Before school ended last year, I was already stressed about school beginning this Fall. Anysa would be entering Kindergarten (I assumed at our neighborhood public school) and Luke would likely continue at his current preschool. On the surface, not really any reason to stress.
I like to scratch the surface.
Our school district still utilizes 1/2-day Kindergarten due to drastic community growth without the building resources to support it. Personally, I have never seen much use in 1/2-day K because I can't imagine what can get accomplished in that amount of time. It is ok if you differ on your opinion, this just happens to be mine.
For us, the real problem was in my work schedule, distance between home and work, and trying to manage childcare for my kids while I worked. Since going back to work part-time, I had always arranged either childcare or preschool on the 2 days I worked. While I desperately hated missing the kids' activities once they were preschool, this is how it had to work to make the most of my part-time income.
Honestly, I have had it so good ever since I began working part-time after Anysa turned a year old. From the beginning, I was blessed to leave her with a dear friend who loved her almost as much as I did. And usually tried to claim her when out and about :) After P had to stop watching Anysa (and Luke once I went back to work when he turned 6 months), I was probably seriously depressed for a month. After all, how would I ever find anyone that I could trust as much with my BABIES!
God placed M in our path. While never quite the same as P, I knew I could trust her and that she did actually care for my kids, not just take care of them. She would take care of Luke and then pick up Anysa from preschool until I could pick them up.
So when the day arrived that we had to say good-bye to M and family, we were not only heart-broken, but once again in panic mode. Let me rephrase that. I was in panic mode.
With a little rearranging of my schedule and enrolling both kids in 2-day/week preschool (including 8-9 early care and 2:30-4:30 after care), we made it work. Honestly, I initially hated putting Luke in preschool. I didn't put Anysa in until she was 3 and I felt like I was already doing so many things differently than I had with Anysa. Truth be told, now I think it has been good for Luke.
Near the end of last May, I was still undecided about Anysa, but knew I would put Luke back at 2 days/week. Well, when one of the directors stopped me and asked if the kids were coming back (I was late getting Luke's paperwork in!) and followed that by mentioning that there was only ONE SPOT left in the 3-day/3-year old program. At that point, I went into ultra panic mode. In almost the same breath, she mentioned that there was also ONE SPOT left in the Kindergarten class.
In the span of about 15 minutes, I said "Hold those spots, I will call you later today.", tried to shift my brain out of overdrive (I was trying to play out every possible scenario in my head), called my husband, rationalized the cost compared to finding someone to pick-up and take care of Anysa while I was at work, made a quick decision, and confirmed their spots at the school for the next school year.
But not one regret!
Except for the fact that I have been in a tad bit of denial regarding the fact that Anysa is actually going to be in kindergarten.
Now wait a cotton-picking minute! Who let my sweet baby grow up so fast?!
(Into a hormone-raging pre-pre-pre-teen, I might add!!)
It didn't and hasn't to this day really sunk in. Probably the fact that she is continuing on in her previous environment and that she only attends 9-2:30, 3 days a week instead of full-day or 1/2-day every day. I will share more later in my story about their first day, but for now, finally, some pictures of our mommy-daughter pre-kindergarten pedicure from a couple weeks back.
She was so very excited and precious during the whole thing! I let them give her the pedicure works (minus any use of tools on her sweet feet) with the soaking, scrubbing, rubbing, and painting! Probably the cutest thing to me was when she got confused while the two lovely Vietnamese techs were chatting while working. At one point, she leaned down and said "What?" to the lady (thinking she was talking to her). The lady was very nice and then I helped explain that they were speaking in their language. (and don't think for a minute that she hasn't been practicing her "new" language around here!)
Soaking in the massage chair.
The scrub and rub.
Pretty and polished complete with a flower on each toe.
Her manicure including flowers.
The end to a special day!