I’m sitting in our village deli holding back tears. I’ve just dropped my boys off at preschool for the first time. I know they are in more than capable hands and they only have a three hour session but it feels like life will be a little bit different from now on. My little boys are getting all grown up. We packed away their high chairs last week and got rid of the extremely over used baby bottles. Knowing that we won’t have any more children makes the passing of the baby stages more of a wrench. It only seems like five minutes ago that they were lying together in a tiny plastic cot in the maternity hospital, fed through nasal tubes and under close medical observation.
We got up extra early to get everyone ready. The boys were a bit surprised that we got them out of their cots at 7.00 instead of giving them toys to play with for an extra half an hour of peace. No more lazing in our pyjamas until 10.30 eating Cheerios and watching the Octonauts. I don’t think the boys were too aware that today was a big day. We lined up 3 little back packs by the front door and had the usual last minute panic to find everybody’s shoes. Sofia was very excited that she would get to check on the boys from the play ground. She has promised to report back on if they looked happy. The boys weren’t very co-operative when we took first day of preschool photos.
The boys were jumping about and excited as we waited outside. They were smiling at the Minions and Spider-Man backpacks of other children and looked at the flowers lining the path. So far so good. It was a little hectic getting in and figuring out where our coat hooks and name labels were. Leo hovered on the edge of a tantrum when he didn’t want to let go of his snack time banana. Sam scribbled on the register sheet when I wasn’t looking. The boys were much quieter than usual looking around to take it all in. Sam wandered off into the wrong room and had to be scooped up and returned by one of the assistants.
It’s always a dilemma how long to stay. I didn’t want to drop and run. I wanted to make sure that they were settled and relaxed. Stay too long and then the moment when you say goodbye might be more of a wrench. I tried to find a happy medium. They were getting stuck into a Thomas the Tank Engine train set with the wonderful manager. I have a horrible feeling that I called her Angela when here name is actually Alison – nerves had scrambled my brain slightly. After the briefest of goodbyes I left. It took me several attempts to work out how to operate the anti child escaping latches on the outside door. I lingered outside to listen for screaming. Luckily there wasn’t any.
Time usually races by running after the kids – refereeing scuffles, cleaning up spills and playing with Lego. Before I know it we are rushing to get to school to pick up Sofia. I’ve had half an hour on my own now and it seems like an eternity. I can’t quite remember what free time is for. Practically the only free time I’ve had during the day when I’m not working or looking after the kids is when I’ve locked the bathroom door so I can go to the loo in peace (even then there is usually a little person banging on the door). I’m nursing a cappuccino trying to fill time while watching the clock. I’m already looking forward to hugs from the boys when I pick them up.
I read a quote recently that really struck a cord “The days are long but the years are short” (from the fab Gretchen Ruben). This perfectly sums up what I’m feeling today. Coffee and chocolate cake seem to be the only the solution.
P.S since I wrote this I bumped into two other lovely mums with boys in the same class as the twins. They were also feeling a bit shaky. I got the biggest smiles and tightest hugs at pick up time. Sam told me it was fun but he was tired. Leo has been singing a song about rainbows that he learnt. Back at home the normal squabbling and chaos has quickly resumed.
P.P.S I’ve now found out from Sofia (my inside informer) that Sam managed to get out of the preschools outside area into the schools main play ground during the school play time. He was spotted by some concerned year 3 children. They told the teacher on duty and he was returned safely to the preschool. On one hand it’s good to see his sense of adventure is still strong but I am a bit concerned about how he managed to open the garden gate (the gate at the front is very secure so I’m a bit puzzled how he opened the back gate).