The Super Whites The ordinary life of a Super Mum

The Super Whites
Milestone of note

Tomorrow will be Amy’s first day at preschool. I have agonised over this decision for many months, years even, since putting her name down at a small privately run preschool down the road from us shortly after we moved into the area. I have found it very hard to navigate the schooling system here in Australia for many reasons, probably the biggest confusion is that each state has a different system and children start school at different ages and they even call school different things in different states. Here in NSW children can attend preschool from the age of 3 however the school terms start in January so Amy has had to wait until she was 3 1/2 to start. Well, theoretically she could have joined another preschool midyear but everyone I spoke to advised against that because its quite disruptive to suddenly join in to an already established group of children.
The preschool we have chosen for Amy is within walking distance (for a three year old!), its owned and run by a lovely couple, the director has more than 20 years of experience in Early Childhood and teaching and the ratio of staff to children is is excellent. There are only ever 28 children in attendance, split into two groups, littlies are aged 3-4 and the older children are 4-5 and preparing for big school. The preschool is in a beautiful old church building which has been fully converted and there is a lovely playarea outside with rubber flooring and shade clothes. The preschool comes highly recommended by other parents in our area, the ONLY criticism that I have heard is that during their ‘school holiday’ program, they allow the children to watch tv occasionally. Because the school runs all year they do tend to relax things a little during the school holidays because quite a number of the children don’t attend as they have older siblings at school and their families go on holiday. This criticism has weighed heavily on me even though its not like I don’t let Amy watch tv at home, but was eventually overruled by the very positive feedback I have had about how this school is a wonderful, caring, nurturing environment which will be a great place for Amy’s first experience of a care situation away from us.
All this positive thinking doesn’t make me feel any less apprehensive for what tomorrow will bring. I know that Amy is capable, confident and secure, she is fully toilet trained and able to take care of her own requirements. She can ask for help when she needs it and is able to express her emotions eloquently so if she is feeling sad or scared or alone she can tell someone about it. But I feel strangely torn. Although I have been counting down to this day for so long now and looking forward to a little break from my very outgoing and demanding little person, at the same time I can’t believe she is going to spend the whole day tomorrow talking to other people and being around other people instead of me. Sigh. Parenthood is such a contradiction.

I have a few more labels to iron on and then we are ready for the morning. I will get up at 7am and get the breakfast things ready before waking Amy and Stella. Then we will all have breakfast together and I will pack Amy’s lunch box (vegimite sandwich, dried apricot squares, a handful of mixed cereal and an apple for morning tea) and we will get Amy dressed into her shorts and t-shirt. Then I will do her hair and suntan lotion before we brush teeth and get into the car to drive down the road. At the preschool we check in and sign the register and get our information about fees and meetings. We will find out which locker is Amy’s and leave her bag there while we look around to remind her where everything is. I am hoping she remains excited and happy and Ron and I can have a quiet word with her teacher before giving her a kiss and a cuddle, reassuring her that we will be back later that afternoon and then we will walk away. I am desperately hoping there will be no tears, from her or me, at least until we have left. Then I am taking Ron to work so we can have a chat (and I can have a weep!) before I head home for Stella’s nap. I have made plans to go and visit a friend and her new baby but I imagine every minute tomorrow I will be thinking I have forgotten something and turning around only to realise that Amy is not there. A very big milestone indeed!

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8 Responses to Milestone of note

  1. Pingback: Milestones, beginnings, endings. | The Super Whites

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