It is September and actually it has been September for a few days. I am late because, for some reason, life as suddenly accelerated!
You both started preschool last week. It was a return to school for you Elliott and it was a start for you Victor. I should probably tell you that it was hard to see you go, that I cried and didn’t want it to happen. I would lie. Well actually not really lie as such, I have felt that heartache you get when you suddenly realise that things happen, that they move on and that you will not be my babies forever. Once I got over the shock, I punched the air saying “ROLL ON SCHOOL DAYS!”.
I became a mummy nearly four years ago and never in all that time I reclaimed totally who I was before and this is happening just now. Don’t get this wrong, I love you both and will always love you, but sometimes I love you even more when you do your own things and I do mine.
Just about a week before you both started we made the decision to keep you both in the same preschool. Elliott you were going to start at a new one and I freaked. I woke up one morning and thought “what the hell are we doing?!”. Ok that preschool was closer to our home but considering that two days out of five I would have to take Victor to your old preschool, it made no sense at all. And you didn’t HAVE to change school. It wasn’t a compulsory change like it will be next September when you start reception.
It was a very good decision. You are very happy to go back at your old school even if some days you ask for cuddles after cuddles before I can finally go.
You Victor, you are having the time of your life! Never cried, waved bye excitedly every single time. I was worried it was too soon and I did feel a little bit guilty I have to admit. But you proved me my gut instinct was right. Mum’s instinct is usually right all the time so why did I feel guilty? Well I guess because us, mums, we are damn good at feeling guilty and if there are no reasons to, we dig deep to find one. I digress.
I now realise how much you need this space too. All the activities stimulate and exhaust you which we both need. You were starting to have proper mad hours with flying objects and all the drama. Since you started your behaviour has improved tremendously. It is almost as if after just 5 sessions of preschool you grew up by months! Just remember to slow down please, I am not ready for too much growing up just yet.
I love this new routine. I love meeting up with friends and having a chat without being interrupted a million times. I love leaving you at school and scratch my head wondering: “Humm now, shopping? coffee? Work?”.
Most of all I love when we are back together, after your afternoon nap. We chat, we play, we laugh we really enjoy each other’s company and that is worth more than anything.
Look at him, he is a big boy now, no longer a baby…
He’s turned 2 in July and in the space of a summer he’s changed massively. I mean he grew nearly 4 centimetres in 3 months, managed to grow feet that no longer fit in any shoes (not even the 2 new pairs that fitted him great in the shop 4 weeks ago) and no trousers or jumpers are long enough.
He now walks, no longer run on the pavement and yes he stays on the pavement! He even stops before the road and holds my hands or let me carry him.
He will be starting preschool in 2 weeks… I have tears in my eyes just saying this. I was sort of hoping in a totally selfish way that he would be allocated a space slightly earlier than expected, but when I got the call yesterday morning to confirm it I nearly cried…
It is funny how I praise Elliott for every steps he takes and I silently cry at every ones Victor takes. Each time it is a part of me that waves good bye to a little bit of their childhood…
Warning: long story ahead…
You all want to know how Elliott's first day at preschool went, don't you?
Well how can I blame you. In a post last week I was going on about leaving my baby with strangers who might do things like not wiping the snot off of his nose or forget to change his nappy and it was more than I could cope with.
On another note, yes there was progress on the potty business, but the kid hated being wet so much that he begged for nappies again. But that's another story altogether. One that I might update you on, once I have past the guilt of having one of the only kids STILL in nappies at PRESCHOOL!!
So as you can imagine I anticipated the event with a tight knot in my stomach and everywhere else. I am used to leaving him at places. Well not like that of course. I do not leave him at random places, even if at times I would love to. I still love him too much for that.
What I mean is that I am used to leave him at his childminder, but you see it is entirely different. He started going at Super-nanny's when he was 7 months and he loves her like a member of the family, so it is so easy to turn around and get on with your own things.
