I'll start at the beginning for those of you who don't know the story at all. The first week of September, less than two weeks after our return from Belgium, I went to the local primary school to enrol Ella in the local preschool, which starts here in February. I was told I missed the first round of offers and that there was already a waiting list. They would contact me for the second round of offers. I asked if I could give a second and third preference and they made note of that. Finally, some time in December, I got a call to say that Ella was accepted for the preschool that I gave as my 3rd preference. It was only when I went over there to get all the info, that I discovered that this school had their 2 long preschool days on Thursdays and Fridays and not on Mondays and Tuesdays like all other preschools I know here.
I made a few more phone calls to the other schools, negotiated a few more administrative booby traps, ended up at the top of the waiting list for my second preference preschool - they did not actually have me on their waiting list yet! - and waited anxiously for the first week of preschool, crossing my fingers that one of the kids would not show up and cancel and free up a spot for my eager preschooler.
In the meantime I had to bring Ella to a daycare centre without 4 year olds on Monday and Tuesday. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do. Much worse than taking her to daycare for the first time! The first thing she said to me when I picked her up that first day and found her playing by herself in the sandpit with only 2 "babies" to keep her company was: "Noone wanted to be my friend today. Noone wanted to play with me." Ouch! I felt like the worst parent ever...
So you can imagine my determination about making sure I secured a spot in a preschool that she could go to when all her daycare friends were at school grew stronger by the hour.
And this week my impatient waiting and persistent phone calls finally paid off. Ella will start preschool next Monday in the preschool one suburb away from our place! I went over there and met the teacher who seems exactly like a preschool teacher should be: gentle face, soft voice, friendly manners and the looks to match. The school itself is lovely too. The garden/courtyard is leafy and green and it has attractive modern play equipment. In the classroom I also saw details that pleased me, like a birthday calendar with name tags and a cork "teacher's helpers" board.
I stopped at the school on the way home the other day to let Ella have a look from the outside and as we walked back to the car she said: "I wish the school was open all the days and all the nights."
I'm sure she will do very well at school. And I am also rather happy about saving the cost of 2 days of daycare each week from now on. The money I will save would allow us to get take-away 4 times a week! Not that I'd want to eat take-away that often, but just to give you an idea...
Now bring on next year and kindergarten 5 days a week! And I will make sure I won't miss the enrolment deadline then!