I said I wouldn’t cry at my daughter’s last day in preschool.
I laughed and said ‘I’ll be coming back here every day with the other one next year, and she’ll only be in the building next door!’.
I said ‘If I cry it’s only because I know I have to entertain her for six weeks all by myself!’.
But cry I did. A little.
And it wasn’t just the thought of having no childfree time until September (although that may have been a factor… what am I going to do?!).
She’s been at preschool two full school years now.
This was the post I wrote when she started.
I predicted she’d love it there, and she really has.
Apart from a period between October and December of her first year where the novelty had slightly worn off and she would scream the whole way there and cling to my leg for an extra dose of mum-guilt (and then was fine as soon as I was out of sight), she’s skipped in merrily every day.
When her friends that she grew close to in her first year both went off to different schools, I worried that she would be upset returning to find out they were no longer there in her second year, but she accepted it and got on with it as only children can do. They’re much more adaptable than adults.
When you see someone every day, changes happen so gradually that you don’t notice.
The photograph on her laminated name label that she used to self-register shows her as a toddler, still two years old, in an old summer dress which miraculously still fits because she’s grown up, up, up but not out. Not out in two years, just up.
Her hair, which curled up beautifully around her ears is now a straggly mess that I can’t seem to keep on top of. Her fringe grows a centimetre every night. I need to learn to plait, so that she can look like Elsa. What kind of mum can’t French plait? Me that’s who. It’s something I’ll work on over the summer.
She’s learned so much.
Flicking through her workbook, it’s amazing to see how her drawings have developed. She’s learned how to share, how to take turns and play games (and ensure that everybody else is Following. The Rules), how to count and how to write her name.
How to put others first, and not always think of herself. She wanted to go as Elsa today (doesn’t everyone want to be Elsa?) but another little girl was going as Elsa, so she went as Anna instead so that they could complement each other. It might not seem it, but that’s a big deal for a small kid.
She’s gone from pawing at picture books, to listening to stories; I am happy about this. I am much better at reading Roald Dahl classics spun out over a week’s worth of bedtimes than I am reading the same Julia Donaldson book over and over and over again. I even do the voices.
The preschool has been a huge part of helping her to grow. And that’s why, I admit, I was a little sad as she sang her goodbye song.
A little sad, but mainly proud.
Onwards, to the next adventure. To Big School!
(After six weeks of holiday).