Just before the alarm went off this morning Ruby came running through, “Is it time to get up yet?”, she couldn’t wait to get ready for school! When I could bear to drag myself out of bed I got up and helped her get dressed in her new uniform. She was wearing trousers to school for the first time ever as the cute school dresses like those in Home and Away aren’t available just now because it is winter – pah, winter?! It was 17 degrees today, in Penicuik we would be considering getting the paddling pool out never mind wearing school dresses! Even in the snow last winter (for anyone who wasn’t in Penicuik over the winter months, we had about 3 feet of snow!) even then Ruby didn’t wear trousers, it was skirts, tights and wellies all the way!
Alexander was not so bothered about his uniform. As ever, I could have laid out a wetsuit and he would just have put it on. Is it normal for someone to have so little interest in clothes? I know that boys are less interested but I think most of his friends from Scotland have some sort of opinions on them eg they won’t wear things with slogans or they have to wear things with pictures etc or they like or dislike certain colours. Alexander expresses no opinions on clothes which is unusual as he has very vocal opinions on practically everything else!
Michael made breakfast for the kids while I made lunches for everyone. There can be no forgetting packed lunches or slacking and going for school dinners instead here – there are no school dinners! You can order a sausage roll, a pie or a chicken burger but it’s all pretty unhealthy stuff (Jamie Oliver, if you are reading then you are very welcome to stay with us – if you wait a month then all my shipped Pampered Chef stuff will have arrived and you can stay on our very comfortable bedsettee for free if you make us our tea every night!). There is no dinner hall either, the kids eat lunch in their classrooms before going outside to play. Weird, there will be no wave of horror when they drop their trays and no jeering when someone else does, surely that is a vital part of growing up?!!
All packed and dressed, Michael dropped us off at school and we were met by Mrs Davidson who was delighted that we had chosen to send them to that school and took us to meet their new teachers. Alexander was dropped off first in his Year 1/2 class (comparable to a composite P2/3). I could see he was nervous as he was doing his ‘mouth in a straight line’ thing that he does when he is uneasy, upset or nervous. He was probably all three but he gave me a hug and I had to leave him to it.
Next Ruby was off to her class. I met her teacher who told us how she is going on a trip to Scotland in six weeks time. She will be visiting Edinburgh as her husband has a second cousin who lives in a town just near there, “Oh really,” I said, “where is that?” “I don’t know how to pronounce it,” she replied, “Penny-quick?” YOU ARE KIDDING ME????!!!!! I couldn’t believe it! She wants to visit a school while she is over there so I said that I would see if I could sort something with Mauricewood. How weird is that though?!!
Anyway, Ruby has been put into a Prep/Year 1 (like a composite P1/2 class) and they are going to see whether she would be better off in the Prep or Y1. She was shown her bag shelf and where her desk would be and then I had to leave her too.
It was very odd walking back to our house by myself. This was the first time I have been by myself since we have been here and I suddenly felt very alone. It was the closest I have come to crying since I left Mum and Dad’s house three weeks ago. But, I had a word with myself – using one of my favourite Aussie phrases so far – ‘drink a cup of concrete’ and I got busy! I cleaned the whole house from top to bottom (not very hard as it is single storey!), beds were made, carpets were hoovered, floors were mopped, bathroom and toilet cleaned, dishes and washing done, dinner sorted, coffee table cleared (is it really that hard for people to find the right place to put things rather than dumping them on the coffee table?!) and then I sat down for a cuppa and some raisin toast!
I tried to learn how to crochet some coasters but I don’t really like how it turned out so I think I may look for a book next time we’re in the library. I watched some TV (same daytime crap as there is in the UK!) and then it was time to get the Parklets again.
I got to school just in time and got the kids as they came out of their classes. They were bubbly and excited and desperate to tell me about their respective days. I got a few details and then went in to check with R’s teacher that she had been ok. Apparently she got on really well, they think she will be more of a Y1 than a Prep. The teacher was impressed with her writing and her maths work. Unfortunately A’s teacher had been called away so I didn’t get a chance to see how he got on but I will hopefully catch her tomorrow.
On the way home they had to take turns to tell me about new friends, their classes, what they did today and how they found it all. It was all very positive and I am just so relieved!
When we got home Ruby did some reading which was ridiculously easy for her. Her teacher is very happy to be led by Ruby to find her reading level so she can get more difficult books tomorrow.
Just before dinner Michael came home from work, I wasn’t expecting him so early and when he came in the door he told me why. He has told his boss that he won’t be coming back. The business is very disorganised and the work is not what he is looking for. While he was very grateful to get a job so quickly, this is not somewhere he sees himself working long term and it seemed a shame to lead the boss on. I would be worried about this course of action if I had not been with him yesterday when I saw the positive reaction he had from the other workshops around the city!
Sure enough, just after dinner he had a phone call from a woman in the upholstery company he most wanted to work for. It is in the middle of the city (which will mean a longish commute) but it seems to be a BRILLIANT company. Michael had immediately loved the atmosphere of the workshop and had a really good chat with the owner. She phoned to ask if he would go in for a months trial with a full time post at the end of it if all goes well. I have no doubt that he will nail it (pardon the pun!) and I really hope that he will enjoy it. He is to go in on Thursday to meet all the employees (interior designer, upholsterer and sewer) and then start on Monday. They don’t work on weekends which is very nice for us and they rarely, if ever do overtime – again, good for us as a family! He can set his own hours so he plans to go in at 7am and leave at 3pm so he will miss the bad traffic and will be home with time to spare in the evening. On paper it all looks perfect so I am really hoping it works out like that!
So there we go, another successful day chez Park and I go to bed tonight happy that we have made the right decision for our family!