I have never been a naturally crafty mum. I have never really been a baking kind of mum. Really I am more of a mum who finds herself ‘winging it’ on a daily basis.
Don’t get me wrong I can bake but not to Great British Bake Off standards, and I can draw but not quite to both my sister’s standards. It is far more likely that ‘good ideas’ to keep children entertained just come to me in a moment of madness like making a den with a bed sheet, or setting out a spontaneous picnic of sorts.
Of course, the school place acceptance came along all too quickly. All of a sudden in the blink of an eye my girl is going to school with her brother in September, and although I was prepared for it this time around, what I was not prepared for was the realisation.
One morning, just last week the nursery and school run was in full swing and my daughter did her usual ‘beginning of the week’ hiding behind my legs and declaring that she did not want to go the nursery. Why she does this I do not know? She loves nursery, she loves her teachers and she has plenty of friends. In the car I explained to her that she really only had ten weeks left, and then it dawned on me as those words left my lips that she really only had a few weeks left of her preschool days.
My baby is going to big school.
I think it is especially poignant for me because she really is my last child. We had the choice of having anymore children taken away from us last year. Although I have made my peace with it and I am truly grateful for all that I have, to know that there will be no more babygrows or ‘first shoes’ or milky cuddles, is a difficult thing for any mum to come to terms with.
I recognise that this is a lovely time, a time that I certainly will treasure for the rest of my days. These are the days that we get to spend together, just us two, at our own pace and enjoying our own company as mother and daughter. More often than not our days outside of nursery involve Isla telling me what she would like to do for the day, such as the day she declared she wanted to bake buns with me, or visit the nice park with the library or even go to a well known coffee shop for a blueberry muffin.
I want to remember all the lovely things that she tells me in her non-stop chatter..
Such as the lady who volunteers at her nursery who brings lovely surprises like a ‘pass the parcel’ with a present inside for each and every child.
Or her love of her teacher Katy who regularly gives her cuddles and reassurance when I am not there.
Or Charlie O’Neil, the boy who has stolen her heart much to her brother’s delight in teasing her about this – regularly. She loves Charlie O’Neil, and he is her one of her favourite boys along with Sebby and a few others who remind her of her brother.
She also loves her twins Kara & Lexi who play with her like siblings – she loves to climb trees with Kara and make up games with Lexi when she can.
More than all of these things she loves her special blanket that she holds onto for dear life when she is tired or uncertain.
She loves going to her grandma’s house (and often insists on it) because she knows that she will get a special gingerbread man, and that she will get to play with all of my childhood toys there for hours on end.
She loves playing at her Aunty’s house with her cousin Lois who indulges her love of make-believe games, and she even loves cuddles from her big cousin Freya (even though she protests at the all too blatant show of affection).
As I tried to sneak out of the door one sunny afternoon for a walk on my own, she asked me if she could come too. Of course I said yes because I know that she wants to do everything with me if she can. And so we walked hand in hand together along the street, talking about this and about that. She had an old phone that she had brought out with her and she pretended to take pictures along the way. As she did I wished that she was taking real pictures for us to remember such a special time together.
It was a long walk and it was hot, luckily enough there was a wall for her to walk along just as her little legs began to tire. When we reached the park we had a swing on the swings and as we left she took my hand and began kissing the back of it. Eventually after another walk along the next wall I lifted her off and as I did I cuddled her and whispered in her ear that I loved her,
and she whispered it back.
A truly perfect moment.