Sonny Ma-Jiminy turned three recently, and his constant drive to learn new things (Mrs Play-School I ain't) has led us to enrol him in Pre-Prep, which used to be called kindergarten (Kindy). You know, the thing for 4-year-olds, but 3-year-olds can come if they want to.
This kindy has some extremely specific requirements for their children, and they strictly adhere to very particular rules in every aspect of kindy life (in stark contrast to home, where a child can manage to paint the decking with a used pregnancy test and some sunscreen while his mother is on the phone.)
- has loved it (for the most part)
- has brought home some lovely craft
- can now discuss at length the life cycle of a chicken.
On the other hand, I:
- have been tying myself up in knots about it
- have been worried about the expense
- have been bothered by the inconvenience in driving him quite a distance away and picking him up (we pass at least three other kindies on the way, only because this placement 'fell into our laps' at the right time)
- have been intimidated by the constant commitments e.g., parent volunteer day, yard maintenance, sausage sizzles, fundraisers, participating in our city's festival street parade etc.
- have been stressed because I'm sure I will provide the wrong type of lunch wrapped in the wrong sort of wrapping, the wrong size sheets, insufficient spare clothing, the wrong type of hat minus the essential elastic loop for hanging, the wrong hand washer minus similar essential elastic loop, the wrong sort of cup, dress him in the wrong clothes and forget to apply sunscreen liberally on exposed areas before dropping him off at kindy, as per the agreement that I was asked to sign.
- and of course, I have worried incessantly about his behaviour for the whole 11 hours he has spent there so far. He's not the most compliant kid.
But I'm glad to announce that we've made it through our first two-day week, and we have not been asked to refrain from coming back. Here is the report card from our first week at kindy.
Pre-Prep Report Card
Name: Sonny Ma-Jiminy's Mother
Key Performance Areas:
PROVISION OF FOOD: PASS - Sonny Ma-Jiminy's Mother has achieved competence in supplying only healthy foods from the provided list of acceptable foods, and has enclosed all foodstuffs in acceptable packaging (no plastic wrap, yoghurt etc in washable plastic containers, no disposable containers). As specified, lunch was provided in a lunchbox, clearly named, and placed in the fridge while the morning tea was provided in a plastic container, clearly named, and placed in her son's pigeon hole with his backpack.
PROVISION OF CLOTHING: PROVISIONAL PASS - Sonny Ma-Jiminy's Mother provided sufficient spare clothing in his backpack, but on the second day she failed to force her son to comply with the absolutely-no-shoes-worn-for-outside-play rule. Was unable to override three years of habitual shoe-wearing while playing outside.
PROVISION OF OTHER NEEDS: PASS IN MOST AREAS
PASS - plastic cup with handle
PASS - lunchbox
PASS - washer with elastic loop for hanging
PASS - legionnaires hat with essential elastic loop for hanging (Thankyou Grandma!)
FAIL - Library bag - still not purchased
PASS - sheet bag (40x40cm with drawstring)
PASS - top sheet 135x75 cm
PASS - bottom sheet 135x75 cm with 12 cm thick elastic sewn into each of the four corners with half a press-stud at each end so that the sheet can be secured around the tube of the stretcher.
We do suspect that the sheets, sheet bag and washer provided by Sonny Ma-Jiminy's mother is not actually her own work. (* Thankyou a million times, Becky.)
REMEMBERING TO LIBERALLY APPLY SUNSCREEN TO ALL EXPOSED AREAS OF CHILD PRIOR TO TAKING CHILD TO KINDY: FAIL (but really, who should care when the playground is usually in 90% shade?)
REMEMBERING TO TAKE A PHOTO OF CHILD ON FIRST DAY OF KINDY: FAIL
HAVING ENOUGH SPACE ON THE MEMORY CARD TO TAKE A PHOTO OF CHILD ON SECOND DAY OF KINDY: FAIL
PAYING $5 FOR THE RENT/LOAN OF THE CHICKENS AND HATCHING EGGS FOR THE FORTNIGHT: FAIL. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!!! (This is the Key Performance Area I am most worried about.)
MAKING IT THROUGH WITHOUT SEEING BLOOD OR FLAMES: PASS
Well that's something, isn't it?