Day two of kindergarten was almost as fun as day one, though I’m beginning to realize that most of the job is getting kids in and out of snowsuits, which is no easy task with the stubborn ones. Where does stubbornness come from? How does it develop so early? I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad trait; it’s good to have a strong sense of self, but it is a pain when you just want them to put on their boots!

There is this one kid, Dima, who is just so friggin’ cute. He’s big for his age, with a really big head, and a mullet. He kind of looks like a football hooligan. But yesterday I realized that he’s also very smart. He recognizes most of his colors and animals in English and Russian, and he’s very eager to answer questions in class. He gets in trouble a lot, but I don’t think he’s being willfully naughty like some of them, he’s just a big personality. Yesterday he got put in the bad chair for sitting on the eating table. The other teachers were yelling at him in Russian, “You don’t put your butt on the table! Do you want to eat in the toilet?” I thought they were a little hard on him. He cried at the injustice, but he got over it.

One of the other teachers told me that one day when Dima was being naughty, they threatened to tell his grandmother not to bring him to kindergarten the next day. “Dima sam pridyot,” he replied. “Dima will come by himself.” You have to love a three-year-old who refers to himself in the third person (and conjugates the verb correctly).

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