The Kid Is Alright.

Olivia is in her twelfth week of play-school, twelfth! I don’t know where those twelve weeks have gone, but as the saying goes “time flies when you’re having fun”!

And my God is she having fun. Play-school has never been a daunting thought or experience for Olivia since we first mentioned those words at the beginning of Summer. She was ready from the get go. With her friendly outgoing personality, I should’ve known play-school was going to be a doddle to her. Even her two introductory day’s before the school closed for Summer turned out great, she actually asked me to leave on the second day. So I did but only for forty five minutes though! I went to my sisters house to wait, I sat there twiddling my thumbs, watching the clock, wondering was she ok or was she looking for me. Thankfully she was ok. She didn’t want to leave when I came back. I had to bribe her to get out of the place. I’ve heard of parents bribing their kids to get into school but not bribing them to leave.

It was a long Summer after that, I couldn’t drive past the building without her shouting “there’s my schoow mam” (she can’t pronounce her L’s yet) “Am I going to schoow yet mam”? No, darlin’ not for another few weeks…..

And when that week came I was the one that cried. Not her. Me.  It was also the week of our wedding so I was highly emotional, but I think it would’ve hit me like that anyway. I didn’t realize just how emotional I would actually be until I walked into that small building the day before she started and it suddenly struck me that I was handing our baby girl over to “strangers” for the first time in her life. It was a big deal for me. She had only ever been looked after by some of our family members and now this was the day that I had thought about when that small child was once a small baby in my arms, I was finally letting her go out into the world to experience life on her own for the first time. It was a big fricken deal!

Fast forward twelve weeks and Olivia couldn’t be happier. She is learning a lot, but I am learning more. I did not realize just how much kids actually learn before they start primary school. The teachers in her Montessori school deserve so much credit, these women do the ground work for the teachers of primary level. Olivia can just about write her name. Hello? Like when did that happen? It’s been a while since I was in play school (no shit Sherlock!) so I had forgotten all these amazing milestones the kids reach before big school starts. Pre-school isn’t just about singing songs, painting and reading stories you know?! It goes much deeper – Forgive my ignorance here. I really didn’t realize how in depth they actually go. Olivia is changing by the day, she’s becoming more mature, learning life lessons (because she has another “teacher” besides her dad and I) They explore the gardens outside, climb trees. There’s a different topic each week that they talk about everyday. I remember Hibernation was one of them. When she’s there, she is given much more responsibility than I would’ve given her at home. I’m learning loads by her just being at school too and it’s bloody brilliant. I think parents tend to treat their child (especially an only child) like they’re too young for certain tasks but not anymore I tell ya! This mama is learning big time!

I did experience one negative point of play school last week though and I’m outing my own child here, but it’s important to share.

Olivia’s teacher called me to her room for a chat last Friday. This was never going to be a good report was it? She told me that Olivia “uses her hands” while expressing her feelings to her friend when they have a disagreement. Now for a few seconds I didn’t actually understand what Teacher was telling me. I thought she meant Olivia was being creative with her hands and just not speaking properly. Oh how wrong was I? She actually hit her friend on three different occasions. Well that’s bloody great isn’t it! Olivia doesn’t get slapped when she’s naughty, so where had this come from? Teacher explained something that made a lot of sense to me… Olivia and her friend have been friends since they were babies. Her mam and I were pregnant at the same time and we became close, so both girls have known each other for quite sometime now and are used to each other, like siblings Teacher explained. And we all know how siblings act when they have a disagreement? It did clarify things a little better for me but I was still upset over this. I left feeling deflated that my child hit someone, luckily it was just one child and that she’s not the class bully, no parent wants their child to be the class bully. So over the weekend we instilled in her that she shouldn’t use her hands when she’s upset or angry. She seemed to understand how wrong it was so I’m hoping it will never happen again.

But on a positive note, this child of mine has been pretty good to me when it comes to big changes in her life. Giving up her soother and bottle was easy, she nailed toilet training in two weeks and now play school is her favourite thing in the world.

The kid is most definitely alright.


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