Also there could be far worse places than preschool. The amount of toys and fun there, makes me suspect that one day he will probably beg me to go and leave him there, oh and without kiss in front of his friends!
So back to our first day. I had a plan: don't think about it, ignore it is coming up and like this you don't worry before the actual day. It worked brilliantly. Burying my head in the sand seemed like a great method for me. Until it all hit me…
We were getting dressed and ready to leave the house and that's when I faced reality "I AM TAKING MY BABY TO PRESCHOOL!! HE WILL CRY AND BEG ME TO STAY! AND I WON'T BE ABLE TO! AND I WILL FEEL GUILTY AND IT WILL HURT AND MAKE ME CRY!!!!"
So we got in the queue at the door and waited for our turn.
Then it was our turn to get in. We were showed the way to his chair where I could leave his bag and jumper. I signed the register and exchanged a few words with the teacher. I thought I had to say that sometimes he says "merci" instead of "thank you" so not to be offended and think he is a rude brat because they might not understand what he says.
Then the moment to go arrived. I crouched in front of him and in a very lively and confident voice, I said: "Maman has to go now and you will have tons of fun until I come back" then I stared at his face. I searched for the anxiety lines. I knew they were going to appear. I knew he was going to cry so I was ready to catch him, hold him tight and run away with him!
No? No tears? Really? Not even a flinch! Oh yes a bit of shoulder tension, I see that. Then he says "OK!" kisses me and goes! GOES WITHOUT A TEAR?? Something is weird… I stand up, say bye to the teacher and I leave… I still have my mouth wide open in absolute astonishment.
Then I smile and I laugh. I call Craig and say "WE DID IT!!! He said good bye and didn't cry!!!"
The morning went on and as I browsed the same shops over and over again to stay locally, I suddenly realised that I didn't recharge the bag with wipes! I mean, how bad of a mum do you have to be, to not check his bag properly before his first day!!
I started having cold sweats. I could picture it: my baby in a soiled nappy and nothing to clean his bottom. I could feel the distress. It wasn't long before I received a call from them to tell me he had a dirty nappy but they couldn't find anything. As a result of that he was quite distressed. Thankfully I was only minutes away from the place to drop off the wipes. By the time I got there he had stopped crying and was busy playing again.
I had to find something to say to remove the sticker on my forehead that said "what kind of mum doesn't even check her kid's bag on his FIRST DAY!"?
So cut a long story short (even if I failed so far), I picked my big boy up at the end of the session and then there were tears. He was tired following all the fun he had and he was hungry. That's when I regain trust in my abilities as a mum: I had prepared his lunch in advance so he could eat on the way home, so I guess I am not bad.
When we arrived home he said something for the very first time. He said "It is nice to come back" and all I replied was "Oh yes Darling, you will always come back and we will always be here to welcome you back!"
I love this little boy SO much…
Photo Credit Google Images
I suppose this is it. We are coming to that time when things change, when my baby is no longer a baby. When my baby is now going to have a life outside our family.
He is going to do things I won't know about.
He will have friends I won't really know.
He will say things I won't hear or do things I am not going to witness.
He will sometime be told off by someone else and praised and cuddled by someone else.
He will be hugged by a stranger (well stranger to me) when he is hurt or sad.
He is only 2 and a half. Only 31 months old.
It is not different from being at his childminder, and yet it feels terribly different. He will be in a group with different rules to obey.
I have been looking forward to this moment when I would have a little bit more freedom and a bit more time for Victor. I have all these plans to make this time between Victor and me a special time, but why do I feel like I am betraying Elliott?
This morning was is settling in session at preschool. After 1h30 of watching him having fun and seeing his excitment looking at all the stuff he could play with, we agreed that I would go for 20 min and leave him on his own.
When I came back he was still crying.
This is a very hard feeling to describe.
Look at me, he is only going to preschool. PRESCHOOL woman not UNI!!
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