Axa no longer goes to asilo (preschool), as of today. Too bad the only person to whom I can say, “I told you so,” is myself. I knew it was a long shot, considering what I know about school and her personality. As long as it wasn’t doing any harm, I was O.K. with her going, as long as it actually did help her to learn Italian. There’s nothing else I could see that she could learn better at asilo than at home. And now we’ve seen that it’s not even a good place for her to learn Italian. Surprise! Things were just not working out. It was not a good social environment, and she didn’t feel comfortable. And learning a language (at least by immersion) is more about personality and social interaction than anything else.
She didn’t go this morning. Tony just went and picked up all those dozens of markers and other coloring implements so she can use them (to far better purpose) at home. Her teacher, of course, was quite concerned. “But we have so much to teach her before she goes to school next year!” Such as how to do a coloring page of Pinocchio in markers, how to do a coloring page of Pinocchio in crayons, how to do a coloring page of Pinocchio in paint, and how to cut Pinocchio out of his coloring page. (We’ve never actually seen any of these coloring pages, because they don’t let the children bring anything home until the end of the year. Axa snuck a drawing home in her pocket once, and that was when I began to have second thoughts about asilo). Or how to slide down the slide with the teacher helping and not swing too high on the swing.
I was a little concerned that she might feel some regrets about not going. But all I noticed was a complete absence of the angst she’s been evidencing for the past couple of weeks since she started asilo. She’s back to all her own projects and activities. This morning so far she has used all the lawn chairs to make a train in the front yard, built a series of little fences out of sticks and long blades of grass, sculpted and eaten a bread dough lizard (obviously from a live model), and written her first poem on paper (to read the many poems she has already dictated to me you can check out her nature blog, World of Snails). Not a bad day’s work, and certainly far better than the possibilities for accomplishment at asilo.
Her poor concerned teacher asked our neighbor to explain to us how important she really thought it was for Axa to continue going to asilo. She was sure that Tony had just not understood about the seriousness of not getting ready to go to school. Luckily she has no idea of the extent of my radical ways. Think how concerned she’d be if we’d told her Axa wasn’t going to school next year either. Or ever. Axa will just have to learn what to buy and what to think somewhere else.
The bad news is, I’m sure the gossip is all over our little town already. The crazy Americans have done it again. Oh well, let them talk. At least we aren’t in the newspaper this time. Not yet, at least.