When my parents took me back I was five. They used their connections to put me into a 24/7 kindergarten not far from their central city apartment. I spent there two years till the elementary school.
They did pick me up almost every late evening, and I slept most of the nights at home. But I never new whether it would happen, or if I would need to stay with a group of boys from bad families and a tired night nanny.
Arriving in this place every morning was a torture. The building was pretty but filled with a smell of food I could not stand. The locker room shelves were the ugliest thing I saw, with cheesy painted fruits and flowers on the doors.
Let me explain, why I would rather forget this place. We had two young female teachers, who worked with us in classrooms for the first hours of the day. Their uncontrolled anger and cruelty to some kids were horrid.
A couple of examples:
- We had two mandatory napping hours in our huge bedroom for a few dozen kids. We could not choose our places, and we forced to lay there without movement, next to a random kid on a paired bed. I could never sleep during the day, so these hours of forces immobility were endless.
- That bedroom had big glass doors into the connected play and study halls. If some of the boys misbehaved during the day, they were punished by being stripped entirely naked and placed to stand on the beds for hours, and everyone could see them, in horror that it might happen to us - anyone. I did not realize at that time that they targeted only untrustworthy kids with absent or weak parents.
- When one of the girls soiled her panties, she was forced to wash them in a bucket in front of all of us in the main hall. Her humiliated desperate crying was so shocking, that I don't even remember whether this was a general rule or a random act of sadism by the women in power.
- I was disgusted by their food, and ate almost exclusively bread. Multiple times I was brutally force fed by one of the teachers. When my mother finally talked to them about it, they left me alone. I hate the smell of canteens till this day.
- We were allowed to play outside only for an hour a day or so, and only in small wire-fence separated areas. I hated such confinements, in my early childhood I at least had a freedom to run under the sky.
All I wanted is to grow up and to go to a real school.