Thursday, 10 November 2016

Dreaded pre-school

Reading: Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
Listening to: "Applause" by Lady Gaga
Outside: Autumn rainy spit

So it happened. 

My daughter dances with a Sycamore leaf, October 27, 2016

Checked the mail yesterday.

Got the dreaded letter.

The one from our local primary school that basically says, Yay we have a place for your little girl! There's gonna be space for her - a seat at a little table, a little hook to hang her jacket on, a lunch tray just waiting for her little hands! We can't wait to glaze her in finger paints and Play-Doh and crumbs, and stain her clothes beyond recognition! Her hair will be a glittery tangled mess, but she'll learn so much! Yay again!

And I mean, I can hear her life clink onto the tracks, and latch on to some phantom Teacher, and begin to roll forward straight on to Adulthood. This is the first stop.


Picture from here.

And this should be a happy time for me, and yes, it is.

I'm looking forward to stocking a brand new pencil case full of glittery things, and putting her in shoes, and making her less of a savage. Gently nudging her into The World.

I'm looking forward to - what? The free time I miss so much? A chance to sit down and drink a cup of coffee all the way through? To use the bathroom without being handed eighteen stuffed animals because "They wanna go pee, too, Mommy." And "dabbing" them with toilet paper, one by one.

Maybe I'm looking forward to catching up to myself again, rather than breezily waving a cerebral hello in the brief snatches of time I have between making breakfast, re-stacking the Tupperware because the cabinet just threw them up, washing the dishes and bribing her to keep her socks on in our painfully cold kitchen. (And that's just the first hour of the day.)

But no. No. Instead I'm a terrified wild animal, incapable of loosening my grip on her hand. Any given day, I beg for five minutes, just five minutes, darling, but now that I have the possibility of two and a half days a week of child-free time, and perhaps as soon as January, I find I am stunned. Unprepared. Like I've been given this paper-light, fragile, marvelous gift that I don't know what to do with.

Is she ready? (Probably, yes.)

Am I ready? (Probably, no.)

But am I ever ready for anything? Pretty much no.

So, next year, she'll be bouncing down the path ahead of me, clad in uniform and backpack, ready for whatever may come. Socalizing. Learning. And I will be swallowing down my fear, loosening my grip, and then returning home to clutch her stuffed animals and coat them in my tears. Yes.


We so cool. October 29, 2016

Who of you, my loyal readers, has faced such a thing as this before? How did you get through it? Any tried and true coping mechanisms, anyone?

Happy Thursday, all!

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