Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On the eve of school and other stories

It's finally upon us - the first day of Kindy (as kindergarten is called at Tom's new school) is tomorrow.

Working out Tom's schooling up here in Edinburgh was a major deal for us - a big leap into the unknown. It took us away from Tania with all her incredible personal support and marvellous liaision work with the school in Ruddington and it took us away from a group of teachers and professionals who took the time to work Tom out and to ease his transition into the mad world of pre-school.

Finding the Steiner school has made what threatened to be an anxious period somewhat more straightforward.

Describing Steiner to family and friends has been a humorous experience. There have been a couple of 'in the know' friends who have responded with unbridled enthusiasm and cries of 'if only we could...'. A small number think we might be joining a cult and there are those who've needed potted summaries from the ground up.

And it hasn't been so easy to explain beyond a phrase I've found myself using time and again - 'I wish I'd gone there' and I'm so pleased that Tom has that opportunity.

It is the type of school that upholds and lives by those ideals you ponder on and yearn for when you despair of the commercialisation and materialism that so readily engulfs childhood. It is the type of school that will permeate into our lives in ways that prehaps other schools wouldn't and in ways that can only benefit us all.

I think I'm more excited than Tom...

Anyway... the last of Tom's birthday treats arrived at the tail end of last week. I took Friday off and we went to see 'The Gruffalo' - a play based on the hugely influential (in our house at least) book of the same name. Tom was stunned into silence again - barely moved for the full 50 minutes. Live theatre is so much easier than movies or TV for him language-wise, it is hardly surprising that it has the hold on him it does.

A second treat followed on Saturday... Safari Park time and, most importantly, an opportunity for Trevor to meet the family.

Trevor the giraffe is so important that we have a spare. He's in the back of a cupboard somewhere with gleaming white fur and well distributed stuffing. He no longer looks anything like the original and we have developed a whole 'health spa for giraffes' cover story should we need to carry out the exchange.

Anyway - Tom showed a great deal of enthusiasm for the animals... at least until he saw the dodgems and other fairground attractions. The first chink in this new-found enthusiasm for all things natural came in the rhino enclosure where, having seen his fill of these beasts and the graceful antelope that also lived there, he glanced out of the back window and shouted excitedly

'Look!! A Mercedes!!!'

Yes - more interested in the car following us. He's a proper boy isn't he?


John said...

I remember our children's first theatre experience - wonderful. So glad you and Tom found it that also. Best wishes.

Drew's Mom said...

Tom can not be old enough for Kindergarden, can he?

I hope he has a great first day!

Mom to Toes said...

Hahaha! Health Spa for Giraffes!

I hope you don't mind if I steal that for the inevitable need for us to switch out Erin's Cochlear America's bear for the one we got at her second surgery. ;)

Congratulations, Tom, on becoming a Kindergartener!

I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Cloggy said...

Sounds as if there's a plot where all children with Ci start a new school.. or could it be just this time of the year...