Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Two by Two



Sometime, about a million years ago, I sent Zeph off to his first day of childcare. He wasn't yet 2.5 and I was riddled with guilt for sending him before his 3rd birthday. Zeph was a wild young boy and when at home with me all the time, I struggled to entertain him. He needed more than I felt I could offer so I bought him a back pack, made him some lunch and sent him on his way.

It was a horrible experience and one that I didn't document here in great detail. His eagerness for life and desire to move quickly were not well received by the day care centre he was enrolled in and he was often in trouble or isolated. Their preference was for subdued toddlers who liked mid day naps and afternoon t.v sessions and clearly my boy did not. The whole ordeal lasted less than 2 months at which point I pulled him out and continued on at home - muddling through with less grace and patience than I care to remember. 

Upon his 3rd birthday we enrolled him a local pre school and I can safely say that it was the single best decision we've ever made for our young Zeph. A teacher with fiery red hair, a kind smile and the most joyful disposition embraced our boy and under her delightful guidance, he thrived. She encouraged bug examination (and release), elaborate imaginative discussions and really fast running. She's firm but fair and on more than one occasion has frankly said to me 'we just love him here' and without a second of doubt, I believe her.

Today, 2.5 years later, Dave packed a pink and purple lunchbox with fruit, water and a jam sambo for Pip. I brushed her hair, talked with her about the importance of wearing undies and sharing before placing that lunchbox in her bag and putting it on her tiny back.

She was overcome with excitement and as we walked up to the front gates of Pre School. As the four of us (Elke was safely on my hip) followed the shadow of an experienced Zeph,  Dave held out his hand asking Pip if shed like to hold it - 'nope' she said with a little shake of her head. 

And there she goes, walking out into being three, going to preschool and wearing undies.

Three years ago, when I first sent Zeph to day care, I remarked that  'Babies are only little for a while. They muddle their words, talk about balls, jump into cuddles and splash in puddles for SUCH a short time. A short, magical time'. Now, all of a sudden TWO of my babies are at Pre School - of they go, marching two by two.


 I sit here now with tears in my eyes and I know I am blessed to be a mother. Today was just one of those days that I will remember forever. Her first day. The first of many.

 They grow up, I stay the same.
 I love them for ever.



35 comments:

  1. So beautifully written Em. Is it OK if I tear up with you? x

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    1. totally Chantelle, it's NUTS huh. At least we have the babies!

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  2. I know what you mean. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. They grow so fast and I'm not sure I'm ready!

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    1. i know, it's just crazy how quickly it goes. I still feel like little Pip is my brand new baby but not even Elke is new anymore :(

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  3. Such beautiful words. My second child (also a girl) is off to Pre-school next week. She is so ready and confident in this transition that I haven't really given it much thought (the other day I asked her if she will miss me when she goes to pre-school? She paused for a nano-second and exclaimed "Naaaah!") Your post made me realise that despite her willingness I need to pause and remember this special time.
    That last photo of Pip is hilarious and gorgeous. That's a girl who is ready to tackle the world of Pre-school!

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    1. ahahha they don't spare our feelings, do they?!

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  4. Beautifully written. I hope she had a great day. My daughter doesn't go to Kindy till next year. I will feel the same emotions no doubt. X

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  5. Oh gosh. I so understand how you feel. Here they love school so much and that helps. But still there are times in which I secretly would love to keep them home, cuddle them and find a magic spell to let them stay my little ones forever. It's selfish, I know. But I can't help it :-)

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  6. Beautiful words….my eldest starts 3 yo preschool in a few weeks and although she is more than ready, Im feeling nervous about it. I know she will thrive, being the social little butterfly she is, and I keep reminding myself this will give me the opportunity to spend more one on one with my other two, who often miss out because of their older sister. Time does fly, and they do grow up so quickly…despite my days often feeling like eternity xx ps that photo of Pip is gorgeous…what a beautiful little big girl…hope she had a great day!

