Back to School

We have had quite an adventure preparing for next Monday’s start of the 2012-2013 school year. Not much of it to do with difficulty in locating stationary supplies and deciphering code for each country’s special word for texta (South Africa – Koki / USA – Sharpies) although that has played a part.

When that school bus rolls away on Monday morning with the World’s Angriest Five Year Old (WAFYO ) and her brother on board I will breathe a long sigh of relief – its been an eye opening journey.

It was the WAFYO’s Five year old check up at the doctor. A return to school requirement and a new admission must do for those entering the USA / Georgia public school system.

Overseas vaccination records are not accepted by the school directly, they have to be reviewed and certified by a local doctor. I have two different immunisation books, three different schedules because of  the countries we have lived in so all in all I think its not a bad thing to re-evaluate their vaccination records and update accordingly.

Hep A is a must have for admission in Georgia, so they are both due a shot, that sounds fair. Almost immediately, disaster strikes, turns out WAFYO requires five needles to get back on track. The horror is beyond description – until I find a way to talk them down to four, silently thanking the best forgotten school holidays last winter when they were man and beast down for three weeks with the Chicken Pox.

Both also have to undergo a sight and hearing test and a dental exam, apparently standard fair for newcomers. *cough, mutter under breath*

The husband was responsible for taking the 9yo for his tests and check up the day our furniture was delivered to the house – shoulder deep in boxes I sent him off to the doctors with instructions on Hep A and to have ‘whatever needs doing to get the certificate to give to the school’.  Needless to say he came home proud of manning the Hep A shot situation but with no other requisite paperwork. Charming conversation between the happy couple and another visit booked.

But I digress, luckily the number of shots coming was a whispered negotiation between nurse and parent and WAFYO entered the ‘interrogation round’ blissfully unaware of her impending fate.

Individual questioning of the WAFYO by the doctor included –

Do you wear a seatbelt in the car?

Do you wear a helmet when you ride a bike?

Does your mum mom and dad put sunscreen on you when you go swimming? Have you seen the freckles on this kid’s face?

Are your parents ridiculously irresponsible and will you tell me about it?’ – that one might have been in my head, right after the loud cackling laughter imaging my GP in Durban asking me these same questions with any kind of straight face. After all it is Africa, frontier land where they frown on and make fun of the ‘nanny states’ and their overbearing rules and regulations.

How many pieces of fruit do you eat every day? How many vegetables do you have at dinner? Thank goodness this is the one that eats fruit and vegetables.

Now I’m going to talk to your mom about your BMI. That is correct – BMI 

The child is 5 years old, apparently her BMI is on the borderline between green and orange, being in the 97th percentile for height and the 95th for weight for age will apparently get you that. I take it that she’s 2% ahead of the game and move onto the next question.

Do you worry about her cholesterol? At this point I guess I am meant to say yes – but am scared of being caught out, so kind of mutter a bit and leave it to some kind of accent lost in translation moment and hopefully move on.

This is a five year old check up. In two months she turns six, I am going to have to wait a little longer than that and read up on cholesterol in mini people before I return for that Q & A.

The conversation then turned to needles and la la la that’s all I remember without activating some kind of kiddy / parent PTSD.

Unfortunately the doctor cannot do the dentist check required so I call three dental surgeries who of course have no appointments in the next two weeks before school starts.

Did I mention we can’t submit our enrollment paperwork before we have all the necessary checks?

In the end we are directed to the public health drop in clinic, an excellent service, which for $5 a kid will have a nurse shine a torch in each mouth and give them a certificate that allows them to enrol in school. Yay!

Today was the class list postings, there was popcorn and popsicles and PTA ladies in matching tight t-shirts with sparkly lettering.

Tomorrow is the meet and greet in the classrooms with their classmates and teachers.

Friday is the practice run on the school bus and Monday……. is THE BIG DAY.

It’s been a logistical roller coaster ride already and we haven’t made it through the front door yet.


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