It’s official! My daughter is growing up fast!
Where does the time go?
That’s one of those sayings that used to have me looking slightly quizzically at the old biddy who had uttered it. But these days, not so much.
Having a child seems to have sent time whizzing by faster than Bradley Wiggins on a racer. And it’s got to that point in the year again when, if asked Ma Puce’s age, it feels wrong to say her current age, in this instance, two. So, we seem to have settled on saying ‘not quite three’.
Her birthday is coming round quickly, it’s literally weeks away and I have no idea how we got here from this time last year, when she was still very much a toddler.
All vestiges of toddlerhood feel like they left her months ago. Replaced instead by a little girl with gazelle like limbs, long blonde hair that almost reaches to the small of her back and a vocabulary that can keep a conversation going seemingly forever.
The final countdown to her birthday month in the new year has this time collided with her moving up from the starter group at her little Montessori nursery to the pre-school group.
The decision to make the change all happened in a bit of a whirlwind. One minute I was fretting that she was suffering a new bout of separation anxiety when I dropped her off at nursery, the next I was sitting having a meeting with the nursery team about how a step up to the pre-school group, where she would be reunited with all the children she’d started nursery with, could be just the ticket.
She wasn’t due to move up until after her third birthday and I had been in no rush to push her ahead, I really do believe that every child only gets one childhood, so what is the point of racing them through it. But, the more I thought about it, the more I talked it through with my husband, the more it felt like moving her up to the pre-school group a little early was the right decision.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to bang on about the brilliance of my own child. But she is very able and thirsty for knowledge. So it has become more challenging to create a stimulating environment for her in the last few months. Not least because she isn’t the kind of child who is happy to go and play on her own yet.
Much as I would like to say I’m one of those mums who can happily sit for hours crafting and helping their child learn through play, I’m really not. I can do short bursts and I am very good at the straightforward play bit, but she needs more.
Also, there just don’t seem to be the hours in the day to fit in everything that needs to be done. Expectations of what I want / need to achieve on a daily basis have gone right up over the last twelve months. But ultimately, my main job is to ensure that Ma Puce is getting everything she needs.
And so it was that this morning that I took Ma Puce along to the pre-school group for the first time. It really is the end of an era. The era that gave us pretty much free-reign to do as we pleased, give or take two short bursts of nursery per week. A delicious freedom that I know we’ve been lucky to enjoy together.
On the downside, the new era has ushered in with it the joy of the school run. We’ve jumped from two short early afternoon nursery sessions per week to five mornings a week – with a 08:45 start! Not to mention being tied to the school holidays for taking trips away.
On the upside, we are both ready for the new world order that has kicked off today. I am so excited to see how Ma Puce will grow and develop over the coming months. Things certainly got off to a good start this morning as she integrated herself into the new group with not a tear shed.
I am also looking forward to how my life will change and develop in the months to come. I can’t deny that having the extra time to spend on my new business isn’t much needed and desired. Best of all, I can do it guilt-free, without worrying that Ma Puce isn’t getting everything she needs whilst I put my focus elsewhere for a few hours per day.
I think that one of the most important lessons I have had to grasp as a parent is that no matter how much I want the early years of my daughter’s life to last forever, she is a growing, changing little being and to hold on too tightly would be to stifle her and ultimately our relationship.
Instead I am learning to take pleasure from watching her unfurl her wings and learn to fly.