School Stories

I like change.  No actually, I LOVE change.  I love trying (most) new things and am always up for a last minute venture.  I thrive on change and the challenges it bring.
Change is the bomb.

Or so I thought.

We went to Daniel’s Orientation day this morning and I did not handle it very well (to say the very least).  Daniel was NOT happy about being

  1. In an Afrikaans class and
  2. Not being in the same class as his English BFF.

But we (Read: Etienne) managed to get him settled and off we went to the school hall with all 300 000 other parents.

There were 2 very grown up (i.e. Grade 7) kids that did an oral (WITH PowerPoint nogals) that were really confident and well spoken.  I couldn’t connect the dots in my head from where we are now to having kids that big.  It’s seems so, well, grown up.  Our kids are small, they are still in many ways our babies.  I know Daniel is only in Grade R next year so technically he isn’t in “big” school yet.  But still.  All three of our little babies are going to turn (sob) into those big kids.  Part of me wants to scream “It’s just not fair!”

I had this intense desire to go and hide in a bathroom for a while (Gina was talking about this on twitter the other night).  And then I wanted to run a mile.  And then I thought HA! I’ll just have another baby so I’ll still have a baby in the house when Daniel goes to school.  Don’t ask me about the logic behind that one.  No idea. Not like that’s
going to happen.

The school is a big school, they are deliciously well organized and have a really good
reputation.  And the Head Mistress scared the living bejesus out of me.  She’s very
direct.  I normally love direct.  I’m normally the one that scares the bejesus out of people.

She reminded us several times that every child has a different experience and that
each child is different.  I shall use this as my mantra going forward.  I’ll be the crazy chick chanting it in the car every morning for the first year my son spends at “big” school whilst bashing my head against the steering wheel.  There was talk of classes and aftercare and extra murals and download this application of the school and PTA and fundraising and don’t forget to buy that and take note of XYZ.  I felt like my head was going to explode.

And every time I questioned something people looked at me like I was mad.  They all have this attitude of “don’t worry,it’s taken care of”.  I battle to believe that anything is ever just “taken care of”.  For example, at aftercare I ask about the food and try to explain about all Daniel’s allergies.  I got waved away with a “we will take care of it”.  (Can you say Anal Retentive Mother?)  They probably did think me a little strange.  I
just felt like I was wringing my hands in angst and they were rolling their eyes.  And part of me doesn’t really blame them, they’ve probably seen it all before.

So what did I learn today:  I’m not that cool with change after all. But I’ll get there.

And when Etienne and I went to collect Daniel from his New Teacher in his New Class he
was just fine.  He wasn’t huddled in the fetal position on the floor wanting his BFF or his parents.  He was completely and utterly fine.

How rude of him.  I mean, really.

Here they are in the bath last night.  I had to take a pic, because I don’t know how much longer they’ll all fit in there!  Isabel in the middle.

An Aftercare question and Poll

As is usual for this time of year I have been angsting about childcare for next year.

Daniel is going to Grade R at the school down the road and we are working on a plan for the girls for next year that could potentially be spectacular.  But it’s still in the works.

It’s around Daniel’s aftercare that Etienne and I have had many arguments disagreements heated discussions debates conversations.  See, it’s like this: Etienne had a stay-at-home Mom all his life.  In fact, he only went to any kind of school when he was 5, which certainly had it’s own set of challenges.  I, on the other hand, had 2 parents that worked full-time.  (I’m not whining about it, I totally get that they both had to work.)

The reality of my after-school life was that I was at various stages at home in the afternoons with a domestic worker, a latch-key child, in aftercare and with a lady who had a really creepy husband.  The only time my Mom was at home was the 3 months she was on Maternity leave with my sister and I was in Grade 1 at the time.  So, understandably I am really worried about what would be the best for Daniel, especially knowing that he leans toward his Dad’s introverted personality type.

Right now it is just not possible for me to not work full-time as sucky as that is, so we need to make a plan.

So here’s a little poll and I would very much appreciate it if you could vote and leave a comment if there is something I didn’t cover.

Please note:  I want to know what your reality is and would welcome any advice you could possibly give.  Even if you tell me to just suck it up.