Our daughter's kindergarten period
When our daughter reached kindergarten age here in Hungary, I knew that we'd have to find her a place to go as everyone told us that it was mandatory from age 3 and if we wouldn't we'd be in big trouble. One side of me was longing for these moments when I'd finally find some peace of mind to properly work a few hours every day and the other half knew that it was probably not the worst thing to keep her home a bit longer. But as we were told it was mandatory, we found the kindergarten for her that was left, and funnily enough that one is in our street and just 30 seconds from door to door haha. Unfortunately, this first one was not hygienic at all and we faced a year full of trouble with our daughter's constant ear infections, colds, and infected eyes. Add to that a lot of coughs and you will find yourself even caught up with childcare than before she went to kindergarten. We were constantly told it's normal, she will get used to it. It's been clear from the moment we swapped kindergartens that this was not a "build immunity" kind of thing but just a dirty kindergarten mostly.
Missed many days
So the first year, she missed so many days because of her being ill, and then the pandemic also appeared so the kindergartens were all closed. We were very lucky that we visited the ear doctor in October and managed to get a date for her ear surgery in July, meaning this surgery could take place, even though we were facing the first part of the pandemic. I was so relieved that we didn't have to deal with that trouble another year. What we also did was make sure to find a loophole in the public kindergarten system, which was getting permission to bring the child to another district kindergarten IF one of the parents is working in that district. At the time, her daddy was still working in a much better district and so we used that loophole to find her a better kindergarten. What a great move that was, although we had to travel there every day, this was a much better choice for her and the children play outside for a big part of the year as well, meaning they have more outside time instead of being stuck inside all together for most of the year.
She liked her time there and we can close this book of her life looking back with a smile. She has made friends, she was loved and she learned quite some Hungarian words making her able to communicate with her classmates as well as her teachers. I've been amazed some days when she just sat in her play tent having a picnic with her dolls and bears while having full conversations in Hungarian. Sometimes we didn't know what she meant and we let her pronounce the words to google translate by voice and it turned out it was translated perfectly. It's been fun to see her pick up the language, even though we know it will never be used by us again once we leave Hungarian grounds.
Treats & gifts
When we knew the date that we were going to give away our car, I set a date to say goodbye at the kindergarten. Looking back, the date of the car had moved forward, I wish I'd done it a few days later as they apparently had a few day trips planned. But nothing to do about it afterward, I didn't know. I asked the teacher if she could bring some treats and they would do a farewell party for her, she was so looking forward to it!
It was a challenge finding anything suitable for the kids because with the pandemic, it had to be packed and you can not just make your own treat anymore. Which I find much more fun, to be honest. We managed to find something that most of these children here enjoy eating, I don't even know the name, lol.
I used a cake bottom to make layers of the treats.
Then I used foil to bind them all together to make it look like some sort of cake.
The teachers and the director also received gifts: chocolates.
I also printed a letter to thank them which I also translated into Hungarian so all her teachers could read it. I told them they could decide on their own who received what because I didn't know what everyone loved of course.
The goodbye party was a success
The teachers gave her something as a farewell gift, it was to hang on the wall and made from fabric. But what surprised me the most was the fact that one of the kids in her class really liked her so much that they went to buy a present for her and according to his mother, he also picked the gift himself. That was the first time he did so ever, how cute is that? He picked an elephant toy to cuddle and she's been sleeping with it every night since she got it. There was also a note with it which he let his mother write but were his own words. I seriously teared up when she told me that, it's a shame that she made some friends that cared deeply for her but will not be part of her life anymore.
Thankfully, she's resilient and she will make new ones soon. I'm very grateful for the help of the assistant teacher who guided us but her as well through the experience while not speaking Hungarian. She's been a huge help and I'm sad that our ways will part here. I'm very grateful that they have given her a proper goodbye party and it was touching to see a few kids were constantly hugging her when I picked her up.
Seriously considering another year of kindergarten
The end of an important chapter in her life, while a new chapter will open soon. We will see if she ends up in school or if we can arrange for her to do another year of kindergarten in Spain. A wise person, aka my sista from another mother :) lol, brought up another year of kindergarten when we spoke about changes for her and a new language. I never thought about it until she mentioned it but it makes total sense to let her do kindergarten one more year so she can learn the language in a playful environment without being pressured immediately. Especially because even without the new language part, she already missed a lot of kindergartens and socializing thanks to her ear problems the first year and then the pandemic the years after. We have discussed it here and we both agree that it's not probably better, but needed in her case. As soon as we have our contract signed for a home, I will go to the government office responsible for these decisions and try to make it happen. Before that, I will already have a good idea of the school/kindergarten options around us and hopefully, I'm already aware of the procedure that I need to go through to ask permission for that extra year of kindergarten. I decided to arrange it on the spot because of us not being sure yet where we will end up living.
I have faith in the process though! It will all be fine! Time to start making new memories!
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