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Monday changes everything

1 Feb

Monday is the day that everything changes.  I can no longer change daycare/preschool days around to suit my university schedule, or drop Hannah off at 7am if I need to in order to make it to an exam by ridiculous o’clock in the morning.  The option of leaving Hannah at preschool until 5 to maximise my kid free time to finish all of my chores and writing and gardening will no longer be available.

On Monday, Hannah starts school.  Not school as such, only prep, but prep is at the school, she still has to wear the uniform, and the days and hours are set and can’t be changed.  So it’s pretty much school.  It’s totally school in her eyes.  She’s been raving about it for months.  She’s even overly excited to wear her gender non-specific, way-too-big-for-her uniform that cost an arm and a leg.

If you’re scratching your head right now wondering what prep is, it’s pretty much a step up from preschool, but not quite kindergarten.  They get used to being at the school, and is either 2 or 3 days per week (we chose 3 to make the transition to 5 full days next year a bit easier.  There is no am or pm for kindergarten over here, it’s just BAM, 5 full school days straight away).

Only private schools (around here at least) have prep, and if your kid doesn’t go to prep at the school, it’s really hard to get into kindergarten as they only reserve a couple of places in kindy for kids that didn’t go to prep.  If your kid does go to prep, he/she is guaranteed a place in kindy.  Since the local primary school near us is ranked one of the worst in the whole state, and I don’t particularly want Hannah swearing and smoking in the bathroom when she’s 8 (as I’ve heard lots of kids around here do), she’s going to private school.

One of the worst things when I went to school was changing from elementary/primary school to middle school.  The middle school was fed from 4 different elementary schools, and none of my friends were in any of my classes.  I had to make new ones, which was hard when a lot of other people in my classes managed to get into classes with friends they already had.

After I finally made some good friends in middle school, we had to move to high school, which was the only high school in the town and fed by 2 different middle schools.  There were 3 different lunch times.  For the first couple years, I was lucky, I had classes with friends, and lunch with some of them too.  But then the last year came, and maybe the year before that too, I can’t remember, and my lunch break didn’t correspond to any of my friends’ lunch breaks.  I was all by myself.  I had to find people to sit with or face looking like a total loser in front of 1/3 of the school.  That year (half a year really since I came here the second half of the year) was really hard.  I spent lots of lunch time skipping the eating part and going to the library just so I didn’t have to sit by myself somewhere.  Eventually I found a table full of other people like me who didn’t have friends at that lunch time and we all sat together.  But when everyone was finished with their lunch, they all dispersed and I again went to the library.

UrbMatinpost

I don’t want Hannah to have to worry about stuff like that.  I don’t want her to be forced into making a whole new group of friends twice during her schooling.  Her school is from prep to year 12, so I’m extremely happy that she won’t have to.  Unless we move at some point.  Then I’d feel awful for her, but it we did ever move during her schooling, it would probably be to a small country town where the school kids would be happy to have someone else to play with.

firstdaylastdaypreschool

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The new Cinderella Alexandra

6 Mar

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to Cinderella Alexandra, Hannah’s caterpillar.  You can read about her here.

On Thursday, it was finally Hannah’s turn for show and tell at preschool.  They only get to have a turn every two weeks.  From the very first day we found Cinderella, Hannah asked when she could bring her for show and tell.  She spent an hour talking to The Jess on the phone, telling her about Cinderella over and over again, an excited smile plastered on her face the entire time.

“Are you excited to bring Cinderella for show and tell today?!” I asked Hannah last Thursday morning, glancing at the cage as I spoke.

“Hannah, look! She’s hatched! She’s a moth now!”  Yes, I know, hatched is probably not the most appropriate word, but in my excitement, I had an episode of verbal diarrhoea. I was not actually expecting to see a moth quite yet.

“WOW!” Hannah exclaimed with joy “She’s a moth! She’s so pretty!”

Daniel checking out the newly emerged moth in awe

Daniel checking out the newly emerged moth in awe. You can see the fur and cocoon in front of the leaf.  Cinderella is pictured from her underside.

We picked a big pink flower from the tree outside and put it in Cinderella’s cage because I read that moths don’t eat at all, but drink nectar from flowers.  Later I read that this particular kind of moth is a lichen moth, and they dine on “lichens and other encrusting algae and moss.”  Oops.

“We have to cover Cinderella’s cage so no one sees her until show and tell time.” Hannah told me.  When we got to preschool, we put Hannah’s blanket (don’t worry, it’s full of decently sized holes and you can easily breathe under it) over the cage and explained to the very understanding teachers that no one was to look under the blanket until Hannah herself showed them.

When Aaron got home that night, he and Hannah put Cinderella in the big tree in front of our house.

In the morning, she was still there.  In the exact same spot.  Shoot, what if her time in captivity rendered her unable to fly somehow?

