First Grade

A certain respiratory virus finally caught up to my family and pushed our birthday party and blogging plans back a few weeks, but we got off easy in the end and now we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming. So…

One more month and change, and Julia will have successfully completed first grade. No fuss, no drama, no problems, zero worries. First grade kind of just, well, happened for us parents. Even the pandemic happily barely had an impact: the children wore masks in the classroom for a while, but that was mostly it. (Well, the poor teachers have had to go masked indoors all year, but at least the kids were already used to that from preschool.)

Julia seems to genuinely enjoy school. She’s done extremely well, enough to make her parents blush; she likes her teachers, especially her main one; she has good friends for company in her class; and she dutifully does her homework every day (which, to be fair, is not to say that she necessarily enjoys getting homework).

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Zero worries.

But don’t take my paternally biased word for it. Here’s my interview with Julia, translated from Finnish:

Dad: How have you liked school?

Daughter: It’s been nice.

Dad: Do you have a favorite subject?

Daughter: Music.

Dad: Do you have a least favorite subject?

Daughter: Woodwork.

Dad: What’s been the best thing about school?

Daughter: Recess.

Dad: What’s the worst thing about school, if anything?

Daughter: Woodwork.

Dad: How do you feel you’ve done in school so far?

Daughter: Pretty good.

Dad: Who do you think did better in school once upon a time, me or Mom?

Daughter: Mom.

Dad: Why?

Daughter: Because she’s smarter than you, of course.

Dad: Which subject do you think Mom really exceled at in school?

Daughter: Math. [Editor’s note: True.]

Daughter: Hold on, I have a question for you: Did you ever get detention?

Dad: Yes, once or maybe twice in primary school. But it was totally not my fault.

Dad: Wait, did you get detention?

Daughter: Of course not!

Dad: Moving on. Which subject do you think I really exceled at in school?

Daughter: That’s a tough one. I’m going to say “none”.

Dad: Roger that.

Dad: Who has been of most help to you with homework?

Daughter: Mom. But I haven’t really needed any help.

Dad: Who’s the smartest person you know?

Daughter: Mom.

Dad: Who’s the second-smartest person you know?

Daughter: Me.

Dad: Who’s the third-smartest person you know?

Daughter: Eela. [Her best friend.]

Dad: Roger that. Let’s just move on.

Dad: If you could change one thing about school, what would it be?

Daughter: No more woodwork!

Dad: I’m getting that.

Dad: And we’re done. Did you like the interview?

Daughter: Not really.

One of my main goals as a parent and especially as a father has been to instill in my daughter a healthy disrespect of male authority. Gotta say I’m totally acing it.

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I’ve been getting the fist a lot when taking photos this past year.

Looking forward, here’s my wish list for second grade / next year:

  • Fewer 08:15 mornings. They’re inhuman. When will the antiquated tyranny of the early birds end?
  • Less need for parental assistance, encouragement, intervention, coercion, or bribery in the mornings when it’s time for Julia to get up and go to school.
  • Some new subject or topic of study in which Dad’s help at home proves an indispensable boon. Like anything.
  • Homework that occasionally actually makes one put in the work. It’s fun when homework is a breeze and you get to switch to free time mode in minutes, but challenge is good, too.
  • Fewer sociopathic autocrats with pathetic delusions of imperial grandeur destroying children’s lives. No, I’m not talking about the principle of my daughter’s school; he seems OK.

Surely at least one of those is possible.

* * *

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2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019 / 2020 / 2021 / 2022

* * *

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Rocking a photo shoot.

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That ostrich was eyeing us funny.

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Still superthrilled to take a photo with Dad.

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More vertical fun. Not pictured again: Mom and Dad also climbing.

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Finally tall enough for the famous wooden roller coaster at Linnanmäki.

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Of course we tested how far the electronic bidet at the hotel sprays water without a human butt in the way. Science answer: Really frigging far.

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No, I did not let her climb all the way to the top of the arch. I’m a responsible parent.

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Healthy disrespect of male authority.

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First day of school. She kept her cool. The parents did pretty good, too.

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First time on a horse. The only thing she did not love about it was the camera.

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Hold on, Mom. Gotta check my messages here in the middle of nowhere.

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LEGO FTW.

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I mean, why not?

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Well at least she wore rubber boots this time.

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Just outside the frame: a proper birthday party with a full roster of guests.

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Of course she’s still around.

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Zero worries.

8 thoughts on “First Grade

  1. Wonderful ! Best interview ever. 😁
    Thank you Timo for your great job.

  2. Thanks for sharing! Julia is one hell of a smart girl 😀 – nice interview ! Greetings from Cologne, Germany !

  3. Thank you dear Timo! It was a great pleasure to read your interview with Julia and an overview of sweet Julia`s first school year. 🤗💖

    1. You can listen to the full interview when you come over next time. I recorded the whole thing for posterity. A transcript sadly doesn’t capture all the wonderful, sweet nuances of juvenile sass.

  4. Oh man, so much gold here. I started out copying great parts of the interview to laugh at here but it was basically the whole thing, wasn’t it? She destroyed you.

    I guess there’s some ambivalence towards woodworking there, but not to worry. Soon there will be oodles of homework to make you feel inadequate, and maybe even some computery, documentationny, info-designy type stuff you’ll be able to help with! Just the other day, I helped Wump rearrange a PowerPoint presentation so the slide order had a slightly better narrative flow to it. I earned myself a gold meh.

    1. She destroyed you.

      She did. And she likes it way too much. Funny how Mom never gets owned.

      I guess there’s some ambivalence towards woodworking there, but not to worry. Soon there will be oodles of homework to make you feel inadequate, and maybe even some computery, documentationny, info-designy type stuff you’ll be able to help with! Just the other day, I helped Wump rearrange a PowerPoint presentation so the slide order had a slightly better narrative flow to it.

      Whaaat, they do PowerPoints that early? I’d totally shine there! (But so would my wife, so I sadly couldn’t monopolize that.)

      I’m still genuinely hoping that I get to learn something new — or relearn something I’ve long since forgotten — by helping Julia with her homework. She just needs to let me.

      I earned myself a gold meh.

      I can only dream. :D

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