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I am trying hard not to panic about it.
Or show Fern that just driving past the Preschool has me in a tailspin.
I think it might be both a blessing and a curse that I have been able to stay at home with her full-time until now. I've been able to shower her with my undivided love and attention and mould her into the little girl she now is; if a swear word falls out of her mouth (it hasn't, but I know its only a matter of time) I know its MY fault, and not something she picked up in the sandpit.
She's had 12 months of not being sick, as well. Not even a sniffle last Winter! I'm sure that within 8 seconds of entering Preschool she will come down simultaneously with every flu-cough-gastro-vomity virus there is. It's part of Preschool initiation, I hear.
And then there's the financial savings; no school fees, and let's face it, shopping with a 2-year old ought to have a Post-graduate prerequisite, and Ive probably saved thousands in wearing old flour sacks rather than drag Fern around the boutiques shopping for dresses with me. (But Fern, SURI does it and seems to enjoy it?!)
So if I don't have to send my daughter to Preschool...... why would I?
Well, for all my efforts in shaping her into the 2nd Saint of Australia, my little girl seems to have a few little - well - faultipoos - that I am hoping Preschool might assist to iron out. Like not sharing, for example. And bossing other kids around. And leaping on her brother with wilful abandon. And, although I'm only sending her one day a week, would it be unreasonable to expect them to toilet-train her, also? And teach her to eat something other than sushi and rice bubbles? And not to pull her hair-clips out? Or twist dreadlocks into her hair? Or throw her tin full of pencils all over the floor and stare at me dully when I ask her to pick them up?
hmm. Am I expecting too much? But its the other stuff that a Preschool can offer that's also swayed me into sending her, stuff I can't give her: the fact that she can play all day with other kids her own age. And do crafty activities and get dirty without her mother chasing her around with the vaccuum. She can watch and learn from other children and take direction from other adults. Best of all, she will gain some independence and hopefully discover new talents and skills that will lay the foundation for school and her future life.
And of course, there are the benefits for ME! A day-off, of course. Yes, I still have Elliott, but he is so deliciously cruisey that it's like having no child a lot of the time (he sleeps!!) and I am looking forward to our special Mummy-son day we've been denied until now. Maybe I'll be able to leave the house! Push a pram around the shops! Have a - gulp - coffee in a CAFE with a friend! Get the house cleaned up without a tornado in tow! Read a magazine! Sew! Close the door to the bathroom!
But best of all? The dodgy handmade mothers day cards and painted bits of paper and assorted handcrafted delights that are sure to make their way home. Isn't that what my double-doored fridge was born to behold? I'll eat that stuff up!!
But most of all, if I'm brutally honest I'm looking forward to getting a bit of headspace. My daughter takes up a lot of my thoughts, a lot of the time. Even when she's sleeping I'm cleaning up after her, planning our next activity or meal or whatever. It might be nice once a week to step back from all of that and take a deep breath. Besides, how can I miss her when she's always around?!
Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself?
Ok, so I sort of feel like I'm throwing my daughter into the proverbial lion's den. And the thought of actually signing her name into a book, turning around, getting into my car and driving away without her has me reaching for a paper bag.
What if she gets bashed up? Or feels lost or lonely? Or can't find her water bottle when she's thirsty? And how will she sleep on a horrible trampoline bed with 14 other kids around her?
But I'm trying to focus on the positives. And distract myself with organising essentials, like a personalised schoolbag (a must!), groovy labels (what? you thought I'd use a permanent texta?), and sewing an oilcloth lunch-pail (I have a pink plastic back-up just in case). I'll share all of these items with you later this week... because surely she'll be the coolest kid in school? And not feel as though her mother has abandoned her?!!?
Oh golly, I have 2 weeks to psyche myself into this. TIPS?!!?!