I had prepared him.
I sat with him and discussed what would happen and what would be expected of him. I reminded him all during the Christmas holidays that his little world would change on the 9th of January.
I did a good job.
In fact ; I had done such a good job that on the Monday morning he was up, his bag packed( toys,Elmo, underpants and socks, the essentials for any three year olds first day of preschool), his clothes on arseways (but it was the attempt that mattered) he stood in his bedroom , eyes bright and his hair standing on his head ; he declared he was “ready for school” as the clock struck 6am.
After a long and I mean long morning of “why can’t we go now?” , “please let me bring Elmo” , “I need Elmo” , “can I bring my cars then?” And of course the “But whys?” – it was finally 8.50am and time to walk the two minute walk to his school, literally around the corner. The walk took us five minutes because we had to make a video for his godmother in Australia; he wasn’t happy with the first video so we had to do a reshoot ; this is one of the many reasons I often refer to him as the dictator.
He is three since September, but he believes himself to be at least six and much bigger than a three year old. He has the second part correct, as soon as we got to his classroom he was as predicted , one of the biggest in the room. He hid behind my leg. I wasn’t expecting that, but I secretly loved it.
Well, you see none of my children have ever been shy, none of them have ever cried for me when I’ve left them with an aunt, uncle or grandparent and not once have any of my boys ever stood crying for me on any day of school; including the very first day. I thought, my dictator was finally going to be the one who cried for me, if only once and if only for a minute . Was that selfish? Probably, but I knew this would be my last time too dropping a child to their very first day of preschool.
I for once,if only for a minute , wanted to be that mammy; you know the one who has to cuddle their little cherub becasue she’s the only one in the whole wide world able to calm them in order for them to accept that mammy would come back in a few short hours- yeah that mammy, that’s who I wanted to be.
Being totally honest, I would have been happy with a little tiny whimper of ‘ don’t leave me mammy’. Yes, I know that’s selfish. But there you have it, I wanted and needed tears, I got a high five and a bye.
Oh well. It’s not like this level of ‘ I couldn’t give a fiddler’s’ is new to me; his brothers are professionals .
He came out from behind my leg in 0.02 seconds and ran off . “See ya later mammy. I love you” “Wait buddy” I tried not to sound desperate. “Wait, let me help you with your coat and bag” I motioned for him to come back to me. I wanted him to know that I love him and that I would miss him. I wanted him to know that it was normal to miss me too but to always know that I will come back for him. I had a whole speech prepared in case he was worried. (HA!)
“Thanks mammy, I’ll see ya later . Bye” he turned on his heels and ran off again while I hung up his coat . I looked at the teacher, “Should I go?” I asked her, thinking she might say, oh no that’s the way all kids are at first, hang back in case he needs you…but she didn’t say that. “Yeah, he is grand. We will see you later”
I smiled and left.
It should have been me; it should have been me preparing myself for this day.
I should have reminded myself not to get emotional and not to take it so personally when my child (who I’ve spent three solid years with) doesn’t give me a second look the first time he leaves me for a group of dictator sized strangers.
According to my husband, I should not feel bad about my son not screaming for me, that it didn’t mean he was glad to be away from me but that it meant I had done a good job and that he was happy and secure and he knew already that mammy always comes back blah blah blah…
For months I’d been planning what I would do with my three hours of ‘freedom’ ; the truth was I missed my little sidekick ,immediately.
I gave myself another talking to and decided I sure as sh*t needed this tiny break and should embrace it; so I had a hot, yes ladies and gents, a hot coffee then I watched Netflix and absolutely chilled; well at least until the phone rang informing me of the appointment I was currently missing. Clearly I got carried away and lost the run of myself, appointments and all !
“How was school Dee?” I asked expecting to hear a minute by minute account of his whole three hours away from me.
“Ah it was grand, got a spot of homework, some A B C’s and 1, 2, 3’s, sure you know” he shrugged his shoulders.
I smiled. “Oh gosh, really?”
“Well, I will have to have a word with teacher, I am sure you’re not supposed to get homework until next year or even the year after!” I declared.
“Ah sure mammy, lookit, I know my A B C’s and my 1, 2, 3’s, it’s really no hassle. Oh and mammy, it’s montessori not preschool, you silly billy” he shook his head, disappointed that I was using the wrong word for weeks.
So we did the non existent homework ; while he schooled me about Montessori …Tuesday, I got a lesson all about lunches , apparently I don’t cut apples correctly like Montessori and my fruit just isn’t as nice. Today my lesson was about playing nicely in the playground …
We have spent each day after Montessori doing ‘our’ homework until today, when the offer of a trip out was on the table. Suddenly he remembered “I don’t really have homework, so we can head out for the walk if you want to mammy , just you and me “
How could I say no? His hand is still so small, his little voice is still full of questions; he is for now,my little three year old boy who wants to tell his mammy everything she needs to know and hold her hand while he does it. (Notice, I am currently using the correct word to describe where he goes for three hours a day!)
Well, I get to enjoy just being me…for three hours out of the day, at least ; and I remember to check our notice board every evening so I don’t get any more phone calls regarding my whereabouts .
This was originally published on FamilyfriendlyHQ