Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Anton and his kindergarten adventures, part 2

Continuation of Anton’s kindergarten saga …

After Anton got kicked out on Friday after Christmas party, my friend and I spend quite a lot of time calling different people hoping to sort it out as some kind of misunderstanding.   They did not break and held on to their position that they cannot care for Anton and moreover, the owner of the place called Anton a problem child who needs specialized kindergarten.
Somewhat furious at this point because we already had him looked at by various professionals who all say to give Anton time and he will talk without needing any special interventions outside of speech therapy.  I called out local village person in charge of kindergartens trying to explain a situation but her response was that 1) we have a spot and 2) there are no other kindergartens at this point with spaces available.  I should mention that under German law all kids above 3 years old should have a spot in kindergarten if their parents choose to go that route.   I should also explain that unless you choose to go to a private kindergarten (between 800 and 1000 euros per month – yes, I did check the prices), you can only go to the kindergarten in your city/village.  We live in a lovely village of Bad Soden which is right outside of Frankfurt (in fact, Ilya goes to a school in Frankfurt) but that means we are not eligible to go to Frankfurt kindergartens, we can only go to Bad Soden daycares.   

After many phone calls, I have located one place that had a space for him and I specifically asked Chris to go tour it with me because it’s something extremely different.  This particular place is an outside kindergarten.  They have a little wagon with no heat where they do head count and do a morning song but after that, they go into the forest.  If a kiddie wants to go to a toilet, they learn to use their surroundings.  The kindergarten is entirely in the forest!  The day we went to see it, the weather was cold and rainy (normal Frankfurt weather from November to March or so) and the children looked appropriately dirty which I wouldn’t even have that much problem with if I can overcome everything else.  They said that kids don’t get sick nearly as much as kids in regular daycares because they get both their immune systems up and they also don’t share toys (because there are none) so sick germs don’t have a chance the spread.  This kindergartens takes “there is no bad weather, just bad clothing” to a whole new level.  
While interesting and might be great for Anton and his desire to release a lot of energy, it just didn’t feel right.  We wrote an email to the old kindergarten that kicked us out requesting them to submit a report to us as well as our local youth authorities explaining why Anton was kicked out.  We send the email on Friday (exactly a week after it happened) and on Saturday night we received a phone call from the owner (the one that said that Anton needs specialized place) asking us to meet on Monday morning.
When we met on Monday morning, it became a little more clear that the owner had very little knowledge regarding the Epipen incident and even less knowledge of Anton.  At that point it was decided that he would stay and observe Anton for himself to see whether he truly believes something is wrong with Anton (other than delayed speech) and that the Epipen would be held in a safe location away from where the kids are able to reach it.  We also need to find a medical professional who is willing to come into kindergarten and train the appropriate medical personnel on how to use the medicine.  We agreed to all of that and went on our London vacation and the daycare closed for their vacation as well.
Now, we are almost up to today.  Our German pediatrician refused to give us another prescription for an Epipen so that Anton would have one at kindergarten and one at home so we had to get one from America and thanks to many people in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York and Boston we hope to have it in our hand in a couple of weeks.  Our pediatrician is also refusing to train the kindergarten stuff how to use the medicine so we are now searching for somebody else and it’s really not as simple as one would think!    Anton is currently going to the place that kicked him out and the owner agrees that while Anton is active, he does not need any additional specialized support.  Moreover , they seemed to have bonded a bit :)
Yet again … to be continued ... how can you say no to this adorable face?

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