It was the open day at Aoife’s old preschool, the preschool we’re hoping to send Seth to in September. On the one hand it was lovely. Aoife saw her old teachers, they remarked how grown up she was now and reminisced about her time at there with fondness, Aoife basked in the limelight. On the other hand Seth, my last baby, is going to be going to preschool. It’s almost the beginning of a new chapter.
When Aoife started preschool Seth hadn’t even been born, it seemed barely five minutes ago and then suddenly we were stood there with a little boy who’s almost three, playing in the sand and showing us he is indeed ready to start this new journey. Well not QUITE ready, although he would be eligible to start in April the school like them to be near as damnit toilet trained and he still refuses to entertain the idea. He’s more impressed with the tricks he can do whilst sat on the toilet.
You really don’t want to know.
I’ve been asked many times why I don’t send Seth to nursery, even if only to get a bit of time to myself. It’s a perfectly legitimate question giving all the moaning I do. The answer is twofold and as we’re all a nice bunch here I know you’ll appreciate that my opinion may differ to yours and that’s OK.
Firstly, I don’t like the idea of private nursery. I KNOW some people don’t have the choice and have to use them but, simply put, I DO have the choice and I choose not to use them. I think my disdain comes from the one closest to our house. The one Seth would go to. It costs just under £40 a day to send a child there. They pop the babies into a triple buggy and wheel them down to the cafe where the staff drink lattes and the children….watch. Yes, the children sit in the buggy watching. If the children are older, they’re walked to the shops to buy whatever the nursery needs. We have a big old park round the corner but they go to the shops. If that’s the thrilling activity that goes on in public I can only imagine what goes on inside! As I have the choice, I choose to not spend £40 a day and let Seth watch me drink coffee and walk to the shop with me for free.
Secondly, and most importantly, because I am a SAHM, my children going to preschool is the beginning of the end. OK, that sounds a little dramatic but bear with me. From birth until preschool I’ve had my babies with me pretty much constantly. Initially it was me and Aoife, all day every day, then she went to preschool so we weren’t together all day, every day anymore just most of the day every day. And then real school started and she was suddenly spending more of her waking time there than with me. I hated it. It’s OK though, I had back up. Seth was with me all day every day but come September he will spend two and a half days at preschool. Then a year later, he too will spend most of his waking time at school until he is 18. Then both will be adults and won’t want to spend quite so much time with me anyway as they’ll have their own lives and not want to be with their nerdy (cool) mum.
THEIR LIVES ARE FLASHING BEFORE MY EYES.
So you see, once they enter the school system it’s the path to me seeing less and less of them. It’s a time when they grow faster and I feel like I’m missing it. As parents we’re always talking about how their childhood is fleeting, how it seems to go by so fast and it does. So, that’s why I’m not sending Seth to preschool before I need to and that’s why I don’t need that time to myself just yet, because these are precious moments I’ll never get back and I want to enjoy them for as long as I can. Before he enters the system where he too is spending more of his waking time with people who aren’t me.
Yes, I will often complain I need a bit of space, I mean an inch or an hour. Yes, I’ll moan I’m tired, it’s human nature. Yes I feel like I can’t cope sometimes but I do cope. In 18 months time I’ll be complaining my house is too quiet and I’m feeling pretty redundant. I don’t need to rush that.
I’m off to drink wine and cry that my children are all grown up and don’t need me any more.