Coming up for air- hello, internets!
It seems like we spent most of the last month "transitioning" Botany from nursery to primary school, a somewhat protracted process given that she doesn't actually start the latter until the middle of August.
In my day, there was none of this transition malarkey- or at least not that I recall. My mother dropped me off at kindergarten on the first day and that was that.
And yet here for Botany there are "play dates" at the school, inductions, uniform sales and perhaps most surreal, the actual graduation ceremony from nursery. It's sweet and charming, all the little tots lined up in their caps and gowns to receive a certificate (for what, exactly, I am not sure). But I can't help thinking it's really more about making parents feel better about having parted with vast sums of cash for childcare expenses over the last four years- as if we now have something to show for it other than having survived the time with the rather tenuous work/life balance most of us seem to barely cling onto.
Botany actually has two nurseries- for reasons probably too boring to go into here, she went to one place near my office two days a week. The other was a charming but eyewateringly expensive preschool literally around the corner from our home another two days. This worked well in some ways and less so in others- in particular, I was forever losing track of at which nursery her welly boots were located on any given day and was constantly in trouble for failing to return some odd bit of important permission slip or payment for something. Eventually, I finally wised up and bought two sets of boots and indoor shoes, one each for the respective nurseries, a small step which minimised the chaos just a bit. Then, when Colt arrived, partly because Botany was so settled, and partly because we get council funding for preschool and partly to make the early days with the baby less frenzied, I just kept her in nursery despite going off on maternity leave.
Then, out of the blue, the charming/expensive place announced they were closing-for good- at the end of June. The saving grace for me is that I am still on maternity leave until September, otherwise I would have been completely screwed as far as childcare. As it is, we are simply dropping to two days of nursery for six weeks until Botany starts school. I've sat through two sweet graduation ceremonies and the requisite weeping by staff and child alike on the last day of the place round the corner. We've planned a bunch of fun activities, most of which will be wrecked by the ongoing appalling weather and the remainder by our general inertia at leaving the house. But I am full of optimism that before Botany is bound by the more restrictive school timetable, we will visit the zoo, the beach, the strawberry farm, the movies.
In the meantime, hopefully Colt will start sleeping through (ohHAHAHAHAHA) and I can finalise a plan of Knox and I will get two children from different point A and Bs on different days while I work full time. I guess as long as we are all wearing underwear and our clothes are not inside out when we leave the house in the morning we'll be doing OK. Even if we do have two different welly boots on the wrong feet.