Like many mothers and fathers everywhere, I will shortly be saying goodbye to my babies, sorry, children as I drop them off for their first day at Montessori. With dread, I have been counting down the years, months, and now weeks until they will leave my care to attend the local pre-school. I honestly can’t understand why I am finding this particular milestone so irritatingly difficult. In their short lives of three and a half years, my twin boy and girl have achieved many milestones, big and small (admittedly this is one of the biggies). And I can remember so many occasions where I fantasized about a break from the little darlings; for someone else to take the reins, change nappies, or buy groceries so that I could enjoy a hot cup of tea as opposed to stone cold, or make a casual visit to the hairdressers rather than a military style operation planned weeks in advance.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a moment’s peace. A simple trip to the bathroom involves a small audience with numerous questions and observations ‘mummies have boobs, daddies don’t have boobs’. Even now, I am deflecting a small artist covered in gloopy glue and sparkles (glitter to you and me) away from my laptop here on the kitchen table. And then there are times when it’s just plain stressful, like the day we were about to leave for a developmental health check and Dylan got his leg stuck in the septic tank. Or earlier today I looked up to see them both perched on my car roof. ‘We’re just having a bit of fun’ explained Eva nonchalantly. And as I tried to coerce them down, my neighbour drove by and waved at us looking slightly perplexed at the sight of us.
Soon I will have the freedom and head space I have craved, at least until 12.15 in the afternoon, yet secretly and confusingly I don’t think I want it anymore! Perhaps it’s because I have twins and I’m experiencing these emotions in full double-whammy effect. Or maybe it’s because I gave up work amongst other freedoms to devote myself entirely to them. Is it the feeling that no one other than me understands their tantrums or their special twin dynamic, or simply that this confirms they are definitely and absolutely not babies anymore? Most of all I fear feeling redundant, which could well be confounded when they dash off on their first day without so much as a ‘see ya’.
I have scoffed at my mother and my mother-in-law’s musings ‘oh you won’t know what to do with yourself, it’ll be lovely’ and ‘you’ll have a little cry on their first day’. Nonsense I rebutted. I can’t wait I thought. I’ll go running every morning and even do a little yoga, then settle down in a quiet house with a strong coffee to pursue my postgrad , which, might I add, has been waiting in the doldrums since around the time the pregnancy test read positive. So what is the solution? Have another baby perhaps? Don’t even go there.
Despite my intentions to busy and distract myself while they’re at Montessori, I remain slightly apprehensive about the whole thing. After all I can’t fall apart at the school gates in front of small and anxious children. Can I? No. I’ll have to keep that bottom lip in check and save the tears until I get home and settled with my new text book and a lovely strong cup of coffee. I’m going to miss my little monkeys.
(Originally published in Mums and Tots parenting magazine, Autumn issue 2013)
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/4445785866/”>Pink Sherbet Photography</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>
Well said Olivia. I hope you are coming to terms with your quieter household (albeit for the mornings only) and that you have had a chance to enjoy some ‘me time’.
Thanks guys. I have another one for you! A little longer than I anticipated but hey-ho. xx
Nice one Olivia. Looking forward to a great blog. Lots of twin stuff snd interested to hear about Montessori as well. Happy twin free time
Lol @ Eva’s matter-of-fact explanation from the roof of the car! Look forward to more from all of ye x
So how is it now? Have you settled into a new routine? Have the twins? Love this post.
I was so torn before they started pre-school. Four months on and our lives are so different. Having time to myself is amazing. They’ve become so civilised. They know how to share, take turns, apologise etc. I wish I’d sent them to this Montessori last year, even just for one morning. The great thing is, their Montessori classroom is in the school building where they will attend next year, so I know they won’t have any problems adjusting.
That is awesome news, Olivia. I know how hard it is. Been there and done that. And when they leave for college or move away and you go through their room, that’s when it really hits home. My heart literally broke when my first one left home. Never was it to ever be the same. But somehow we do manage and when it is all said and done, we are relieved in one area of our minds, but ever so lonely without the constant chatter.Hugs and enjoy your spare time to do for you what you have been waiting to do all these years. Transition periods are difficult indeed!
Hello Drew, How are you?
This was written before the started pre-school so my feelings have changed a lot since then. I’m delighted to have time to myself, although I still relish the odd sick day when I can have them all to myself! I picked up enrollment forms today for big school. I wonder how i’ll feel about that in a few months. :o)
Lovely first post-I empathize with so much here-great to have a bit of time to yourself away from the hectic goings on of daily life with small kids but at the same time, it’s sad to watch them grow more and more independent and less reliant on you. Thanks for linking up to First Steps. x
Thanks Aedin. I was torn up last year, but after a few weeks I was enjoying living my new life with a little me time. It was the end of an era but in the end there’s nothing you can do – chappens all the time. 🙂