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They put Mr. Wow in with Zuzu, Cookie, and Princess. It’s been a month now, and things are finally settling down. It turns out Mr. Wow is very vain? I knew that, and was mentally prepared for the likelihood that he’d be somewhat less cute in a situation where he’s got to share attention with three other kids, two of whom are capable of giving him some competition. Still, I’m a little sad to be disillusioned.

He has kind of a crush on Cookie, which is good, because it means he mostly does what Cookie does, and Cookie mostly does what I say. Unfortunately, I’ve still had to spend a lot of time keeping Mr. Wow in line, which means Zuzu and Princess have felt left out. Princess lets me know this by poking my boobs. Zuzu lets me know by means of fabulously sulky poses – slouching in the tiny chairs with her arms crossed, her legs jutting out, and her lower lip extended. I know, Zuzu. I know.

Thanks to Mr. Wow’s behavior and one of their classes falling on a vacation day last month, they didn’t learn all the monthly curriculum, which bugs me. Before, Mr. Wow could usually learn all the curriculum in two weeks, and Cookie and Zuzu usually had everything down by the third week – we can do better than this. It really is true about small class sizes. I think it’ll be okay this month, though I can see I’m going to have to be a little harsher on silliness than I used to be.

Yesterday’s class with Miss Dolphin, Mr. Bug, and Mr. Hypochondriac went really, really badly. Mr. Bug absolutely does not want to be there; I had to haul him out of the room and talk to him in Japanese. I don’t know what to do about him, and I’ve spent the last two days brooding about it so I’m not going to talk about it anymore.

I finally got Miss Foo out of Mr. Weepy and Mr. Clown’s class, but now she’s in a class with her older sister, Miss Ko-omote. And that’s not much better. (Well, it’s better for Weepy and Clown, but not for her.) Miss Ko-omote has the attention span of a gnat, and she’s as spoiled as Mr. Weepy. And she’s used to bossing her little sister around. They both really, really need to be in solo classes, but apparently that’s not an option. Argh. Their first class together was this week, and I don’t think it’s going to be an impossible situation, but I don’t see either of them learning a lot.

Maria, 7, and Luigi, 12, are sister and brother and are adorable together – but unfortunately are not adorable together in ways easily conducive to learning English. They like to show each other off. Maria asks Luigi for answers all the time, and he gives them because he knows them all. Luigi! Stop enabling her! He laughs when she gets stuff wrong, which she takes as a cue to go into a Cute Sulk, which he coaxes her out of. This is a maneuver they have clearly perfected through long practice. It’s very theatrical. Unfortunately, it takes them a while, during which time they aren’t speaking English.

I’m trying to use games where they have to compete with each other, but Luigi wins things very easily, because Maria’s attention span is really short – she forgets the rules. So he starts losing deliberately, so we get right back into the Luigi Pampers Maria situation. It’s easier to break up their act when Mr. Rat’s there, but apparently Luigi’s got a very busy sports schedule, so they’ve been showing up at weird times the last few weeks.

Conan’s in-class nickname recently has been “Coconuts.” Mr. Yodeler, objecting to his own in-class nickname of “Dancing [His-Real-Name]” (he dances a lot), last week renamed himself “[His-Real-Name] Nuts.” Okay, if that’s what makes you happy. I’m calling him that now, and he cackles loudly every time he hears it.