Today you had your first full day at preschool; you’ve been doing half days for a few weeks now but you’re always so disappointed to have to leave after lunch so we decided to try you out staying till the end of the day today. And you loved it, you had the best time all day playing with your friends and you even learnt how to make a spark to start a fire, which you haven’t stopped talking about (because it’s freaking amazing of course!). The thing that made me laugh was when I came to pick you up. Usually if I pick you up after a half day you are brought out to the school gate to meet me, but because it was a full day today I had to come into the preschool to get you. And you were fuming! You were happy to see me (thankfully – otherwise I would have cried!) but you wouldn’t stop telling me off. Crossing your little arms and doing your best attempt at an angry face ‘Mummy you have to wait at the gate!’. I did my best to point out that all the other parents had come in too, and that all of your friends had to go home as well. But you weren’t having any of it ‘Mummy we were talking! You have to wait at the gate’.
A small part of me was sad that you weren’t overjoyed to see me, but mainly I’m just happy that you love your preschool that much that you don’t want to come home. You were particularly tired after doing a longer day today and were a mixture of grumpy and cuddly for the rest of the day. One second in a strop because Ernie was doing something wrong in your eyes, and the next second saying ‘Mummy I need a hug’.
It’s been a reminder that this is a lot for you to process, this whole preschool thing. As much as you love it – it is a big change. You are now out of the house, away from your family for six hours a day two times a week. That’s a lot to deal with for someone so small, and I know that your brain must be in overdrive the whole time. You’ve taken it in your stride better than I ever thought you would. I’m sorry for underestimating you! But it’s still a lot to process daily. I’m sure there are things that happen that frustrate you or annoy you while you are there, emotions that you still don’t always know how to cope with. I know you well enough to know that you wouldn’t lash out at preschool, you wouldn’t push another child or say anything unkind. So when you get home you have a lot of feelings bubbling away in that beautiful little three year old head of yours. And I want you to know that I will always be your safe place for these emotions. It’s not always easy being a mum, but I would always rather be your safe place than have you keep those big emotions inside.
From the moment you were placed on my chest as a newborn, I made a promise to protect you, to love you unconditionally, to be there for you – always. No matter how big your adventures, your problems or your emotions become – I will always be there for you. To help you let it all out and deal with it in any way that you need. The good bits, the bad bits,and everything else in between! It’s not my job to hush your emotions, to sweep them under the carpet. It’s my job to help you understand them and process them. No one taught me how to do any of this when I became a mum, there’s no manual for this, so I’m sorry for the mistakes I know I’ll make along the way. But just know that I will always be here, trying. Trying my best, not judging, not fussing – just loving, supporting, cheering you on. And I will always be your safe place.