Well, the playschool that was closest was the worst imaginable. It was an ordinary apartment with rather better furniture than we have – and lots more of it. The room dedicated for the kids doubled up as a college-going daughter’s bedroom, full of unmade bed, open cupboard with clothes spilling out of it and not an inch of space to move. When we went, there was only one other child, looking quite lonely as she sat at the dining table with some food. This playschool had a total of two kids currently, which I had perceived as a benefit, but after seeing the place I had my doubts.
In fact, I was so disillusioned with this place that I thought about giving up on the playschool idea altogether, but then decided (partly thanks to Siri’s comment that kids really enjoy playschool) to check out a well-reputed playschool-cum-Montessori-cum-daycare place called Vivaa International.
At once, all my doubts were allayed. The place had its own building with a small lawn and driveway. Classes were open and cheerful, seating was on mats on the floor, and all the kids seemed to be immersed in whatever they were doing and looked quite happy. It was informal, but not unruly. Even the kids took to it and wandered off with an attendant while I looked around and spoke to the director, whom I quite liked. Everything was perfect, apart from two little things.
One was distance. The place is a few km away, enough to make it irritating to have to drive to twice every morning. All the same, I was willing to risk it, but for the other little thing: the cost. 25K per child for just five months till the end of the academic year? That made me blanch.
I still hadn’t made up my mind about this place, when I went to look at a third place (it’s been a busy week!) and at last I could breathe easy. This place, also in a flat, dedicated the entire apartment to the playschool. With 20-plus kids, it was crowded, but not too crowded. There was little furniture and it seemed quite neat and safe. I couldn’t see to many toys, though, but the kids looked happy enough, so they must have been busy. The best part is that this place is only a little further than the nearest one I had seen first – I can walk the kids there in 10 minutes or so – and cost-wise it is a fraction of Vivaa, and only slightly more expensive than its nearer rival.
Amit has said he wants to check out the place, and once he does, and provided he approves of it, the twins can start from the middle of next month, after the October break ends.
So it looks like a few weeks from now, the twins will be starting school… complete with school bag, water bottle, tiffin box and all!