Hannah had a different explanation. “She loves me so much, she doesn’t want to leave!”  The notion made Hannah extremely happy.

By 9am, Cinderella was still sitting in the tree, in the same spot.  Except she somehow found herself a friend.

“She found her mommy!” Hannah told me, pleased that her moth was not an orphan.

I’m sure hoping it wasn’t her mommy, because by friend, I mean the little floozie was making moth whoopee within 10 hours of her release.  Is it weird that I took a photo?

Cinderella is the one on the left

Cinderella is the one on the left. Female moths are bigger than males. Maybe it’s just this pair, but the male has a bluish tinge in his black parts where as the female is black black.

When we got home from playgroup at 12ish, she was still engaged in moth loving.  Still.  And Hannah was right, Cinderella is definitely the girl.

When Aaron got home at 6:10pm, they were still attached at the nether regions.

Apparently, moths mate for like 12 hours.  Who knew?

Saturday morning, she was still perched in her tree, sans her man friend.  Then by Sunday, she was gone. Maybe she flew away, maybe she got eaten by something, I don’t know.  Either way, the whole thing was pretty amazing. How many 3.5 year olds get to see a caterpillar, a cocoon, and then the resulting moth? I’d never even seen that before!

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When rules go too far

24 Aug

Hannah and I made some delicious healthy chocolate muffins as a snack for her to bring to preschool.  Nuts aren’t allowed at preschool (due to allergies suffered by some kids), so I left out the pecans and put in some raspberries instead. Did I mention that they are super healthy? Yogurt, banana, oats, chia seeds, stevia, cocoa powder. Nothing bad. Not full of sugar.

When I picked Hannah up from preschool, I got her clear lunch box out of the fridge and noticed something, besides the vegetables that she didn’t eat, inside. When I opened the lid, I found her mini chocolate muffin in a little brown bag that said “I’m no longer pre-school food.”

ECOlunchbox Three-in-One

Um…what?

I held up the bag, found the nearest employee and said “this is a healthy muffin. There isn’t any sugar in it, and it’s full of healthy ingredients. I made them.”

She looked at me like I was an idiot. “Do they have chocolate in them?”

“They have cocoa powder in them. Cocoa isn’t bad for you.” True story. Cocoa is really healthy, it’s the fats and sugars they put with the cocoa in chocolate bars that makes it not so good.

“Well, anything with chocolate in it is not allowed.”

So I could put a sugary, unhealthy vanilla cupcake in Hannah’s lunch, but she’s not allowed to have a healthy chocolate muffin. Because it has cocoa in it. No exceptions, no negotiations. I don’t think they know much about nutrition, so it’s blanket rules for everyone.

Maybe that doesn’t sound so bad, but that was right after I was told they didn’t give Hannah her milk today.

Hannah has a rash on her bottom that resembles big angry pimples. The doctor said it’s a bacterial infection and gave her some antibiotics. She isn’t exactly jumping with glee at medicine time though, so I hide it in her drinks. I put the antibiotics in her milk and then disguised the taste with sustagen (a chocolate powder with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Used in hospitals for patients who aren’t getting enough nutrients).

Ensure Bottles, Chocolate, 8-Ounces, 16 Count Bottles

Yeah, chocolate. 

“We don’t allow flavoured milk.” I was told when I dropped her off. And fair enough, I get that. Not that Sustagen is the same as just chocolate flavoured milk, but I see the point. Too many kids are drinking unhealthy sugary drinks instead of good old milk.

I told them why the milk had sustagen in it only to be told that usually I would need to bring in the antibiotics bottle so they could see Hannah’s name on it and the dosage needed. And then if I wanted it in Hannah’s milk, they’d have to watch me do it, or do it themselves. In addition to signing a form stating what she is taking, how much, at what time, etc.

“But we’ll let her have it this time.” They told me. Because I’m new and I didn’t know. No worries. There are some dodgies out there who get medicine for one kid and then give half of it to another. Fair enough. I know they are just looking out for the kids.

When I picked her up though, I was told she wasn’t allowed her milk because it had antibiotics in it and they hadn’t seen the bottle. “Yeah, I was told this morning that she could have it this time, but next time I’d need to bring the bottle.”

“Oh, sorry about that. She was pretty upset that she couldn’t have her milk”

I was pretty cranky. “Of course she was, she always has milk before quiet time, and she knew I packed milk for her.”  She looked at me all surprised. “I should have been told. I live just down the road, I would have come back with the bottle.”

Seriously, who are they to decide that my child needs to miss a dose of antibiotics without informing me? Are they trying to create superbugs?

Hannah’s preschool is good. She loves it. She is happy. She has a great time. But ugh, the ridiculous rules. Sigh. I’m still annoyed about the muffins. We made them especially to bring there! AND THEY ARE HEALTHY!!!!

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