m i a o w


Kinder Duty

Today I did kindergarten duty! I was excited – I’d never done it before, and it was also a celebration for the kindergarten assistant who has been there for TWENTY YEARS. So the kids that began with her are now 23 and 24 years old. My mind is blown.

It was secretly requested that we all wear party clothes as there would be a small gathering after the session. Small Z and I both frocked up. I wish I had a picture…but it just didn’t happen.

I found it interesting to see how things work on a normal kinder day. How the kids sit in the comfortable groove of the routines that have been established over the year that’s gone. Both the teacher and the assistant are take-no-shit sort of women, and that is soothing. They didn’t put up with any whinging, queue-jumping or bad manners.

The teacher asked me several times about Small Z’s reading pizzazz – ‘so how did it happen?’ ‘is it because she’s just into books?’ ‘did you teach her?’ ‘I can’t believe you don’t have a television – that’s so fantastic!’ I didn’t have much to give her. Small Z loves words, rhyming and took to phonetics like a duck to water. And there was a fair bit of plain old osmosis.

On the other hand, I was intrigued with the way everything there ran so smoothly! Twelve three and newlly four-year-olds! She told me that Small Z’s three-year-old class is just a dream. Everyone potters around, most of them are mindful, and they all appear to thrive on routine.

It made me think that it might help me to have a little bit more structure at home in the mornings. Kindergarten, of course, has a myriad of equipment to absorb them all that they only see once a week for three hours. But if I was somewhat more proactive at home in setting up a few things to occupy Small Z, I could strap Small DB to my back and get through the domestic shizz in an hour instead of doing it in dribs and drabs throughout the day.

I liked the cues that they used – one kid gets to ring the ‘cleaning up to go inside’ bells. They all have to put away their snackboxes and placemats before playing after lunch. There were structured games and free play.

I found it interesting to see what different kids brought for their snack. I had no idea so many people eat white bread. One kid even had a fairy bread sandwich. WTF is that about? It’s like tipping sugar into the engine of a Porsche. I had to look away. Does that make me a snob? Nah…

Fairy bread...

Of course, it was on for young and old at the post-session party. I cut up slices into bite-sized pieces using strength I didn’t know I had, so strong was the mix of refrigerated chocolate, condensed milk, crushed mint biscuits and rice bubbles.

The assistant that the celebration was for was quietly nonplussed and in no way particularly excited. If my mother had been there she would have been champing at the bit getting everyone to sing and woo hoo! and generally upping the ante. But no one fussed. We hung about, the kids did their thing, the parents reacquainted themselves, and it was all low key.

I’d be happy doing kinder duty every month – it was cool. We walked home in the hot HOT heat, M put the Smalls in the paddle pool and I tried to hammer away at a file I should have been working on alllll day and not just the last few hours. My neighbour brought me in some corn chips and homemade guacamole…she’s earning serious points – what on earth can I give her for Christmas!?


The one that got away




  1. My kids eat mainly white bread. Its awful but if I put wholemeal or any type of grainy bread in their lunch boxes, they won’t eat anything at all. I make my own bread so it doesn’t have any preservatives etc but I hope their fussy taste buds will mature..As for having fairy bread at kindy…that makes me sad.

  2. beth

    I wonder if they had been given brown bread from day one whether they would have known that being fussy was an option? I have to say – that kid at kinder might have been eating bread that was home-made – that’s the thing about being a judgemental food snob!! But still – it was fairy bread! I have to say – i was given rye bread in my school lunches, and although I didn’t mind it to eat, I HATED that I was different from (almost) everyone else. I would have loved to have had it in my lunchbox… I kind of still think of it as some kind of evil treat.

  3. oh yes, we started off on brown bread and grains…they didn’t mind so much add toddlers but once they hit pre-school age, their tastes became more ‘discerning’. Now, if I try brown bread, their lunch box will come home full.

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