Reflecting on M’s first term at Preschool

July 24, 2019

I’ve been seeing lots of posts around, from people whose children have finished the school year and are moving from nursery to ‘big’ school, or from infants to juniors. It’s M’s last day of term at preschool today, too, but I must admit I hadn’t really thought anything of it, as she’ll be carrying on there for her ‘official’ preschool year in September. M has only had one term at preschool as she started after Easter, but I’d still like to write about it as I think that it’s still a milestone for her. In September, she’ll be at preschool for five mornings a week (rather than the three afternoons she’s been doing up to now), so it will be a big change for her, and I think I’ll feel like I’ve been properly thrown into school run territory!

M walking to her first session at preschool.

I’m not going to write much about M’s preschool in itself. Mainly because there’s a clause in our contract with them, that we don’t say anything about it on social media or elsewhere online! But actually, I don’t really know a great deal about what she does there anyway, because I’m not there, so I thought I’d reflect a bit on that, and on how she’s grown and changed as a little person, over the past term since starting at preschool.

M after having her face painted at preschool.

Something that really struck me earlier this week, is that M now knows people that I don’t know. I found that to be quite an odd realisation, as up to now, I’ve always been the one to mediate M’s contact with other adults and children. On Monday, as we were walking home from preschool, M started chatting with an adult who was a complete stranger to me, as she was passing. She turned out to be a part-time member of preschool staff, who only works one of the days that M attends. Of course she was perfectly lovely, but I just found it so weird that M was clearly so comfortable chatting to this person that I had no recollection of. I’m sure this is something that I’ll get used to, especially as her school community widens as she gets older.

The same thing applies to her being at preschool in the first place, really. It’s very odd when you have this little person that you’ve barely been apart from for almost three years, and then suddenly there’s nine whole hours out of their week, where you have no idea what they’ve been up to.

Obviously M excitedly tells me about how she got herself drenched in the water area (“even my purple knickers were completely soaked!”) and about the painting/model/cut and stick masterpiece that she made that day. And of course, I get to hear in great detail exactly what she consumed at snack time. But what about those little exchanges with friends? The random conversations about favourite colours or lost hair clips? These are the things that I can only imagine might be happening, as they are a complete mystery to me. I suppose this is something else that I’ll need to get used to, as she grows up and spends more and more time somewhere that I’m not.

M with her end of term thank you cards for her key workers.

Overall, though, I’m pleased that we took the decision to start M at preschool this term. She has grown up so much already, and is clearly having great fun while she’s there. She always asks, “is today a [preschool] day?” as she’s so keen to go. She’s able to socialise regularly with children the same age, and is enjoying new stories and new activities that we don’t do at home (although she’s still always asking to do activities here, too!).

So now, we’re about to embark on the first summer holiday of her ‘school’ career, and in just one year, we’ll be getting ready to send her off to school. How time is flying and how quickly she is growing! It will be here before we know it.

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