#1481 School care

Earlier tonight I was telling Hubbie how I would tell any new Mum, a Mum with young child, hell, even a parent who had a child that didn’t have the perks of what I’m about to divulge, about something unbelievably fantastic that they MUST have in their child’s school.

I would even encourage parents without this school perk to seriously consider moving their kids elsewhere.

But firstly, to explain… baby girl has been babied, all her life.

She’s had me picking her up from kinder and primary school, at the precise start and end time, every time.

With the start of primary school, Hubbie was thrown in the mix too, so that on Wednesdays he joined me in dropping her off and picking her up, and there has maybe been, um, 3 times that he’s had to get her that I wasn’t there…

But really, I have dropped her off/picked her up from school 99.99% of the time… Hubbie 0.01%.

But it’s always been US. 9:15 and 2:15 at kinder. 9:00 and 3:30 at school.

ON THE MARK.

But that ALL dramatically changed today. Because not only was she there for before school care… she was there at the start time of 6:45.

6:45!

And if that wasn’t enough, that wasn’t even all. She was there for after school care for about 30 minutes as well.

Hubbie and I were stressing a bit, I won’t lie… but she was amazing. She got up on time, listened to us in the crazy morning rush, and by the end of the day when I picked her up, I felt like I was interrupting her… here was a hall full of 40 kids, all sitting around tables having healthy after-school snacks, with baby girl lining up to get her share!

She took a plate home though… too right, I paid for that half hour! 😉

But she seriously loved it.

It’s all fun and games for the little ones. And why wouldn’t it be? She was with friends, kids from her class, they got to eat breakfast in the morning, snacks after school, have a supply of movies, board games, colouring, games they played with the care teachers, they had really, EVERYTHING.

It’s a freaking holiday.

On her takeaway plate was some fruit, vegies, a pancake with jam, cheese and crackers, and as we got into the car I said “no fair, I want to go to after school care!”

“Nope, you can’t!”

Damn it. But quietly, YES.

So back to my main point. If you are looking at schools for your kid, look at which ones provide before and after school care. It’s a win-win. Your child has fun, they’re in a familiar place, and you get to be a human being and go to work and talk to adults.

Like I said, WIN-WIN.

BEST. THING. EVER.

#1311 Proud Mama

I had to pick up baby girl earlier from school today.

As I entered the classroom after 3pm, I had temporarily forgotten it wasn’t her teacher I’d be seeing… that morning I had seen a man lead the class inside the building, and not only was it odd to be seeing a guy, with so many female teachers prevalent there, a guy wearing a formal shirt no less, but it was a guy wearing a shirt who in a matter of some minor movements, gesturing towards him as the kids followed, I realised was the type of guy, rather, the type of teacher, who despite being nice, also meant business.

I remembered all these observations as I wandered in this afternoon. I looked out at the kids: they were seated immaculately, almost with the same measurement of distance between each of them throughout the room.

I realised, amused, that this was the kind of teacher that made you feel like you couldn’t wait to get your regular one back. He was the kind of teacher who didn’t let the kids choose, jump up as they liked, and muck about because they felt like it…

This teacher, chose for you.

I introduced myself to him and told him I had arrived to take baby girl a bit earlier. He asked where she was and I pointed her out to him… and as she saw me and began to stand and get her bag, he told me something.

She had won a prize! “Do you mind if I say some words before you go?”

Of course! 

He motioned to the board as well, and I saw that written on it was her name with two other kids names, as well as the title “outstanding behaviour.”

YOU CAN MAKE ALL THE FUSS YOU WANT.

I stood there as he told the class that baby girl was getting a prize for her outstanding effort that day, and proceeded to draw out one of those Woolies seed pods they are handing out at the moment. She looked up at him, a bit stunned but happy, and said a sweet ‘thank you.’

Yep. That’s my girl.

It wasn’t so much that she got a prize, or even that her name was up on the board for outstanding behaviour… it was that he, a teacher who had only met her that day, who didn’t know her at all, who had a clean slate with her and who came into the classroom completely unbiased, was able to ascertain that she was pretty awesome.

