.

I am reminded of how I underestimate him at times. How I miss subtle development milestones. It would appear as if he is developing at such a rapid pace, but it’s actually taken days, weeks, months, years for this little guy to grow and make sense of his world. Like all other children, they develop at their own pace, each with a unique set of special needs. We just need to stand ready and guide and acknowledge how absolutely awesome our kids are.

I am a proud parent, sitting here typing on my phone while Kai pages through his letterland book, reading some stories here and there. I observe even when I seem busy.

He says to me now “mommy do you know I went through my whole book”, “yes, I do, I’ve been watching you from the corner of my eye, not saying anything, because I know the minute I say something you will lose interest. I heard you read beautifully; ‘go away, Walter Walrus, I am getting wet’ and you checked your cover for dirty marks”.

Off he jumps from the bed and starts dancing to old school rock n roll, knowing that I’m typing about his letterland book, a memory I don’t want to forget!

Just another evening in the Petersen household #love #.0.345910 (this is Kai’s hashtag input to this blog lol)

PS – all my blogs about my son is read to him first before I publish, it goes live if he is okay with the content 😉