Monday, 15 September 2008

The End Of An Era...

Today was a milestone in terms of parental sadness and deep emotional stabs to the heart. My little Egg left for his first FULL day of school...for the rest of his scholastic life (sigh).

I thought i'd be okay. I mean I didn't bat an eye when he went off to nursery for the first time...and when he went for his shortened day on his own on Friday I just felt mildly touched. But TODAY...well today as I watched him bravely walk inside the school - blowing me kisses as he went - i thought, 'there goes my darling little boy...he's a toddler no longer'.

Even worse was when i got back home. Dumps and I entered a deathly still house and it felt...wrong. It felt so empty and so depressing. I couldn't even turn on the telly because all the little kiddie shows reminded me of Eggie (sorry Dumps). I looked in the garden and imagined him wielding the big hose and making a mess of my plants....I looked in the kitchen and imagined him making little play-doh cookies and pies...I looked at Bacon propped up desolately and discarded atop the radiator, and I almost cried.

I say almost because Dumpie was an absolute nightmare today and didn't let me get morose and sulk about the house like i wanted to. He must sense that things have changed and that it's just us, because we were joined at the hip today and I couldn't even go to the loo or put him down for a second without an unholy roar of indignation.

Eventually I was getting so sad that I packed up Dumps in the pushchair and we went for a long walk to do some errands and buy some supplies in anticipation of Grandpa's arrival tomorrow afternoon (he is stopping by here en route to Majorca and then Cyprus).

Going to collect Egg at 3:25pm this afternoon, I trail-blazed past all the Honeywell moms and children with their perfect R.P. accents and arrived at Belleville where I joined the swarm of parents waiting to be let inside the gate. By all accounts it is an excellent school and many children from private nurseries around here go there - it's just that Honeywell appears to attract the slightly more privaleged, and no one can tell me exactly why that is. After a youth of rebelling against my parents insistence on educating my three sisters and I privately (much to our dismay - public schools appeared to be far more edgy and therefore more fun) I finally understand that parental yearning to give your child the absolute best start in life...especially in this country where your accent is everything. Have I failed and chosen the wrong school? Have I allowed myself to be swayed by my very liberal husband?

Only time will tell, but as I ponder these and other thoughts, my darling Egg will continue to leave me day after day and I may eventually get used to the loneliness and his absence, but a part of me already mourns that precious time of childhood when the outside world isn't really allowed in, and it's just you and your babies and their sweet-smelling heads and their trusting eyes.

On another note, I guess with Egg at school there will be less opportunity for him to get revealing shots of his Mama on the toilet with his new kiddie digital camera. Not knowing how to view the shots or delete them, I live in horror of the day when some hapless soul comes across all manner of indelicate shots of my arse and other bits. Egg has recently taken to doing impromptu photo's of family life and I feature pretty heavily in them. One of his favourite gags is to throw the bathroom door open (none of our bathrooms have locks) and gleefully click away on his camera while his sidekick Dumpie yells 'Hiya!' They both find this very funny and are not the least deterred when the get me mid-crouch and screaming.

(Mental note to self: DO NOT let him take camera in for show-and-tell. Make husband show you how to work simplistic kiddie camera and REMOVE offensive shots. ALL of them.)

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