Moose / 5 years & 10 months
You’re a “big” school kid now! And you have transitioned into school life like you were made to be there. Your curiosity has outshone any apprehension you might have been feeling about any of the numerous new things there have been to learn – people, places, and processes. I wouldn’t have known if you had been feeling anxious about any of it, because you certainly haven’t shown any anxiety! You have been beaming with pride and confidence since you started 5 weeks ago! Good on you, little darling. I have a feeling you’re going to do very well.
We’re already learning lots too. You’re bringing home readers, and we’re practicing those smaller, common “filler” words, like “the”, “is”, and “at”. Your writing gets better and better all the time, the other day you copied the front cover of a favourite picture book of yours, and you even copied the title and the name of the author, just like it appeared on the book, all by yourself!
On a few occasions already, when I have been with you either before or after school I have witnessed an array of children – most of whom I don’t know and some of whom are obviously in classes above you – come running up to you shouting your name, and embracing you like a long-lost friend. When I say to you, “Who was that?”, occasionally you’ll have a name for me but most of the time you say “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember”. Sounds to me like someone is already too popular for their own good! I currently have 3 birthday party invitations for you sitting on the kitchen bench that need to be answered, and that doesn’t include the one party we’ve already attended this year, and the one we have coming up next weekend.
You’re making new friends, and you seem to do it so easily and without bias. You’ll be friends with anyone as long as they’re kind to you. And making friends at this school is easy, because as a whole the kids all seem so friendly and welcoming. I’m always witnessing the bigger kids helping out the smaller kids and making sure they’re ok. There’s a real sense of community and pride at this school. I’m really glad you’re a part of it, it suits you to a T.
In other news, you’re back at swimming after a long absence, and with a renewed interest and confidence. It’s like you never left! You’ve just picked up where we left off so long ago. In fact, I’ve been told that you’ll probably be moved up to the next class shortly. Way to go, Moose! I’m so glad to be able to give you an outside-of-school activity, and to see you thrive in it.
Speaking of renewed interest, you’ve also come back to your old love of drawing and colouring-in. Some days you’re proudly presenting anywhere up to 6 drawings to me, and these are not just simple, quick drawings. You take a lot of pride in them and you spend time in them, every corner of the page is covered and no detail is left behind. I really think this is a talent you could take with you right through to adult life if you wanted to, keep it up! You’re amazing!
You’ve definitely assumed the role of protective older sister. One day, in your last months at childcare, I arrived in the afternoon to pick up you and Little R, and found that his toddler group was playing in the big kids playground with your group. I wasn’t very pleased with this, that playground is not appropriate or safe for the children in Little R’s group, and he was and still is too young yet to be playing there. I scanned around the playground, trying to spot Little R amongst the dozens and dozens of children zooming about, but I couldn’t see him and started to feel that panicky feeling rising in my gut. Then finally I saw him, with you, in a far corner of the playground. You and some of your friends were with him, holding his hand and dancing with him. When I came up to you, you told me that you were worried he was too little to play here and would get knocked over by one of the bigger kids, so you were trying hard to keep him with you so he was safe. And then my heart burst with love and pride.
Up until recently, we were having a problem on most afternoons, in that you and your brother would just……go crazy. There’s no other way to put it really. You would both just go bananas and be so naughty and we couldn’t calm you down, until eventually you would wear on our patience and we would end up yelling in frustration, or one of you would get hurt in your roughness with each other. And then one day I had a brain wave – it was happening at the same time every day, the “witching hour”. Clearly, calm was needed. And we were going to give that to you, in the form of TV time. A window to relax in. So Big R and I made a deal – we would stop letting you watch TV during the day when Little R was napping, and instead commit to spending that time doing something one-on-one with you (effectively working on another problem that was bothering us – not spending enough quality time with the kids). Then later in the day, when I was making dinner, you would both get to rest and watch a little TV, during the time when you would usually be wrecking the joint. And it’s worked so far, we haven’t looked back. Probably the best parenting solution I have come up with yet!
Other things you’re interested in at the moment: geography, science in general, makeup (uh-oh), Sarah & Duck, and Mister Maker.
Overall, my impression of this time with you is that I feel like we are more becoming “friends”. Hanging out with you is fun, and we don’t always have to have something planned, we can just be in the same space together, doing our own things. Having a conversation with you today is so much different to what it was even a year ago, you’ve matured so much and it’s changed the way I talk to you because I know there’s a lot you can grasp now. There’s also a lot you can do for yourself now, which is a relief, but at the same time it’s nice to know that you’ll still need us for a long while yet.