Sunday, 1 February 2015

A new school year

Delia Chiffon was busy putting the last things into place for the start of the new school year the following day. They have returned from a lovely vacation with their family, the Doughtys, in Rooibosch Hill the previous day and she is truly excited to begin the year. Not only because she has this fantastic new nursery where she can teach the little ones, but also to meet the new learners.

She went over to her desk and picked up the list. All of the names were familiar, many of them have been in her school the previous year, but she is glad to see a few new names as well
  • Jeremy and Stephani Whiskers - new
  • Eaton Blackberry - new
  • JC Maces - new
  • Cora Corntop
  • Cheddar Buttercup - new
  • Creme Chocolate
  • Clop Fielding
  • Lumy Honeybear
  • Lindy Slydale
  • Carrie Renard
  • Hunter-Smyth triplets
  • Lavender Bouquet
  • Jocelyn Chantily
  • Cali Robinson
  • Skimble Macavity
  • Comfrey Cottontail
  • Rally Farthing - new
  • Bobo and Bubbles Darwin - new

Delia was relieved that both Daisy and Betty have finally decided to send their two boys to pre-school as they have actually been old enough to attend it the previous year. But both ladies are still a bit conservative in their doings and wanted to keep their "babies" at home for as long as possible. She did however also notice that the Puddleford triplets will again not attend nursery school. She was very worried about those three. Unlike Burl's mother, Rose, who does home schooling with a very strict routine, Beth is not as diligent and they will already be turning 5 later that year.

The only unfamiliar names were Rally Farthing and twins, Bobo and Bubbles Darwin. Both the Farthings and Darwins have moved to the village during the holidays. She haven't met the Darwins but she has briefly spoken with Rally's mother, Penny. Penny will be opening a day care in the village for new born to 2-year olds, which is a big relieve to Delia. This means that her load will be lightened a bit and that she can concentrate on teaching and not just changing diapers. The previous year she had a few babies at the nursery and that was hard work. Delia felt many days that she is doing the bigger kids in, by giving to much attention to the babies.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the twins, who came with her to the nursery. Austin wanted something to drink and she wanted to change Nigella's diaper. This was done within a wink of an eye, after this Delia decided that she might just as well leave. The twins was getting tired and maybe if she goes home now, they will fall asleep in the stroller.

Just as she was about to leave there was a knock on the door. It was Andy and Bethanie Woodbrook. Delia greeted them friendly and invited them in.
Delia: Welcome to our nursery.
Andy: Thank you , wow, it is a wonderful place.
Bethanie: Hi Delia, I must admit you did a great job, the children will love it here.
Delia: Thank you, is there something I can help. Do you want to enroll little Marcus.

Bethanie and Andy were taken aback by the fact that Delia knew Marcus' name, and this made them even more uncomfortable.
Andy (apologetic): Uhm ... you see Delia ... uhm... that is precisely the thing.
Bethanie: I think what Andy wants to say is that we have decided to still keep Marcus at home this year, but now we are starting to doubt ourselves and just wanted to get a second opinion and who better to speak to then the nursery teacher.
Andy: We were thinking of speaking to Hatty, but I'm not sure if we would've gotten an honest opinion.
Delia: Yes, ok. I think I understand what you mean, but tell me first why have you decided to still keep him at home?

Bethanie (shyly): Well, tuition fees plays a big part, but also he only just turned 3 and I really feel he is still a bit young. He will probably be fine after a month or two, but I truly believe he is not ready yet.
Delia: Trust your motherly instincts Bethanie and never doubt them. Tell me, what are you doing at home to stimulate him, do you have a routine?
Bethanie: I only started with a more structured day about 3 months ago, but I try to have the same routine everyday, which usually entails breakfast, free play, singing and dancing, arts and crafts, where we make something and he usually loves this. Then it is usually time for me to help Andy with the crop. After this it is lunch and nap time, and when he wake up I try to have him sit down for another half an hour so of "learning", he is then usually awarded with stories, based on how well he mastered the task and then it is time again for me to attend to the household.

Andy: I just want to chip in here and tell you that Bethanie does great with Marcus, I am really proud of what he has already achieved, he knows all the colours, shapes and can count to 5, meaning he knows how much 5 is and he recognises them all.
Delia: Really? That is great work Bethanie! Well, yes, it is expected of me to encourage all children from 3 year old to attend pre-school, but I'm not too rigid. The way you are handling Marcus is fine and I can see no reason why he can't stay at home for a while longer, maybe another 6 months?
Bethanie: That is great news, thank you!

The Woodbrooks left the nursery and though sad that Marcus will not be attending, she was glad that she could put their minds at ease. Delia bundled the twins into the stroller and locked up. As predicted she haven't walked 10 meters yet, when the twins have fell asleep.

Delia made a decision to not go straight home, it was a sunny but still coolish day and the fresh air would do the twins good, so she decided to stroll through the village. When she passed the toyshop she decided to go in. The shop opened while they were away on holiday and she was very curious how it looked.

The shop was bustling with shoppers and Delia greeted everyone friendly. She had a quick chat with Marqaux and Innes, congratulating them on the new venture. Delia took great care in looking around and was truly surprised with all the merchandise. She was in two minds, she desperately wanted to bring her children to the shop, but knew she will probably spend all her months earnings in one go.