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  7. It's hard watching your kids take their first independent steps. Some seem so ready and some do not. I sympathise with your first kindy experience; we were so lucky to find a centre for ours that encouraged outdoor play, dirt, sand, mess and creativity. It was still hard leaving them there, but I could see they were happy and with genuinely caring people. So happy that pre school is working out for you x

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  8. And they grow into the most amazing people. Each moment moves them into something new and it just gets better and better and better.

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  9. Oh this is close to the bone for me this week Em. My second starts school this week and I am feeling excited by his new adventure and the prospect of a year off kinder (and 6 less drop offs and pick ups) but a bit sad that my time at home with him has come to an end. Time goes so much faster with the second. He has never been at home on his own. He has always had an older or younger brother around. I hope he enjoyed his time at home with me as much as I did. x

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  10. Wow that's a powerful statement Em - They grow up, I stay the same. I am going to remember this as I return to my beloved work as a preschool teacher, and I think of the parents and how they are feeling. I for myself (as the teacher) know that I am forever changed by the little people whose lives I am blessed to enter. Thanks, I got a wee chill down my spine reading this post xx

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    1. Thanks lady. YOu know, pre school teachers are such special people- such capacity for love and an unbelievable patience!

      x

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  11. Beautifully written Em. Always from the heart… She will have many new adventures. And you, well, you will get to take a shower during one of Elke's naps. (Sorry, I really need to wash my hair & see my big kids going to school tomorrow as the perfect opportunity!!) And undies - love it - always a challenge! K xo

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    1. lady, i am SO unwashed it's not funny. These school holidays have been my most filthy weeks ever (in both mood and cleanliness) ;)

      look forward to catching up with you soon

      xx

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  12. Just beautiful! I'm pregnant but I would still be all tearful anyway!

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  13. You are so lovely Emily! Your words made me teary too remembering my littles heading off to their first days at preschool. This blog will be such a treasure to Zeph, Pip and Elke when they are older.

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  14. Wow, preschool. I hope her first day was magical. Iris is one for going commando, she hasn't worn pants a day in her life, we just can not keep them on her!

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  15. What a wonderful milestone for all of you. Enjoy. I wonder why sahm's get upset about using external child minding services? I used Occassional Care for all 3 of mine which allowed me time one: one with my third baby, and later time to get some exercise, have a coffee, get shopping done FAST, and most valuably not having to speak for 2.5 hours!
    It was not 8 hour stretch, nor was it a nanny - it was an opportunity for all of us to grow. My little ones got to mix with other kids and develop their social skills, do stuff that we didn't do at home. Heck - i was never going to have a whole corner devoted to "tactile" senses in my home complete with a tub of millet! LOL...Then came Kindergarten (preschool) FABULOUS FUN for all of us. I even did fruit duty!

    Never feel guilty about doing what you need to do to keep going!

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  16. You'll treasure these pictures in future years - all of you will. Lovely words too - I thought of my younger sister's first day at school, almost 10 years ago .. x

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  17. I sat in the car park at the supermarket (down the road from kindy) and bawled my eyes out when my daughter (Baby No. 2) started kindy. It's so good but so sad. These pre-school years are gone too fast.

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  18. They grow WAY too quickly. I cannot believe I've only got one at school this year.

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  19. That is just so lovely - and your O looks so proud! And as for you having a day to yourself with just Elke .... that sounds a bit like heaven! Kellie xx

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  20. I send my last baby to school tomorrow! ohhhhhh there will be tears (mine mostly, not hers) the ache in my heart is just about to burst. Well done mumma, two at pre-school - enjoy time with little Elke. xx

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  21. She's such a darling. And, sorry, but you're wrong. They grow up and we grow right along with them. Best to Pip, Em. x

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  22. Lovely post! So scary sending them off on their own but when you find the right school, and they're happy, then it's worth it :-) My 4 year old comes home so happy and energised every day. He is just so ready to learn (and play, of course)! x

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  23. What a lovely Post Emily I can still remember sending my 2 off on their first days of Preschool so many years ago and it is so true they grow up too quickly xx

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  24. I adore that last photo! What a cheeky chop! xx

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em