JD was sent home from school last Friday with a temperature (and an official form telling us he was seriously overweight!?). His fever continued over the weekend but his main complaint was stomach pains. He had a poor appetite too but no other symptoms. By Sunday the fever had gone, but he had started a cough and was still saying his tummy hurt. The cough is now less, but he is still not eating well and gets very sleepy for no real reason.
So we took him to the hospital yesterday to get him checked out. After an ultrasound and a blood test the first doctor we saw diagnosed him as having, "an infection and bubbles in the stomach" while the second doctor said, "no infection and mild constipation". So we're still none the wiser, to be honest...!
One of JD's ex-teachers gave him a choice of Christmas presents - a dancing robot or a 180 piece coloured pencil set. Pleasingly, he went for the latter. So this last weekend he and I together drew a huge picture of an aircraft carrier (JD's latest obsession) complete with sharks, tanks, octopus and flower pot!
It sometimes seems a little strange to watch my son carrying the Chinese flag so proudly and singing the Chinese National Anthem so passionately. Of course he is Chinese by birth, and yet so British in his thinking and language. I wonder how he will look back on his childhood here when he is an adult?
It's nice to see JD so much happier about going to school these days and to see how many friends he has and how he is loved by all. Unfortunately he only has one more term to go before moving to Primary School and having to make all sorts of new friends once again. Oh well, enjoy it while you can JD!
Today, JD was added to JiaJia's registration papers to make him a full-registered Chinese citizen! He now has a "Hukou" which will allow him to get an ID card, access state schools and be insured. Most kids born in China do this within a few weeks being born, but JD's British passport complicated things and we delayed it. You see if you have a British passport, you can't get a British visa in your Chinese passport. And you can't leave China on your British passport because China doesn't recognise dual nationality (and being born in China makes JD Chinese as far as China is concerned). It was only in the last couple of months that these rules were relaxed, allowing JD to leave China on a temporary Permit regardless of him being fully registered. Confused? You're not the only one.
On arrival at school this morning, JD fixed me a stare and said, "I don't think I need a hug and kiss goodbye anymore. I'm a big boy now!". It is true that he is making friends more easily these days and is more likely to hop and skip into school rather than be weeping or making up reasons to stay home! Most recently his "best friends" have been Dada ("Big") and Xiaoxiao ("Small") - twins from his class [see above] who conveniently live just five minutes away. then But next week it may be somebody quite different!
About a month ago, JD decided he wanted to make a little shop "like mummy's" but for selling toys to his friends. So JiaJia went online and bought a variety of cheap toys (£4 total). JD and I decided on the prices and made boxes and signs for the various items.
Then, after school today, JD and I quickly set up shop outside the main gates. Within minutes a crowd of parents and children were surrounding us to have a look at the little foreigner showing his entrepreneurial skills! JD was quick to explain prices and give them the right change. By the end, 90% of the stock had been sold and JD made a tidy profit of just over £10!
JD and I went to a classmate's birthday celebration yesterday. We drove a little way out of the city to a large recreational area with restaurants, a sand pit, swings and these rather cool Mongolian yurts! The focus of the "party" was to climb a nearby mountain. 18 of us set off but only 5 made it to the top, including JD and I.
The views over Kunming were pretty impressive but emphasised once again, just what a polluted city it is - fairly clean by Chinese city standards, but still covered in a layer of smog.
By the time we returned down the mountain, we were pretty hungry. Undeterred by the goat carcasses and dead fish in the tanks, we really enjoyed a tasty banquet - 20 of us around a huge "lazy susan" rotating table. The kids then continued to play in the sand and on the swings followed by a birthday cake. JD is the youngest in his class - still 5½ while others are turning 6 - but he is still one of the "playmakers" when he gets together with his friends!
After a week at home with a nasty cough I finally got JD back to Kindergarten yesterday morning, only to be told he "still had a fever" (despite the nurse's thermometer showing a very normal reading of 37ºC) and so I had to take him home again! I cancelled his planned evening Halloween party and we spent another day together.
We decided to build a huge Halloween Den that he and I could both sleep in. So last night we had sausage sandwiches, doughnuts and sweets before some scary stories and off to sleep. I had to leave the den in the night with cramp, but JD slept on until morning!
JD's Kindergarten do have an annoying habit of sending out homework with very tight deadlines (...almost as if they don't plan their lessons in advance!?)
So last Sunday morning we got a text saying that all students had to visit a "Memorial to student martyrs" in ShiDa University and provide photographic evidence you were there. So JiaJia, JD and I jumped on my e-bike for what we hoped would be a quick "in-photo-out" visit. But we hadn't bargained on the trainee volunteer guides lying in wait. And then, when 5five other students from JD's class turned up, the whole visit turned into a massive game of chase! Still, homework done (until the next one)!
JD's been off school this last week with a nasty cough. But I took him back in today, as he's feeling better, only to be told by the nurses who check the kids' health on arrival that he still has a fever (despite their own thermometers registering a perfectly normal 37ºC).
So I've had to take him home and cancel the Halloween party he was due to attend. Instead, we have built a huge indoor Halloween den where he and I slept last night complete with snacks, sweets and ghost stories! Scary?
JD seems much happier at school these days. Never a tear as I leave him there anymore - barely a hug these days! JiaJia attended a parent-teacher meeting the other day. They said that JD is academically just above average, but he is much-loved and his "personality" is "top of the class" - he cares, shares and has a strong sense of right and wrong. I'll settle for that. Facts and figures can come later and, after all, he does study in what is, effectively, his second language. This is his last year at Kindergarten and we are already looking at ways to get him into a decent Primary School (not easy when the rules keep changing and everybody wants a backhander!).
We are back in China and the unpacking is pretty well finished. As you might expect, it is a little hard to adjust back to life in a different country and culture after six weeks in the UK. The hawking and spitting noises in Kunming Airport's toilets quickly brought it all back though!
JD has been seemingly unaffected by the switch, just enjoying seeing his old toys again and sleeping in his own bed. He also showed no signs of jet lag. I woke at 4am one morning but otherwise have been alright. JiaJia though has had a few days of going to sleep at 5am and finally waking at midday. She's never the best sleeper, but this time it's taking her longer to adjust to China time. She is already back at work. I have a further week's holiday, while JD has two weeks vacation left.
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