So, it's been an emotional few weeks. Saying goodbye to nursery and looking forward to new beginnings has been the focus of the last 7 days.
I was dreading the last day at nursery. I cried, they cried (the staff, not the boys. They were a bit nonplussed by the whole situation) and we miss them terribly already. Thankfully the assistant manager also has a little babysitting sideline I left armed with her number and the perfect excuse to see her again AND have some grown-up time out.
Now we look forward to a new era. Max started pre-school on Monday and as much as I was fretting over the thought of him doing something ALONE for the first time in his little life, he was amazing. Clung onto my hand for dear life until I sat him down on the mat with the other children and shyly nodded his little head when they called his name in the register but he was fine.
Not a tear shed from him or I which, given how my insides were twisting at the thought of him there with a bunch of strangers (albeit professional, warm, friendly and CPD-checked but still strangers) was nothing short of a miracle.
Come the afternoon, I collected a happy, giggly little boy armed with paintings and full of stories of what he had done on his first day at 'big' school. Phew, success!
The next day we hit a big milestone. The big, heart-wrenching, gut twisting emotional roller coaster that is the First Day At School. It's fair to say I've not been looking forward to waving my little (big) boy off at the gates and I am so grateful for his excitement at the whole thing as I'd have been in bits if he wasn't comfortable with it.
He too bimbled in without a care and quickly quashed all my fears in one fell swoop, proving I don't give him enough credit for his independence and ability to fit in.
Silly things worried me:
What if he doesn't know where to put his bag?
Parents of reception children accompany them into the classrooms and pegs are clearly labelled with names and an animal for each child.
What if he needs help changing his shoes? (they wear slippers in class)
Of course he doesn't. He's well old enough and wears velcro shoes
What if he doesn't make friends?
THEY'RE FOUR. Kids aren't like us, they'll pretty much talk to any other kid about anything. Common interests: dinosaurs, space, Peppa Pig.
There was an incident today which if I'd have thought about before would have sent me into a mild panic. The kids are given boxes of raisins at snack time. Finn said he was last there and there were no boxes of raisins left. At this point my heart sank at the thought of my little boy bereft at the shortfall in dried fruit snacks but when I asked him what he did he just said "I asked Mrs Phillips and she got me some more". See? No panic, no fuss, just a sensible, confident kid. You go, Finn.
So there we go. The dawn of a new era. A few muddled weeks await with afternoon sessions here and morning session there (and some very late nights on the laptop making up for lost work time no doubt but hey, this ain't about me) but so far, so good. Everyone's happy, we're settling in and ready for this next exciting step in our lives. I'll just leave you with the obligatory 'first day at school' photo. How grown-up? *sobs*