Wednesday, 29 July 2015
Monday, 27 July 2015
I was out the whole of yesterday, setting up a party and by the time I was on the way home, I found myself having really missed Emma and Ben. It's a good feeling. Sometimes we all need a bit of a break from each other, to renew, regenerate and resuscitate our love for one another. Not that I ever stop loving them. But sometimes I don't like them. There. I said it.
Being a little unit, we go through the ebbs and flow like any relationship. We have our good days and bad, we have moments where we can't get enough of each other and then there's times where a minute feels like a lifetime. Like all siblings (I hope), they have this lovehate relationship which drives me insane. They're either causing chaos as a team or nearly throttling one another.
Anyway, I digress. I got home and they weren't there. They were next door and I could hear their shrieks of delight as they played and by the time they walked in the back door, they were as happy to see me.
Everything just seemed to run smoothly. Bath time was a breeze. Supper time was super. Bedtime was a blast, with a story and lots of hugs and kisses. Ben fell asleep almost instantly but Emma, Emma wanted another story.
She wanted to hear the story of how we found her. She loves it. And she wants different versions. In casual conversation I sometimes mention her tummy mommy, in case there comes a day she realizes she's adopted (said with tongue firmly in cheek) and we talk about where babies come from. Not so much the how they got there, more the way they come out. Emma announced the other day that she thinks she might want a baby from heaven and not 'the normal way'. She doesn't think a baby would fit through her belly button.
Our neighbour is expecting a new baby and Emma knows it's in her tummy and that he'll be here in the next few weeks. What I'm trying to say, in a very long winded way, is that she kind of knows babies don't fly down on a cloud, from heaven. But in our stories of 'Finding Emma' that's one of the versions. And she loves it!
So last night, again, she wanted to know how we found her in the garden. She wanted the details of who went outside and how did we know she was there. And she wanted to know if she had clothes on and whether she had wings. She asked if she was lying on the grass or on a bed of flowers.
I told her I had heard her giggles as she played with the fairies in the garden and I sent her dad outside to see where the noise was coming from. I said it was dark outside so Mark called for me to fetch a torch but I didn't need one. As I walked outside I could see a little glow on a patch of flowers and I knew my baby had arrived.
"I had prayed and prayed for a long time for a baby girl."
"Like five days long?" She asked. "
"More like five years long" I said.
"You know why it took so long?" She asked me. "Because the angels and I looked and looked in all the gardens, through all the windows, to find the best mom and dad for me."
I think I found my new favourite story, how Emma found us.
Thursday, 16 July 2015
Life is full of questions. Do these pants make me look fat? Do you think she's prettier than me? When are you finding a boyfriend? When are you getting engaged? When are you getting married? When are you having kids? When are you having more kids? When are you going to stop having kids?
And then, with your perfect family, gorgeous husband, picket fence and pedigreed pooches, you think the questions have stop, the humdinger comes along. Where are you sending your kids to school?
We've been trying to answer that question for the last 6 years. We live in an area where it's assumed you have the means to send your child to one of the many private schools. We've got Crawfords within spitting distance, Heron Bridge, Summit, St Peters, Cooper, British International College, American International College, and a whole lot more. Unfortunately we don't have the cash for these. Not for two kids. We could do a 'Ching Chong Cha' to see which of our two children are the smartest, sending that one off to a private school but that's not without its flaws. We could skimp and save and do away with living in a house, in clothes and eating food to send both of them, but I'm thinking that's not really going to work either.
We're on lists for government schools, but we don't fall within their catchment area, so unless we camp out for two or three nights, there's not much chance of getting them in there either. I've played the race card. Oh yes I have. But apparently places are open for previously disadvantaged families, not currently disadvantaged.
And so we've had sleepless nights as to how we're going to answer next time we're asked which school we're sending Emma to.
But I think I finally have an answer. Emma's at a Montessori preschool, doing grade R, and she does well in that environment. With a small group of six, she's getting the attention she needs and her teachers are able to see where her strengths, and weaknesses (shock, horror, yes, my perfect child has some weaknesses) lie.
She thrives on praise and encouragement, as do most children, but she also needs a lot of persuading to try something new or something that falls outside of her comfort zone. She's a daydreamer and needs constant 'calling back' to the task at hand, which I don't see happening in a class of 20, 25 or 30.
This year, the principal of Singing Forest Montessori opened a Montessori primary school, and come hell or high water, that's where Emma will be going next year. I popped into the school yesterday and I felt like I was home. The older kids had just finished preparing soups, which are been delivered today to an informal settlement today, and were busy with a birthday ring. Yup, kids of 11 were singing happy birthday to a classmate and making her feel special. I loved that. Why shouldn't an 11 year old be made to feel special? Why does it stop once you reach primary school?
The Montessori school, in my humble opinion, focuses on the child. They're allowed to be the best THEY can be, not to be as good as Johnny or Anne. I want Emma to be in an environment where she is celebrated in spite of her weaknesses and because of her strengths. I want a well rounded child, emotionally, physically and mentally. My ideal would be for my children to leave school solution focussed, open minded and with a sense of entrepreneurship. Unlike I was, I don't want them labelled as stupid, less than, or destined to fail.
I don't want them graded according to a standard or a norm. I don't want to ever hear them say they're dumb and I never ever want to see them not try something because they're scared of failing.
So should you see me in a shop or in the street and you want to know which school Emma will be going to in 2016, the answer quite simply is Chartwell House Montessori Eco school.