I don’t like to do things in halves, me.
So a couple of months ago we started Billy at a playschool. He is VERY attaached to me so it felt like a good idea. He would be mixing with other kids and developing a bit of independence. He is very social and just loves the company of other children but I thought this might help him get in to that frame of mind before he is doing his 5 ECCE mornings in September. The first day was a brilliant success. Sure he even kissed me goodbye. I smugly strolled home and cleaned the house before collecting him three hours later. He didn’t want to leave. Playschool was a roaring success. For all of five minutes.
To be fair, once I left he was absolutely fine. Same story for a lot of kids. I genuinely felt reassured about that. I could see it with my own eyes when I left the classroom. He literally went from roaring crying to smiling at toy cars within half a minute. Unfortunately it didn’t make the whole process any less stressful though. It’s just one of those things isn’t it? Just say goodbye and leave, “they’ll be fine when you’re gone”. And they are. It’s still difficult though.
The worst part for us was the fact that he started to sense he was going. We walked to the playschool and from the minute we set off that morning he was saying “no school” and asking to go somewhere else. When he saw the school gates he lost his mind and started roaring crying. No matter how lovely the school and teachers are (and they were, incredibly so) this is a rotten feeling as a parent. I felt like the worst mother ever, dropping him off somewhere that he didn’t want to be. Somewhere he seemed to be dreading and almost fearing. And yet he clearly absolutely loved it once was there.
And then we found out we had to move. In like two weeks. A random turn of events which meant his stint at that playschool was over. The location just wasn’t feasible any more. I guarantee you that another week would have cemented the whole thing and he probably would have been fine. Definitely. Sods law would have it this way though. Playschool was over for now.
We’ve since settled in to our new quarters. A granny flat which is part of a close family member’s house. Before we know it September will be upon us and he will be doing the five mornings a week. For free at that. It will be great for him. I wanted him to have some sense of school before that though. I’m not saying he needs to, or that you should, or that it is the right thing to do, but I wanted that. Call it a gutt feeling. As I said he is very attached to me and I felt that a slow introduction to the idea might work best. And now I am self-employed and thankfully things are going well. I do find myself struggling a little more with time management these days. Gone are the days of long naps where I could knock-out a load of work before enjoying afternoon strolls at the park. Naps are tiny and more of a hindrance these days and yet I find myself with more work than ever. Something has got to give.
I need more time. A couple of extra hours in the week to get my s*** together. It’s a needs must thing I suppose. It will mean enjoying our time together even more because I won’t be panicking about the work I have to do that evening. Being self-smployed means that every minute of every day is an opportunity to get some work done. It can be hard to find the balance. I am the kind of person who likes a routine too.
So we find ourselves back at square one with Playschool. Today was his settling in day at a new one that is very close to our new home. Just a two minute walk. His cousin attends this place and for the moment that is enough to excite him. Day one went well but I am under no illusions. It was a good two weeks before he “regressed” last time. This time though, I have a feeling it will be fine. A feeling called “hope” perhaps?
And sure look, we got to do the whole cute school-bag first-day-at-playschool photo thing TWICE. So like, it’s all good.