She was outstanding.

But to me, that is always the case. ♥♥♥♥

#1221 Her first report

I don’t know how other schools do it… but today I discovered that prior to the interview I’ll be attending next week to discuss the past semester with baby girl’s teacher, a report is released… in advance.

I was told that it was accessible, today, via the school app.

But I didn’t rush. We had dinner, showers, cleaned up. As curious as I was, I figured it might be a whole lot of generic statements. Things like “she plays with well others” or “she works independently and is self-sufficient” I expected to just be filled in with her name inserted in the line –

“Baby girl plays well with others.”

“Baby girl works independently and is self-sufficient.”

Sure, there was a bit of that, especially from the specialist subjects. But what I was really interested in was the break-down of her skills and her abilities, and what she had achieved and learnt this year so far.

And I got really emotional. In a GOOD way.

And no it isn’t because she is first in the class. She didn’t get a perfect scorecard. Her teacher outlined her strengths, the areas that she still needs to grow in, and most importantly, wrote that she was doing brilliantly because she was so willing, and gave so much effort in her tasks.

I was so proud. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Giving a damn? Trying? Wanting to do your best?

And in that regard, she was tops.

Hubbie and I were so rapt. I went to my wallet looking for money… but found nothing.

Hubbie’s wallet “I got nothing!”

I went shuffling through my work coin purse and fished out a pink note.

“We don’t have a lot to give you now honey,” I said as I put the 5-er in her hand. “But we are soooo proud of you!”

And off she went with a smile to shove it into her unicorn money box.

A for effort. 🙂 ♥

 

 

 

#1215 She’s a shooting star

I am sure I have a sixth sense.

I have known and felt it for a while, though to be honest I don’t think I have been honing it, or giving it the time it needs to feel it’s strong presence in my life lately.

Today I was reminded of it again.

You may remember I drew some hearts on baby girl’s hand some time ago… well my intention was to do that every day before school, but I was so busy preparing for my sister’s big birthday that I just, plain and simple, forgot every day.

I’ve only done it twice in total. And today finally, I decided to pull another piece of symbolic and motivational arsenal out of my parenting bag.

A star.

I asker her if I could draw a star on her hand, and of course she wanted both hands… so I stood there trying my damn-dest to draw the most even stars I could, with the cat meowing and the clock ticking towards 9am in the background.

We got to school and were near the locker bay as she was unpacking her things. Her teacher smiled and said hi to me… I’ve always liked her, in fact before I knew she was baby girl’s teacher, I wanted her to be baby girl’s teacher… we greeted each other, but today she seemed chirpier with me.

“Baby girl is getting the shooting star award today!”

“Really?!” my eyes widened. I was so happy I was stunned. “What for?”

“Well she is an independent learner, she puts her hand up and always tries, and is a great listener…”

“Wow.”

“Yeah I forgot to tell you earlier… can you make it to assembly?”

Well F*&k. On the one day I was across town ticking off jobs on my to-do list, this was happening. As rushed as I would be, I wasn’t missing this.

“I’ll make it!”

She told baby girl, who fell over backwards (she was on the floor already) when she heard this. She was excited. She finished unpacking and came towards me, all happy and giddy.

“Hey!” I started. “Your stars! How did I know you were getting the shooting star today?”

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I promptly took a photo. They were all in red for their Salvo appeal day, and my heart was already glowing a deep red knowing the future events of the day.

I arrived on time. Sat at the back of the big hall with the other parents witnessing their kids get awards. Each fortnight there is a group of kids from within the whole school who get a shooting star award at assembly. I had never been to assembly. But baby girl has never been called up on stage either.

Today she was first off the rank.

They called the award and her name, and I watched on, so bloody proud as she walked over, got her certificate, and then went to sit on the front of the stage… but before she sat down, she gave a wave to her friends in the front row.

Oh, darling. ♥♥

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It was the sweetest thing. She kept waving to her classmates… she wasn’t the only one, the other kids did it too… and I watched as she hugged her certificate close to her chest in happiness, in between waving to me, and then back to her friends.

