It’s been a big week for us around here as our eldest baby Peanut started preschool.
I’ve been quite emotional about it these past few weeks leading up to this day, shedding a few tears at just the thought of my little boy out in the big wide world all on his own. I’ll admit I even cried whilst watching a certain Abc4kids show about a little bear starting school for the very first time. Damn that Justine Clarke & her emotion stirring melodies!
It’s not that I’ve never been away from him for any period of time before. I have, many times. He regularly spends nights at both of my parents places (which he & I love) & I went back to work part time when he was a yr & a half old but my mum looked after him on those days at our home (thank goodness for hands on, involved grandparents-I do know how lucky I am!)
Its just a very different thing leaving your child in the care of family members, who they know well & have one on one time with as opposed to with people you & they don’t know along with a whole bunch of other kids you don’t know in a foreign enviroment. It’s a big step for this mumma & all parents sending their precious babies off to daycare, preschool or school for the very first time. It’s hard!
At 4.5 yrs old most of you are prob thinking well it’s about bloody time!! And yes as he’ll be going to “big” school next year we thought it WAS about time to get him used to a routine, to start making some friends in our new area & to assist in his personal development on the whole.
So Wednesday was D day & besides the usual 29 requests to hurry up & get shoes on & go brush his teeth etc he surprised me with being pretty good & actually being ready on time. I made sure I was well prepared for the day with my waterproof mascara on & sunnies ready to go!
We walked to preschool, chatting about all the fun he was going to have & what kinds of things he might do throughout the day. As we got closer I felt my heart starting to race & had to fight back the tears, but I couldn’t cry yet & definitely not in front of him.
As we walked into his room one of the carers came & said hello & took him straight off to play with some playdoh and another little girl already there. He went along happily without even a glance back which made me both happy & also a little sad. I went & sorted out the last of the paperwork in the office & the director asked if I was going to go back in. I said yes of course, I wanted to say a proper goodbye & make sure he was ok for me to leave & ensure him I’d be coming back.
He was playing with some Lego & I sat & played for a few minutes before saying its time for me & your brother to go now, but we’ll come back in a little while to pick you up. He looked a little sad & was very quiet but gave me a big hug goodbye (which is a very rare occurrence these days) & that alone was enough to start the tears welling up, so I quickly gave him a big squeeze back & told him to be good, have lots of fun & I’d see him in the afternoon. As I backed away trying hard to not let those tears fall, I glanced back at him & in that moment, through watery eyes he looked so small. I managed to get out of the gate before a couple tears fell down my cheek, but upon remembering I had to walk back home, along the street, you know, where actual people could & would see me, I managed to contain it to just a few tears & not do the whole big ugly cry, I’d save that for at home.
I treated myself to a chai latte at the local cafe to mark the occasion- I would have liked something a little stronger but figured at 9am that would probably be frowned upon!
Once home, the house was quiet, albeit briefly as I still had Pumpkin to keep me company & as I sat & finished my chai I thought of my little boy & hoped he was having fun, was making friends & wasn’t scared. I rang them at lunchtime just to get an update, being that it was the first time ever he’d been in an environment like that without me, although I think it was more to put my own mind at ease & apart from being told he’d had sand thrown in his eye, (accidentally cause you know, kids!) that he was having a great time & settling in well. I could relax & breathe a little easier after that.
Hubby & I both went & picked him up a little earlier than finishing time & we found him happily playing in the sandpit with lots of other kids. He said he’d had a good day, the teachers gave me a good run down of what they did & how he’d been.
Walking home he told us all about a story they’d read, but then proclaimed in typical toddler boy fashion that everything else was “stupid”. He looked very wiped out & I said to him after having such a big day we’d have an early dinner & early night so we could have a good rest & then get up & be ready to do it all again tomorrow (That would be the real test, if he was happy to go back again the next day) He just looked at us & said “oh I hope it’s school holidays soon cause I’m exhausted & need a break” this, after his very 1st day!!! Hubby & I just laughed.
Did you send a little one off to school or care for the very first time this year? How did they go? Did you need ALL the tissues or ugly cry in front of anyone? Do you have any stories or memories from your first time at school when you were younger?