We went to visit the local council run kinders today.
I’ve been wording the girls up for a while about the potential for kinder next year. They waver between terrified at the thought and not being able to wait another second and today was no different. Zoe decided in the car half way there that she didn’t want to go in.. she would just stay in the car while Izzy looked and it took a lot of persuading on my part to get her out of the car and in the gate. Once in the door though they were both very interested.
The first kinder we visited is the one we put as our first choice on our enrollment form, purely for the fact that it is closer. The kinder itself was nice. They had some basic activities out for the kids to do, Izzy was in love with home corner set up as a shop and both girls pasted and played play dough and generally thought it was all pretty cool.
The teacher was really nice. We chatted for a bit and I talked about our toilet training issues and why we didn’t choose three year old kinder, and whether I thought they would be happy to come next year given their fear of groups of kids and loud noises (this is especially a Zoe thing but it has improved so much this year so we are hoping by the start of next year it won’t be much of an issue at all). The teacher said all the right things about planning together how best to help them settle etc etc She chatted to the girls off and on and they actually spoke back to her which amazed me as usually they won’t say boo to someone they don’t know. Zoe fell in love with her when she sat and read a book to her!
So I got a really good vibe from the teacher and looking at the program and looking around the room there was nothing that made me want to run and scream and given the fact that I taught preschool for almost ten years before having the girls and I have some very strong ideas (and some quite way out ideas as well) of what is and isn’t appropriate, that in itself was pretty amazing.
The only downside to this kinder is that it lacked … um.. passion? It was a good basic program and a nice environment but it was nothing special. It’s hard to explain but the room didn’t have many displays of art work (though what was displayed was appropriate not 25 cotton ball snowmen all the same which is good), the program was fine but there was nothing special about it the way the room was set up was ok, but nothing special. There was just no ‘spark’ to the room… which may just have been today…. and really there was nothing wrong with it, I think the girls would LOVE going there and and doing all the ‘kinder stuff’. They really seemed to click with the teacher which is probably the most important thing, but ah… I dunno… preschool is such a special time, with so much potential to do so many ace things….
So anyway when I finally convinced the girls to leave (of course after not wanting to go Zoe wouldn’t leave) we headed off to the other kinder.. right over the other side of town. Now this kinder screamed passion from the moment we walked in the door!
The room was full of interesting things and exciting spaces. There was lots of art work displayed and lots little corners of the room set up with interesting things. They also had a shop set up, but there was just all these little extras in their shop that told me that this teacher had passion…. There was an area with sheer curtains hanging down to give the kids a sense of their own special space with all kinds of great imaginative play props in there, the play dough table had all kinds of interesting objects to use with the dough… it was just lots of little things that were apparent to me straight away. Perhaps the room spoke to me because it was very much like the sort of environment I would have set up if I were the teacher….
We spoke briefly to the three year old teacher when we arrived as the four year old teacher was busy chatting to other people. The girls trotted off, really confidently on their own, Izzy to make a play dough guinea pig (using match sticks as whiskers!) and Zoe to the shop. They left me to wonder if there was any way I could change my kinder preference even though we had already submitted the forms… I wanted to chat to the teacher to see if that would clinch my change of mind….
That is when it all started to go wrong….
Firstly Muski pooed.. and I mean POOED! He was happily tucked in the sling so I only noticed when it had leaked through his clothes and through the sling into my clothes… grooossss! I figured tho with the sling as cover and given it is breast milk poo and doesn’t stink too much we could probably get away with hanging around a little longer to at least talk to the kinder teacher.
Then total disaster struck.
Zoe, standing behind the counter in the shop suddenly burst into tears. She had wet her pants. She was sooooo mortified and totally heart broken. She just wanted to get out of there as quickly as she could and since I hadn’t bought any spare clothes with us (yes I am an idiot) we didn’t have much choice. I dragged poor Izzy away from the play dough while trying to convince Zoe it was ok, that we’d take her wet pants off in the car and we slowly headed for the door.
Just when you think it can’t get any worse… we were almost to the door when the lovely three year old kinder teacher asked if I needed any help and Muski spewed. A HUGE projectile milk vomit up and over the edge of the sling and all down my leg and all over the floor. Man for such a small human this child sure makes a hell of a lot of bodily fluids.
I could only manage an ‘oh crap’ and a feeble ‘thanks but I think we should go now’ before disappearing out the door dripping in poo, wee and vomit with two distraught three year olds following. Poor Zoe is convinced she won’t ever be allowed to go back to that kinder ever again because she wee’ed on the floor (thankfully though her pants soaked it all up and there was no puddle to deal with). And I know from the look on their faces that they thought that kinder was pretty ace too…
We never did get to meet that Four Year Old Kinder teacher there…. or look at their program or ask any questions. So now I don’t know whether to stick with our kinder preference that we have, or see if we can change it, despite the fact that we have already cemented our reputation there as the family of bodily fluid spills. I guess we could always homeschool!