Peaches is entering nursery, or daycare if you will, very soon. Before officially starting nursery there are “settling in”, or taster, sessions. My partner took her to the first session - two hours long, he answered some developmental questions and watched her play (and almost completely ignored him). She took to it quickly and did not want to leave “school”.
I did not really know what all that or this meant. As everything is theoretical until put into practice first hand.
30 minutes ago I experienced it first hand. Woke her up from a nap telling her it was time for school, she squealed with delight and quickly got dressed. (What the what?! How is it suddenly not a fight to dress her?) We walked over, signed in, went into her designated classrooms and boom - off she went. I got an occasional glance, but not one with any kind of recognition. Suddenly I am Jo Nobody in her little world.
The nursery team let me know I could leave whenever I felt comfortable, and I could have left right then. But no. Instead I awkwardly stood around, looked at things on the wall, said hello to the children staring at me. If they could communicate better, I am pretty sure they would have said - “take a hint weirdo”.
No goodbye, I just slipped out of the room, signed out of the building and walked. Alone. Back into the school. (Stopping to give my husband a “WTF Time to Myself Boogie”.
Time to myself…. Especially unplanned time to myself.
What do I, how do I, should I….
I am lost.
And I guess that is what this, after two solid years of full time stay at home mum-dom, is going to be all about for me. She gets to socialise, grow, experience from outside my peripheal vision… and I get to.. relocate me. Check back in with that stranger who after a 32 year relationship took a backseat.
How do I even start? Sorry I ditched you, bae, you know I love you.
***Editor’s note : Children just love to prove you wrong, two days after I wrote this up Peaches broke out with impetigo.... so that was fun. Since she has recovered and returned to nursery she is having separation issues. Which is less fun than seeing her independently walk into the classroom of her peers.
It is difficult living in a school. No escape from work. None.
Even when trying to leave the grounds - - texts, conversations, thoughts all travel back to school. It is my second child -and third, fourth, fifth, sixth.
Those boys in our care.
Teenagers are a world in themselves, but I cannot help compare the simularities with our toddler. Both desperate for independence but need guiding. Both thrown fits when things do not go the way they think it should. Both demand and both eventually listen. Both need structure and a good example. Both have brains that are sponges and need a good night's rest to function at their best. Both are on the brink of a whole new stage in life.
One moving from baby to child, the other child to adult.
So this first half of term was absorbed by these children. Adjusting, learning, trying, aiding, teaching, listening, speaking, arranging and organising. Going above and beyond - it wiped us out.
The last week we were running on empty.
Cannot let that happen. So after a refreshing half term break - where we recharged the parenting batteries - we are back.
We are trying a new approach - one that still provides, offers, guides but mostly so that everyone knows we care about them. To do that - we need time to care for ourselves.
So here we are.
In the school.
Never have I ever thought I would be living in a Boarding House in England and working as a House Parent. Never having ever experienced or really thought that much about boarding and the lifestyle surrounding it - how could it have been on my radar?
Preconceived assumptions of the kind of students that attend boarding school come from films and television*. The majority of which showing Boarding School used as either a punishment or a coming of age hormone fuelled ''awakening''.
Except for the Harry Potter series. So I prepared by putting myself in the mind-set of Hogwarts' House Parents/Masters/Mistresses. I was going to hone my Professor McGonagall and maintain a strict but endearing personality with the boarders.
And then I realised our House is more looks more Slytherin than Gryffindor (Even our school colours and Coat of Arms). And going by all the rules I am slapping up on the walls, I am more Dolores Umbridge.
I know. It surprised me too.
Never have I ever thought I would be looking after a handful of international student let alone teenagers. Have I always wanted to adopt an older child? Yes. This is far from that. Did I ever consider fostering? Yes. Did I ever consider multiple teenagers at once? No.
I figured there would be some hiccups in the beginning as we were setting up for the new school year. No worries, as I had my trusty HP characters to fall back on. Yet again, I hiked up my bra and put on my Molly Weasley cap. Rules because we care.
And then I realised that teenagers do not consider why there are rules but instead sulk when you try to enforce them. That they are stuck in this weird limbo of a vast stretching future of independence creeping into their sight of vision but they can't call their GP to make themselves an appointment. They hate when you repeat yourself as that is nagging but then they turn around and do exactly what she just said not to do while arguing with you how ''they did not know''.
We recently rewatched the Harry Potter films, shock! You had know idea, right?
I now feel for the Professors and Heads of House. I want to shove away the HP storyline and delve into how Minerva McGonagall came to her position. What Severus Snape says in the staff room after receiving another eye roll from the HP Gang.
*Of which I have seen or read, not assumptions including everything from all time. Doi.
Not an instructional blog but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - so help me Mom.