My tiny little boy will be going to pre-school.
The thought of it makes me feel sick and like I could burst into floods of tears. He's just not old enough or big enough to be going is he? He's still my baby and the thought of him going to pre-school terrifies me.
I'm really worried.
I'm worried about leaving him all alone in a class with lots of other children and only three teachers.
I'm worried he won't make friends.
I'm worried he might get left out or picked on.
I'm worried that he isn't ready.
I'm worried he's going to feel like I'm abandoning him when I drop him off at the school gates and I'm not the one who picks him up again when it's time to go home.
I'm worried that he's not going to like it and cry when I drop him off and I won't know how to deal with it.
I'm just worried.
Of course I know all these worries are ridiculous. To start with, of course he is big enough and old enough or else he wouldn't be going. I'm just in denial that my baby isn't a baby anymore, in fact he isn't even a toddler anymore. *sobs*
When we went to visit his school for a taster day all the teaching staff in his class seemed lovely and more than capable of looking after a whole class between them. They managed it more than adequately whilst we were there, flitting between us all and making sure we all had enough time with them to ask questions etc. We also recently had a home visit from his key worker and Luca told us when she had left, "I liked playing with that lady." That's got to be a good sign, right?
I also know that he will make friends. He is popular at his childminders, all the other kids seem to love him and whenever we go to see any of my friends and their children he always gets along with them just fine. He's a lovely, kind and gentle child, but he is also funny, charismatic and endearing. All qualities I hope will mean he isn't ever left out or bullied but I'm worried if he does get picked up that he won't stand up for himself as he doesn't tend to do that at the moment.
He is more than ready, I know this too. He is inquisitive and always asking me questions or telling me new things he's learnt. His childminders have already told me that he is more than ready for pre-school and will relish it once he's there. He tells me every time we go past his school that it will be his school soon. I'm not quite sure he fully understands what it will entail but I'm sure he's going to love it, never mind like it. When we visited for his taster day he couldn't wait to get into the classroom and explore. He flirted from corner to corner looking at all the toys and things he could do. Although he dragged me around with him it was to show me the things he'd discovered, not because he needed me there with him. He is very independent and I'm hoping that this will stand him in good stead.
My biggest worry of them all is that he might feel abandoned by me. I've spent so much time explaining to him that I will drop him off on a morning and he will play and have his lunch there before someone picks him back up again. And that Mummy can't stay. I think he understands and doesn't seem to be fazed by this. Although it may be completely different when the time actually comes and that's the bit I don't want to have to deal with. I don't ever want to leave him upset, ever. That's the real bit that I'm worried about, that he won't run off without a care in the world like he does now at his childminders. The fact he loves being there makes it so much easier for me to leave him everyday and go to work but if that's not the same with pre-school I'm not sure I'm going to cope well. It will also make the guilt of not being the one picking him up afterwards even worse. I'm hoping this will be where that independent streak of his will shine and will make me forget all these worries in an instant. I hope.
God only knows what state I am going to be in on his first day, but I'm sure he will settle in just fine and will really enjoy this new chapter of his life.
I hand on heart believe he is ready to start his learning journey and hope that he will follow in my footsteps and really enjoy learning for the rest of his life. I know my worries are mostly unfounded but they are still there niggling away at the back of my brain.
It's a new door opening for Luca but it also feels like a door closing for me. The apron strings are getting shorter and shorter and I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. School really symbolises that he's not my toddler anymore and reminds me how quickly time is going. I want to cling onto every moment with him at this age but I know I can't. I have to look on the bright side though and the savings will will make on childcare should bump our savings up at a much quicker rate. Which means we can hopefully buy a house a bit sooner and then start thinking about baby number two. Surely that's a silver lining if ever there was one?
Until then though I'm going to cherish every last moment with this little boy that I feel so lucky to call mine.