Wednesday, April 9, 2003

March 31st - April 1st: Getting set for school

Monday, March 31st: This morning when Jonathon woke up, he started calling for me which woke up Nicholas. So Nicholas got up and brought Jonathon to our room. I don’t know that there’s anything sweeter than hearing the pitter patter of little feet, followed by 2 little boys staring at you saying “Mama!”

We have a driver starting today. Yay! At 7:30 we arrived at the International School for Katherine’s testing which lasted all of 30 minutes. It seems they just checked her competence in Math and Reading and she did well on both. The Admissions secretary pulled her file and said all was well, so now there’s the wait to hear from the Guidance Counselor. Since we’re not homebound, we went to PriceSmart and signed up for some membership cards. Hey, it’s just like being at home! It seems like for families, it’s the only place to shop. Everywhere else the items are so small I’d have to buy 4 for a single meal.
All in all, a blur of a day. Nothing much going on. Just trying to adjust and while everyone seems to be doing OK, Nicholas and I are still having troubles. We’ll get there. Hopefully before we move.
Tuesday April 1st: Woke up at 3 a.m. after falling asleep at 8:30 last night. Must do better staying up at night. By 7 a.m. I was ready for a nap and the rest of the house was waking up. Amazingly, the boys slept all night, no peeps and Jonathon stayed in his twin bed with no problems. This morning he woke up and called for me once, but Nicholas got up and brought him to our bedroom. He’s getting good at this.
After a breakfast of some yummy and nutrition-free cinnamon rolls, we went to the playground next door where we were lucky enough to find a sprinkler on. Well, it was like Christmas for these four. They got wet, they got muddy, they ran around and did monkey bars and slides and finally we came back and stripped right at the door so as not to track mud. We have no bathtubs in this house, so we covered the drain and filled the shower stall with a few inches of water and they splashed around.
Not feeling real comfortable about the decision yesterday to hire Merlene. There’s something about her I don’t like, but can’t put my finger on it. I don’t want her as a nanny and that’s her primary focus, so I’m thinking we may be hiring someone else when the trial month runs out. Not that I can call around (or even want to, but it must be done to hire someone) when all the kids are around, but she doesn’t start until Monday so I do have a few days to figure out what the heck I’m doing.
Anyway, it’s been a busy morning already. The school called saying that the Guidance Counselor is back in her office and we can come by at 2:30 this afternoon, provided Ian makes it back from the Embassy in time. If so, Katherine will start school tomorrow, but if we miss it, we have a 9:30 apnt tomorrow morning and she’d start school on Thursday instead. Everyone is very organized here, but all a little disjointed in times and places.
The water people called and said they would deliver out water dispenser today instead of Friday, like they said yesterday.
And the repairmen came by to fix the stove since the burners weren’t lighting. Apparently all is well, but that the gas tank that it was connected to was empty. So we have a full tank we’re using now and an empty spare tank we need to get replaced.
So Ian gets home and as we’re walking out the door to the school for Katherine’s interview, the guys to fix our doorbell show up. No one around here knocks on doors. There’s a remote doorbell switch at the gate but just our luck, it doesn’t work. And people don’t honk horns at houses either (it’s rude). So we’ve had workmen show up and had to call the house because the bell doesn’t ring and we can’t hear anything over the hum of the air purifiers and air conditioners. Anyway, they come to fix the bell and we all wander around the house to see where the actual chime is. Oddly enough, no one can find it. It seems to not exist. No wonder we never hear the doorbell. But we’re walking out the door and the workmen can’t stay unsupervised, so we reschedule for tomorrow at 8 a.m. I wonder if we’ll actually see them again.
Off to the school! After wandering around the campus, brand new and really big since it goes from PS-GR12, we finally found the Elementary School Guidance Office. Katherine talks to the counselor for a few minutes then we all go in and describe her in 3 words (they teach this in psychology school?) so we pick Energetic, Smart and Inquisitive. I think that wraps her up very well. Of course then the counselor asks if there are any concerns and we had to be honest and admit she’s a huge chatterbox. She can be corrected easily enough but forgetting herself and chatting away is very common. Just ask her Kindergarten teacher at King. So we schedule Katherine to start the following day, as her teacher was in the office and okayed the plan.
All was going well so we checked out Katherine’s classroom and the Guidance Office staff sends us off to get Katherine’s uniforms, class items, release form for the bus and then to the transportation office to schedule her pickups. Uniforms? Check. Two yellow polos, one green polo, 2 skorts and 1 pair of shorts. Class items? Check. P.E. uniform and various pens and notebooks and such. Off to the office for the release. Ah, here’s where it gets juicy. The first thing she gives us is a piece of paper that is to be signed by each department as we go through. Well, we’ve already done the guidance bit and the uniforms and textbooks and it’s after 4 p.m. We try to get beyond the fact that we’re not going to go through all the steps all over again and we’re all set to get to the Transportation office, but suddenly we’re being informed they need a copy of her passport (I didn’t bring it), her physical has to be done before she can start (we were in Admissions yesterday, she never said it had to be done –today-) and they want a guarantor letter from the Embassy. Did I mention it was 4 p.m.? I start laughing at the ludicrous nature of it all and the fact that she didn’t mention any of this yesterday when she looked through Katherine’s file and said it was all in order. Ian starts getting angry as we now realize that the kid won’t be able to start school when we’d promised. We decide that she won’t start until Thursday, that we’ll do what we can with faxing info in tomorrow and hope that they’ll accept her Worldwide Clearance in place of a physician’s exam. Off to Transportation, get her set with a bus and go home.
On the way through the gate, a water truck went the other way. Hmm, guess we missed them.
After some yummy lasagna dinner, a gift by one of our sponsors for our arrival, we all conked out. Some earlier than others. I admit I was none too pleasant to Ian as I whined to fall asleep before 8 p.m.

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