Next certificate has to go to who was more excited about her shooting star award… me, Hubbie or baby girl herself. That’s a tough race. There’s some real competition there. 🙂

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#1198 What she said no. 13

Baby girl delivered me a beauty today, totally out of nowhere. I had just started driving off in the morning down our access lane, on our way to school drop-off, when she laughed out loud suddenly at something she just remembered and told me to look at her… then using her fingers to point to her eyes and then mine repeatedly, she said with such VIGOUR:

“Eyes on you girlfriend!”

I had to laugh out loud. I asked her where she got it from, and one of the teacher’s at her school uses it – I think to tell the students that she is watching them, for them to keep doing whatever task they are meant to be doing. She did it a few more times on the way in, and then I forgot about it for a while…

Until later that afternoon. Mondays she has swimming straight after school, so I gave her a snack in the car and off we went.

I was sitting on the benches with all the other after-school parents, watching baby girl finish a lap. She reached the end and looked up at me, with those pink-goggle eyes.

She held her thumb up towards  me, our little sign language whenever she is in the pool.

I smiled at her and returned the thumbs up.

She then held her thumb and index finger together in a round O, and I read the words she said next, another one of her infamous sayings: “Spot on.”

I laughed and shook my head in wonder.

And then the clincher. She used her two fingers again to point to her eyes and to me repeatedly, and I was barely able to read the words, though I already knew them so well…

“Eyes on you girlfriend!”

I laughed out loud.

And guess how we signed off for bed tonight?

Baby girl: “Goodnight eyes on you girlfriend.”

Me: “Goodnight eyes on you girlfriend. I love you.”

Baby girl: “I love you.” 

Oh what a character. My girl 🙂 ♥♥♥

#1195 School pancake day

I was sooo sure of myself when the fellow Mum brought it up yesterday.

“Have you heard about the big brekkie they’re doing?”

I laughed. “Oh yeah. I don’t have an issue there. Even if baby girl wants to go I’ll just tell here she’s usually sleeping at that time!”

Ha. I was soooo sure. I mean, she wouldn’t even want to go… who would want to go, if you had to get up earlier than normal to get to school just for a shared community breakfast?

I wasn’t even that sure what day it was happening.

She wouldn’t wanna go… would she?

Of course she would. Because as I soon found out, minutes after being so secure in my morning plans with that other Mum, the kids were let out and baby girl exclaimed excitedly – “Mama! We’re having pancakes tomorrow!”

So it WAS Friday.

“No you’re not. We’re not going.”

Sad face. “Awwww!”

Promising her pancakes on the weekend didn’t seem to help either.

It appears, the teachers had revved them all up right before pick-up.

Those rascally teachers.

So guess where I found myself this morning?

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Eating pancakes with baby girl.

You know, when I made the calculations, it wasn’t all that hard. I didn’t even have to get her or myself up at an earlier time – we got up at the same time, and did all our getting-ready-for-school things, bar having breakfast, and then headed to school to arrive right after the hotcakes were flipping.

There were pancakes upon pancakes, fruit platters upon fruit platters, and I helped myself to a canteen hot chocolate to keep me warm in the morning winds…

And you know, it wasn’t all that bad. It was actually pretty cool. I mean hot. 😉

#1180 Watching the world go by

I helped out in baby girl’s class this morning.

2 HOURS. Even with them singing out “Good morning SmikG” (!) making any teacher dreams I ever had come true, I still required a… something… anything… time out to pat myself on the back on this hellish say that was considered, May.

Stupid Melbourne weather.

I headed through not-very-Autumn-like winds and shivering temperatures to…

Via Boffe. We are living there lately.

I ordered a warming chai latte… the herbs darling, NOT the powder… a protein ball…

And I sat by the window.

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Yep. I was one of those people. The ones you spy through café windows, looking back at you all haughty and dream-like as they sip their beverages and you walk by in a rush, wishing you were in there instead.

I was that person.

I loved it. Just as nice as it is to do something for others, as I had done this morning…

So too is it good to do something, for ME.