My Little Girl has Started School.
Two weeks ago I held her hand as she walked through the classroom door, the same classroom door that I stepped through with my son 4 years ago. It feels like yesterday that I held his hand while wearing my baby girl on my chest, thinking it would be forever before she would be old enough to wear the uniform and be starting reception herself. Four years is a long time but it seems to have flown before my eyes and now my baby is a schoolgirl.
Although I know work full time I'd taken some annual leave so I could be the one to take her and pick her up for the first few days. Day one she was both excited and nervous, as we waiting to go in many of the other children played together as they knew each other from the school nursery. Elizabeth watched but was unsure about joining in. Although Elizabeth is a sociable girl who makes friends easily (even after half an hour at the park she's usually found a new friend) I worried that there were only two other children from her nursery who would be at this school and none of her close friends would be attending. She seemed to have fun on her first morning though as on the second day as we walked through the park toward the school she turned to me and said, ''Mummy can you wait outside and go to work today? I want to go in my classroom on my own'. Although I knew I should be proud and grateful for her confidence, as I stood on the playground watching her skip up the ramp while other parents got to hold the hands of their children, I felt like a little part of my heart had been ripped out. I felt like I was surplus to requirements.
I felt lost.
Now out of the moment I know that she will need me for so many things over the next years and I am pleased that she felt so happy and comfortable with her new environment to go in on her own, but that day as I walked back home, tears poured down my face.
When I picked her up a few hours later, her face lit up as she saw me and she leapt up into my arms to give me a big cuddle so I guess she was rather pleased I not gone into work. She didn't stop talking all the way home, telling me what she'd done that morning all about the story they'd had and what she'd had for dinner. ('We don't have lunch in school Mummy, we have Dinner!')
Fast forward two weeks and it's like she's always been there, I'm back doing full time hours at work so she goes to breakfast club with her brother in the morning and then after school club for three days and her grandparents for the other two. She seems to enjoy her days and talks a lot about the other children but appears to be like me with names so often I hear that she played with 'the boy with dark hair or the girl with plaits like mine...' I'm sure she'll start to learn them soon, if not it's going to be interesting to write out her party invitations next month!
Although she's used to long days at nursery, she seems to be doing a lot more at school and is getting very tired in the evening, some days the short walk home is a struggle for her but as the weeks go on i'm sure we'll all adjust to our new routines.
So I now have two children at school. It feels strange, In my mind I though i'd have another baby at home before Elizabeth started school but that wasn't to be. As the gap stretches on, I've been starting to wonder if a third child is ever going to be practical, but we'll see.
Although my independent girl may not need me to hold her hand all the time, I can be reassured that Mummy still gives the best cuddles, and a girl always needs a cuddle.