Thursday 8 September 2011

A New Beginning...

So my eldest little one, Ben turned 4 last week (he's still my baby!) and yesterday he started school!

To say I was emotional would be a gross understatement! He's so young and I was really worried that he was not yet ready to take this giant step. Being born on 31st August he will be the youngest in his year, (I was the opposite being a September baby, I was the eldest!) I keep saying that it's unbelievable to think that if I had been in labour for another six hours he wouldn't be starting until next year!

As well as his age, there are other things that worry me, such as his speech. He had a language delay and although his language is now fantastic, his actual speech still suffers in some areas and I know from situations at play groups and in the park, sometimes other children can struggle to understand him and he finds this frustrating. I don't know what will happen when I am not there to 'translate'.

However there are other times where I realise that he may actually be ready, I underestimate how mature he can be sometimes and I do think that becoming a big brother to Elizabeth Rose last November has played a big part in this. He is so caring and gentle towards his baby sister that sometimes it brings a tear of joy to my eye just to watch them together!

As it is quite a large school (unfortunately our 3rd choice) with an intake of 60 children, they are just doing half days for the first two weeks to introduce the children gently. So Ben was due to start his life as a 'schoolboy' at 1.30 on Tuesday afternoon. We had spent the summer talking to him about being a big boy and starting school, trying to help him understand what it was all about. He seemed quite excited but kept saying that he wanted 'Mummy and Sister' to stay with him too, so I was really anxious that when the time came for me to leave he would get upset.

Tuesday morning came and he got dressed (all by himself!) in his new uniform and shiny black shoes and I took photo after photo until he told me off and said 'enough pictures!!' The uniform consisted of grey pants (which I’d managed to get in the sales before the end of last term!) a red polo shirt and a red sweatshirt both of which I had got from M& S when they had 20% off all uniforms in July!) I had ordered one each of the sweatshirts and polo’s bearing the school's logo too (so they looked good for school photos etc!) but they needed to be collected from the school office, so it was the plain ones today which still looked really smart!

As we set out to walk the 30 minute journey to school, the heavens opened! Not a great start! But I grabbed the brolly's and off we went, Ben running ahead and looking so adorable in his uniform and new coat, and me walking behind with Elizabeth snuggled up in her new Babybjorn carrier (which we're reviewing, so watch this space for our thoughts...)

When we got there we were a little early so stood waiting with the other new children and their parents. You'd have thought it was the parents starting school not the little ones, judging by the nervous looks on the Mummies' faces! The children just looked curious!

It was as Ben's teacher came to the classroom door that I realised my Mummyfail! As she shouted 'R2 this way please' I realised that the previous day when I had been carefully writing Ben's name and class on every piece of his uniform and equipment with the laundry pen, I had written the wrong class on everything! I was mortified! How could I have got it wrong?! But I suppose If I was going to have a dozy Mummy moment it's not the worst I could have done and luckily a '1' changes to a '2' without too much trouble!

I walked Ben into the classroom and over to the cloakroom where he found the hook with his name on and hung up his coat and PE kit. We then went back into the classroom where he looked rather lost and confused! All of a sudden the children were asked to sit down and the clingy Mummies like myself were ushered back into the playground! While fighting back the tears, I managed to sneak a peek through the window and saw Ben sit down nicely with the other little ones and it struck me that even though he will have been the youngest there he must have been the tallest too, in fact he was head and shoulders above some of them! He'll be towering over me before long! I do hope that they don't expect too much of him because of this...

So after possibly the longest hour and three quarters of my life, I was back in the playground waiting for the bell! As the door opened Ben was the first out, running towards me with a big grin on his face he shouted, 'That was fun Mummy!' Immediately I saw how much he had enjoyed himself and all the worry and concern that had been eating me up inside elapsed and I wanted to cry again, but tears of joy this time! My baby boy wasn't a baby any more he was growing up!

As we walked through the park on the way home I asked him what he had done in school and he replied, 'Well Mummy, we played, then we tidied up, then we had a story, and then it was home time!'

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