Last week Iris started at the the local meithrin, two mornings a week. I think it’s fair to say that she handled it better than I did. You could be fooled into thinking she was dreading it by the expression on her face in this picture! Actually I think she was just puzzled by me and Trevor taking so many pictures of her on the doorstep!
We’ve been talking to her about starting ‘school’ all summer, and she remembers the day we popped in to fill in the forms and she played with some of the toys. She also remembered the big fancy bikes in the garden and has been desperate to start so that she can try them out.
On her first morning, she walked in and sat in the sandpit. Trevor came with us, and we told her we were leaving and would be back to pick her up in a little while. “Alright, bye” was her response, and she barely even looked up. I was gutted and relived and so very proud all at once. There were no short sessions or settling in visits for my girl. She didn’t need it. (I’m choosing to believe that my attachment style of parenting – that so many people said would make her clingy – has made her confident, and safe in the knowledge that I’ll always come back and be there when she needs me).
I have very mixed feelings about using childcare. I’m not working. I didn’t need childcare. I feel guilty for spending two and a half hours twice a week without her. But I’m doing it for her. She’s a very sociable girl, and we don’t always make it to groups and stuff. Often Astrid, me and Trevor are the only people she speaks to for days. I don’t think that’s enough for her! I’m also hoping that starting school next year will be less of a shock, both because she’ll be used to being away from me and because she’ll hopefully already know some of her classmates.
While she’s there, me and Astrid have some time to play the baby games she’s no longer interested in. It feels like such a break to have just one baby again for a bit!