2017 is the year that everything will change.
I won’t be a full-time stay at home mother for all of my children, for the first time since 2012. It’s not because of something I am doing, it’s one of my children that is insisting on changing the game. Next year, my eldest son (4 years old) starts pre-school.
I will be the mother of a pre-schooler. Whoa, how did that happen? Why didn’t anyone tell me that they grow up? Is it too late to stick a brick on his head to stop him from getting any bigger?
I’m not sure how to handle this. I don’t think I’m ready, but he definitely is. He is growing tired of playing ‘baby games’ with his two younger brothers. He has been acing his learning game and is able to write his name, read simple sentences like ‘I am a cat’, and match words to pictures. He still needs some practice with numbers, often getting muddled, but it will click one day and I know he’ll ace that too.
I have spent the past couple of months attending pre-school preparation appointments. We had an information session, then a 1:1 appointment with his teacher, and finally an orientation day.
The information session was a shock to the system. It was our first schooling experience as parents which, can I just say, is completely different from this side of the desk. There was a huge folder of paperwork, a bunch of teachers whose names I desperately tried to memorise, and a LOT of parents who were also slightly freaking out. We learnt about the structure of a normal pre-school day, about suitable lunch box items, and about the school itself. It was information overload and I’m sure I missed some things even though I was taking notes (yes, I’m one of those).
The one on one session was great. Our little guy got to meet his teacher in a quiet environment, which was important to us because he is unbelievably shy. His teacher was friendly, gentle, and made us feel very comfortable.
The orientation day was a great chance for our son to familiarise himself with his new school and classmates. Though he stuck very close to me for the most part, he also had a little play on the equipment, and a look around the classroom.
Overall I feel comfortable with our choice in school, but nervous about this big change. It’s going to be very quiet around here next year (although I’ll still have a one year old and a two year old hanging around so there will still be plenty of noise!)
I’m excited for our boy to experience new things, to start this next phase in his life, and I am so hopeful that it is the beginning of a love of learning for him, just as it was for me when I was in school.
I’m feeling anxious about possible phone calls from the principal, potential bullying scenarios (whether he is being bullied, or being a bully), and inevitable emotional turmoil.
It is a new time for our family. An exciting, terrifying, incredible change is coming. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready, but I’ll hold my boys hand, tell him that it is going to be amazing, and then go back to the car and bawl my eyes out while he (hopefully) has the time of his life.
What were your child’s first days at pre-school like? Share with us in the comments.