For ages now the day mother has been telling us about a playschool in her area where all her grandchildren and a few other children staying with her went when they were younger. She raved about it and has recommended Elijah go there for at least two years already. Seeing as how he will probably go to primary school next year, we thought sending him to the play school to prepare him a little for that this year would be a good idea.
It really is convenient as there is transportation available (at a cost) from the day mother to the playschool and back to the day mother again. He will go there 5 days a week from 9 – 12 every day. I’ve been trying to get the number for this playschool from the day mother for ages and only managed to get it early January. When I phoned the owner of the school told us to come around on Tuesday as she was having a “welcome party” for all the children that she would be teaching this year. We were only able to go after work, but we went to check the place out and discuss everything. The day before classes start. I was in a bit of a tizz. Other parents had already paid school/transport fees for January ahead of time in December and had a list of requirements. I hadn’t budgeted to pay for January/February (we pay in advance) and wasn’t prepared for what was required. The owner assured me we could work out a payment plan as I will be able to catch up at the end of February. I don’t like it though. I like to be prepared and for everything to be done/ready/settled. We came home with a paper outlining the rules etc. and they also have to have a sandwich/drink packed. Oh my hat! We don’t have cooldrink bottles for him or anything. We made a plan and sent him with a sandwich wrapped in foil and a drink in a gym water bottle. We were also asked to label clothes and shoes.
We dropped him off at the day mother this morning with his school bag containing his application form and his lunch. We always drop him off in his PJs so I couldn’t even take a “first day of school” kind of photo since he wasn’t dressed yet. The kids have breakfast and are dressed at the day mother where they are picked up and taken to the play school. They do their thing there and are then taken back to the day mother where they will have lunch.
I was on an emotional roller coaster all bloody day. I was looking at all the “back to school” photos on Facebook and just wanted to cry. I felt like I should have gone with him, even though this isn’t “real school”. I phoned the day mother to ask how he was when he was picked up. The night before he had said he didn’t want to go to school because the children were going to point at him and talk about him (no idea where this comes from). The day mother said she thinks he was a bit nervous as he was hanging on her pant leg all morning, but he went with the bus when they came to fetch him and he seemed okay.
I was happy/proud/excited/nervous/tearful, even though I wasn’t there. So to make myself feel better I went out to lunch with a colleague and we bought all of his school supplies for the year. The school really doesn’t ask for much. They only need two reams of paper, two bottles of wood glue, another tube of glue, envelopes and some toilet paper. I also purchased 5 lunch boxes with two separate sections. The lunch boxes came with a cooldrink bottle that slots into one of the lunch box sections. Old school! They were also really cheap, so if they get lost or whatever I am not going to cry about it. I also ordered labels from www.labels4school.co.za the moment I stepped into the office. Their prices are really competitive and they will courier my labels to me for only R49.00! The labels take 5 – 8 working days before they are sent, so I’ll likely only get them next week sometime, then I can label his shoes and lunch boxes and his bag, etc. I ordered the pre-school pack of labels since I don’t require any stationery labels, so I paid R169.00 for labels and delivery! I really would have done all of this ahead of time had I known what was required. Soon I’ll have everything sorted! I feel a lot better now that I have everything that I have to supply to the school and can’t wait to get his things labeled.
I called him at the day mother after he came back from the playschool. He said ‘Mommy! I love that school where I was today! It was so much fun! I love it!’…and then he was talking about zombies. Another child from the day mother has also joined this year, so at least he knows one of the children there. He seemed so incredibly excited and my heart soared. My heart is so full of happiness and pride. I am so happy that he loves the school and so proud of him for being brave and delving into the unknown. He is a really bright kid and I feel he deserves some structured educational stimulation. I cannot wait to see how he develops from here. I am very excited. The day mother said he was very excited and she offered to pack his lunch for him to take to playschool every day. That woman is a saint! She also told me that he refused to take off his backpack all day and was walking around with it on his back since he was dropped off.
Boo for tardy mommies, but yay for playschool!