I lost my coffee.
This is pretty terrible because, 1) it makes me feel old and senile, and 2) I need coffee to remember where I put my coffee. I hope it wasn’t on the roof of the car I just drove…
No matter. I’ve got water and a banana and I’ve also got the excited squeals of about thirty elementary (primary) school kids in the background. One of them is my own. It’s Gymnastics Day today. Apparently, I read the website wrong when I signed Beaner up for this class. We rocked up this morning bright and early for a 9-4 adventure and very nearly got turned away. Apparently, it’s for kids in school-school, not preschool, but the head gymnast teacher said we could try and see how it goes. It’s clearly a drop-off session for working parents, but they’re content with me hiding out in the mezzanine. I don’t want to be a helicopter parent (ha, the irony as a helicopter pilot), but I also want to make sure my kid is comfortable. She’s only three.
I shouldn’t worry; she’s currently involved in an epic round of hide-and-seek.
Beanereeno is clearly the youngest, but there are a few other tiny ones. The bottom lip started to go all big and wobbly when she realized I wouldn’t be going in with her like I’ve done in the past, but she quickly got over it. I think going to preschool full-time during the term has given her confidence in new situations, which is nice to see. She’s clearly excited to be here and one of the Big Kids (around 10 or 11) has taken her under her wing. It’s been mostly games so far, but I’m hoping there will be some actual gymnastics moves later on. She’s going to be absolutely shattered after today. But hey, if she likes it and we can go again next week, great. We shall see how much I can push my luck.
My dear daughter cracks me up. I like this stage she’s in. I feel it’s been, well, three years in the making. Hubs and I were talking about it last night and we both agree that she’s blooming into the little lady she’ll become. She’s recently been saying “I love you” before bed and gives spontaneous cuddles to both of us throughout the day. She has never been super shy, but she’s even less so now. She talks up a storm, to us and to herself and her teddies, and she has a very active imagination. She’s great at puzzles, is independent enough to find an activity in the house (in her room, the lounge, the kitchen) and either play on her own or bring it to where we are to play together, and she loves her horses, the same ones I had as a little kid. She knows where all her stepstools are in the house and is adept at opening and closing doors (including the latch), which is no small feat since the handles are about 2/3rds of the way up the doors. She moves her kitchen double-step to the fridge to get milk herself, and knows where the bowls, spoons, and cereal live, so she can essentially make breakfast herself. It’s such an amazing thing to watch, even if it’s sometimes messy.
The first few years are hard/slow/work. You have to pour all of yourself in every day, all day, and you get very little in return. The first year is extremely draining: it’s constant work and infants can’t do much by themselves. So, you have to count the little wins. The arms lifted up to signal “carry me.” Drinking from a sippy cup unaided. Crawling to where the toys are. Falling asleep without needing to be rocked or shushed. Holding a spoon. Laughing.
But I can see why parents say the time goes by so fast. Maybe it’s our coping mechanism for suffering through the baby years when it’s full-on, all the time. Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation that makes us forget the late nights, midnights, early mornings. Maybe it’s survival mode that teaches us the days will get better, easier. That, with our help, our kids will start to learn how to feed themselves, dress themselves, go to the toilet on their own. That their independence will blossom, that they will talk and learn and grow. In the not-too-far-off-future, I will wish I was back at this stage, able to cuddle and teach and observe my own creation without restriction. But I also know that I’m probably more comfortable as a parent of kids who aren’t babies, who can do some things on their own, who can listen and absorb lessons and make up their own minds. The teenage years will probably be trying, but I’m actually kind of excited to reach that stage. Maybe it’s because I’ve forgotten how hard I was as a teen (I swear I was easy!).
Back at gymnastics, the Bean is still doing well. I guess I’m a bit anxious for her as this is the first time she’s been on her own with essentially complete strangers, adults and kids alike. I guess it’s time for me to leave. She’s doing brilliantly.
I should have known better.