Oh. My. God. Yesterday it really happened. What we have been waiting for. For one year, two months and two days.
Our Ofsted Inspection.
Slap me vitals, as they used to say, inexplicably, a few hundred years ago.
There was me, fresh back from Spain, have I put the washing on, are my children in clean underpants, goddamit, this sports bra is hell to wear but the only clean one I have... when out of the blue (actually not blue. Blue is the colour of the sea as we sat and sipped our ice cold beers and watched our children play, blue is the colour of the sky, blue was the colour of my daughter's laughing eyes as she came up for a hug. THAT was blue) came a text from my friend/colleague already at work to say OFSTED ARE HERE! WHERE ARE YOU?
In my car, on the way. That's where I was. Thinking of washing.
So down went my foot on the accelerator and I rocketed along the road, all thoughts of holidays and washing ripped from my thoughts.
All I could now think of was
Got there. Ran like a stag to our Pre-school building and fell through door.
Kind, sweet woman (fifties) standing there with her briefcase looking terrified.
Crikey, I thought, looks like a Sweet Shop lady.
I shook her warmly by the hand and told her how glad I was to see her and how long we had waited for Ofsted to come. She looked surprised and pleased in equal measure.
We had a wonderful day. The children were as lovely as they always are. The staff worked their socks off. They always do. Another safe, loving, warm, fun morning for every single one of us. Our Sweet Shop inspector turned out to be shit hot and firing on all four cylinders. Just goes to show that looks aint everything.
Midday came. The parents arrived to pick up their children.
The inspector went off to write up her findings. We sat around, waiting for her
to return with her Judgements. Rather God-like.
All of us pretending to be relaxed and happy. All of us shitting our pants. It felt like a lifetime. It was half an hour. Then we saw her walking back across the playground. We quickly whipped away the chocolate box we had opened while we waited (I had 12) and cleared all the wrappings off the table. And tried to look normal and professional.
She loved us! She talked about us in such warm and positive language that we felt a bit overcome. We didn't get the top top level. But near as dammit. What mattered is that someone in the know came to see us, and really 'got' what we try to do, which is be a place where children can play and learn, where they are safe and loved. Full bloody stop!
And she got that.
So today we are all beaming.
Now, what shall I do today? For the last year, two months, and two days I have been preparing for Ofsted. Now what?
Important things first. Finish those chocolates. And take this bloody awful sports bra off and put on my nice comfortable one.
And then... the world is my oyster.
I know... I. Shall. Blog.
This is the life!