My eldest son starts ‘Big School’ for the first time this week. I am taking this in my stride. Yet I look around me (both physically and in the blogosphere) and wonder what’s going on in the lives of others. I read about tears shed at preschool graduations and a sense of loss that cuts so deep with the advent of ‘real’ school days that tears are literally splashing into chai lattes as I write. I, on the other hand, laugh in the face of enforced separation. My four (going on five) year old is not my best friend. We have not spent many happy hours crafting fairy castles out of cardboard boxes or reading adorable picture books about mischievous bunnies (goodbye Thomas, I hope you get locked up in Tidmouth Sheds never to be seen again!); we have not spent many happy hours baking misshapen cupcakes; I have not sipped a hot coffee whilst watching him happily colouring cute stick figure scenes.
Maybe it’s because his little brother came along just as he was getting to that interactive age and then took away my time and the ability to provide those lovely, age appropriate activities, guide and nurture hidden talents; maybe it’s because he’s so highly strung and always has been; maybe it’s because he’s a boisterous boy and would prefer to be wrestling or bouncing off my non existent tummy muscles rather than sit quietly painting or practicing his letters; or maybe it’s a combination of my temperament, lazy arsed attitude and the fact that I work part time.
At any rate, pity us if you will (we still have a bit of fun in our own way and a lot of love) – it is now that I look at those mums who have raised the perfect pre schooler and done the most wonderful, full and wide ranging list of activities together and laugh*out*loud! Because for me, this is not a bittersweet moment, it’s time for the teacher take over, a handover, If you will, to people who actually chose the nurturing of other people’s children AS * THEIR * CAREER (takes a moment to scratch head in confusion and just a little bit of awe). I know he will thrive. I know he will have his innate intelligence drawn out and guided in the right direction and you know what? At the weekends and school holidays maybe I will just break out the cardboard boxes and PVA glue. Or maybe I will just continue to referee the wrestling matches and judge the ‘who can scream the loudest’ contests and laugh at their silly antics.
Either way there will be no tears in my artisan coffee, and that, my friends, is why it’s important not to have the perfect child.
Linking up to September’s Bad Mums Club.