Friday, 12 September 2008

"Bye-Bye Eggie"

"Bye-bye Eggie...have a good day!"......These were the words with which I sent my little Egg off into the big bad world today. 10am this morning found me and about 90 other parents clustered around uniformed 4 and 5 year olds who were entering 'Reception Year'. We were surrounded by a sea of navy and grey-clad little people and the many spontaneous outbursts of tears from the assembled were enough to make even the most cold-hearted choked up.

Luckily I hand Dumps on hand to lend a bit of support. As Eggie bounded up the cement stairs into Belleville School he looked back only once for a cheerful wave - then off he went. Dumpie however squirmed uncomfortably in my arms and waving his arm agitatedly, cried, "Mama...! Mama....!" at me as his adored elder brother left him desolate in the playground with nary a backward glance.

Dumps and I consoled ourselves with some yummy red grapes upon arriving home, then took to sorting out the last of our holiday unpacking. Mixing up piles with glee he donned his beloved captains hat and toddled from pile to pile 'helping' me. Bless.

Later when picking Egg up at 2pm (shortened day today) I spotted spotted my little man immediately in the cluster of children sat crosslegged on the pavement searching excited faces in the crowd for their 'mummies' or 'daddies'. Egg sauntered over, looking happy to see me but otherwise nonplussed. I think to him this is just like his nursery class and thus not too much to get excited about.

Anyway we celebrated his 'first day' with a skinny extra wet cappunnino with an extra shot (me) and rice krispie squares (Egg n' Dumps). A visit to the park was called for, as today was uncharacteristically sunny and mild. Shortlly after arriving Egg recognized a girl in his class and set about (with Dumpie's help) to relieve her of the majority of all her after-school snacks (gummie bears, chocolate croissant, creme biscuits, and raisins). It wasn't like the little girl had a choice. Dumps was screaming and pointing at the snacks every time she pulled something out of her bag. Egg would then continue with the double assault by asking her matter-of-factly for whatever she was eating, then immediately followed that request with an outstretched hand and a plea of '...and one for Dumps'.

At one point i lost Dumpie and I panicked until Egg casually pointed across the playground where Dumps was flying up and down on a giant see-saw, thigh-to-thigh with a little brunette lad of about 5. Goodness knows how he got there and who put him up there, but he was having the time of his life and none too pleased when I pulled him off 20 minutes later.

I'll end this blog with another mystery. As I was leaving Starbucks with my cappuccino earlier today, I noticed Dumpie slurping on a smoothie that...get this...I HADN'T GIVEN HIM. I have no idea where he got it - I still can't come up with a viable source. The bin?... The counter when I wasn't looking?.....a scary stranger who poisoned it?....Urghhhhh.

Don't you love this child-rearing business? When you're not utterly exhausted and flopped limply like a scooped out melon in front of a bland tv program, you're freaking out and paranoid and extra-cautious that the little one(s) in your care are in mortal danger.

I should think that for most people it is merely over-anxiety and should be treated with long,hot fragrant baths, generously poured glasses of bordeaux, and the odd massage where someone is paid to make you feel good for the next hour.

Now if you have a child like 'The Dumps', no such claims of paranoia are likely to be thrown your way. If it's possible, even remotely possible, Dumps will happily give it a go. From throwing himself off his change table to climbing every available surface in slippery socked feet, Dumps is a man on the move and going to prove the most challenging project of my life thus far. And on that note, I'm going to medicate with a nice glass of red wine. Adios amigos.

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