Today was my 2-year-old daughters first day at pre-school. I had been thinking about sending her for a while, what with the new baby coming in May and had been advised by a friend that I should send her before the baby arrives so that she has a chance to settle in and won’t feel like mummy’s packed her off to school so she can be with her new baby.
I asked other local mums about their recommendations and ended up going to look around the little local village one just down the road. It was perfect, small enough that I felt there was few enough kids for the staff to realise if one went missing and a high enough amount to make it worth while socially. They said she could start the next day (today!)
This didn’t give me much time to acclimatise to the fact I’d be leaving my most precious possession, my mini-me, my lunch date whom I’d never left with anyone apart from her grandparents, with total strangers. Last night I kept waking up thinking ‘they only had two doors separating the room from the road… I wonder if they’d consider putting three more in with retina scanners’ and ‘what if someone has a bunch of grapes which haven’t been butchered into 15 pieces each to reduce the choke risk?!’. I didn’t get much sleep.
Not being used to getting up, ready and out for 9 am, the first bit of the morning went by in a blur of showers, shoveling toast in and trying to find our sodding shoes! I did have a tearful moment when I was doing her pony tail and she took my face in her podgy hands and said “aww mummy”…
We made it on time and the moment came to say goodbye, which I would have said to her if she hadn’t run off the second we got through the door. That left me to hang her coat and rucksack on a tiny little hook (melt) and have a quick word with the lovely teacher about the grape situation. I was assured that grapes, if present, were cut vertically according to guidelines and that the pre-school had successfully kept children alive since it opened 20 years ago.
So that was it, I had to leave.
Luckily, a friend also takes her son there and invited me for coffee along with some other marvellous mummies to a local coffee shop where my nerves were soothed by hilarious conversation and sitting completely still for an entire hour without crawling around the floor looking for crayons or wiping anyone’s extremities with a wet one. After that though I had to go home with 2 hours to spare before pick up time.
I decided to walk the long, irrational way home so that I could spy on Scarlett to see how she was getting on. I slinked past the windows like a bushy haired secret agent, crouching so that I could peep without threat of being seen for the psychopathic, mollycoddling mother I am. There she was happy as Larry playing in the sand pit not thinking about poor mummy at all.
The rest of the morning I spent lying on her toddler bed sniffing her treasured ‘bedtime bunny’ that could do with a wash really, it smelt like milk breath…
After what felt like eternity 12 o’clock came and it was time to pick her up so off I galloped and on arriving I was told that she’d been an absolute super star, not asked for me once (thanks babe) and it was like she had been there a year already. She even got a delicious Flump to eat on the way home because it was someones birthday. When we set off walking I asked her if she’d had a lovely time, she looked at me, broke the flump in half, handed one to me and said “yes mummy”.
That’s the second I realised my baby’s growing up into the most wonderful person.
If your child is ready to start pre-school then find your local one here. You planted the seed, now you just need to watch them grow.