Friday, 14 September 2012

The start of education...

It’s been an emotional 10 days for us in Three Counties Castle.   DS started school last Wednesday…wow, where did those four years go?!...and DD started nursery the next day. 

I knew I’d probably be a little teary at DS’ journey into the Big Wide World but I was NOT prepared for how hard it hit me.  He happily trotted in, very excited to be there at last after talking about it for so long, and with a hug and a kiss waved me goodbye.  It was all I could do to get out of the classroom before he saw the tears streaming down my face.  Only it wasn't just tears...they were followed by sobs.  You know the kind that rack your whole body?  Add to that a screaming two year old who didn't want to leave her brother having fun after she'd had his company every day for almost 9 weeks, and it was not an easy journey to get back to my car.  It was made all the more difficult by very kind teachers and mums alike that kept stopping me to ask if I was OK.  I couldn't get back to my car fast enough.  Luckily by that time the car park had emptied out so there wasn't anybody to see me sit in the driver seat and sob my heart out.  The bawling continued on the drive home with my bemused 2 year old DD watching me quietly from her seat.

I couldn't understand it - DS has been going to nursery for 4 days a week, and loving every minute of it, for the past year so it wasn't as if this was the first time away from each other.  I don't know if it was because we'd had a lovely fun-filled 9 weeks summer holiday together and our bond had grown tighter again, or if it was the permanence that hit me, but I felt like I had a hole in me.  I got through the day with a heavy heart and raced to collect him at 3.30.  When I thought about it later that night, I came to the conclusion that what bothered me most was having to relinquish some of my control.  When he was attending nursery, if I wanted to keep him home for a day I could easily do so.  But now he had set foot on to a ladder that he was going to remain on for the next 9 years, and there was little I could do about it (no, homeschooling is not an option for us!)

Already scuffed after only 8 days of wear!
The second and third day were harder - although I managed to keep my emotions in check, DS couldn't and he sobbed as hard as I did the first day, begging me not to leave him there.  I felt as though my heart was breaking.  I made it clear to the teachers that I had a very strong concern that he was a whole year younger than some of the other children in his class and that I would be staying put until he was feeling more comfortable.  On the second day, I found a selection of photographs in his school bag that the teacher had sent home...various shots of him enjoying all the activities throughout the day, and it reassured me just a little.

This week has been easier on us both - I have ensured we have a distraction each morning, whether it be taking in something to show what we did at the weekend or talking about what would be happening that day in school, and its been enough to take the focus off me leaving so that he hugs and kisses me goodbye without tears.

I also bought a book called Starting School which helps to explain the school day and what they can expect, and DS and I have been reading that together.

DD was altogether much braver, and with a brief protest, happily settled into nursery.  I guess it helps that she has been dropping her brother off there every day for the past year so she knew what to expect!

It's been quite a time for us all but in true mother fashion, I was fit to burst with pride when I picked him up this afternoon and discovered he had won a trophy for numeracy!   

My babies are growing up...I guess I better find a hobby ;)

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