As she turned around to look at the play area she bumped into a Monkey.
Delia: Oh sorry, I am truly sorry.
Shirley: Never you mind. It is just as much my fault.
Delia: I am Delia Chiffon.
Shirley: I am Shirley Darwin, am I correct in assuming that you are the nursery teacher?
Delia: Yes you are right, will you be enrolling any of your children?
Shirley: For sure. Katie and Simon will attend Mr Chiffon's class and the twins will start at your nursery tomorrow. They are over there on the play mat.

Delia turned around to have a look at the two, but was immediately concerned. Those two were definitely not 3-years old, it was even unclear if they were two. How is she going to break the news, she can't take them in, without offending Penny, and that is the last thing she wanted to do.

Delia (cautiously): Shirley, please don't take this the wrong way, but how old are they.
Shirley: They will be turning two this year, why?
Delia: Oh my, how shall I say ... my pre-school is only for 3-year olds and older. Mrs Penny Farthing will be opening a daycare centre for children younger than that.
Shirley: What? No! Really? This is terrible, what will happen to my babies now?
Geoff: Oh dear, what a disaster. We are so sorry for the mistake we've made. Shirley don't worry, I'll manage business you can look after the babies till we find a spot.
Delia: Oh no please, don't apologise. This is not so bad, I already have a solution. 

Delia quickly put Geoff and Shirley's mind at ease by telling them about Penny's daycare. She also suggested that she and Shirley must quickly visit Penny to sort out the confusion, before the first day of school tomorrow. Geoff offered to take care of the twins while the two ladies visit Mrs Farthing.

As it was getting late Delia and Shirley wasted no time and quickly made their way to the Commune where the Farthings lived. On the way, they did however bumped into Delia's husband and her two older kids.
Delia: Gordon! Children! Where are you off to? I'm just quickly taking Mrs Darwin here, to Penny at the Commune.
Gordon: Oh Delia, these two drove me crazy this afternoon. As always they were fighting about anything and everything. Finally I decided that we must organise their stuff for school tomorrow, then you don't have to do it tonight and then we can see what they need, before the shops closed. And as it turned out David has no pens and Karen has somehow lost her note book!

Delia: That is impossible, have you looked everywhere? I've bought all their stationery for the new year at the end of last year before we went on holiday?
David (rolling his eyes): I know mommy, but my dear sister used her note book for writing her best seller and obviously she used all my pens as well. We've looked everywhere.
Gordon: Don't worry dear, I'm on my way to the Country Market now to get what they need. We'll see you at home.
Delia: Ok, but I'm not happy, Karen. See you later.

The commune where luckily not far and they quickly reached it. They met the Hawton family in the kitchen, who were obviously preparing for their first school luncheon the next day. After all the introductions were made, Delia inquired about the Farthings and if they knew where there room were and if Penny were in. Hildie directed them to the room and ensured them that Penny were home.

After an exhausting climb up all the stairs they reached the room. As most of the parents in the village Penny was busy with school preparations too.
Delia: Hey Penny, sorry to bother you, but do you have time for a quick chat? This is Mrs Darwin.
Penny: Sure, I'm just convincing little Rally that your school will be fun. Hey Mrs Darwin, good to meet you.
Shirley: Oh please call me Shirley.

Delia quickly explained the reason for their visit to Penny. Penny listened carefully, and afterwards ensured Shirley that the twins are more than welcome at her Daycare. Shirley looked relieved and thanked both Delia and Penny for being so kind, understanding and helpful.

Shirley and Penny got talking and Delia soon realised that she was not needed anymore. She wished both ladies luck with their first school day tomorrow and ensured them again that everything will be allright. She excused herself and rushed home. By now the twins were wide awake and getting restless. They were tired of being bundled up in the stroller for so long.

That evening at home, when all the children were in bed and the grown ups enjoyed some tea, Delia relayed her day to her husband and friends. They were happy all worked out well and the rest of the evening was spent talking about the new school year and what it might bring.


  1. Oh wow SV is busting with life, so great. Will have to have another look at all the pictures so many critters to look at:))) Great story, loved where Shirley throws her hands up in despair, the nursery is so cute along with the toy shop:)

    1. So glad you noticed that, really tried to make it look busy.

  2. What a fun story and it was so realistic! I remember that my nursery had similiar problems with too young children when I was there. I'm glad Delia could manage the problem. I enjoyed looking at every picture- they're fantastic! And: How cute are the Darwins?

    1. thank you!! Yes the Darwins are extremely cute!

  3. Wonderful and detailed story, I loved it! The new buildings are so nice and the Farthings room is lovely :D

    1. Thank you Aranera! Now just to get the Darwins some family in another village. How about it Aranera?

    2. It would be my pleasure! How about Geoff and Charles being brothers? :D

    3. I would love that! Did you get my pm about this?

  4. Only now I realized it's opening time for school at SV!
    Lovely pictures throughout the wonderful story, I really enjoyed it!

    1. Good that you are with us ;-) Thank you!

  5. Thanks for the cute story! I hope everyone finds their way to the right place tomorrow :) Oh right, it's beginning of school year in SA Of course, you just had summer break, right.