One fabulous thing that has happened in our household lately is four year old kinder. I was counting down the days to Miss 4 starting her 15 hours a week over three days. I read an article recently about a mother who didn’t really want her daughter to start school and listed all the reasons why and the things they do together. She was really sad about it. I couldn’t relate at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing things with my daughter, and we do plenty of them, but I am also very very tired and a bit desperate for a break from the daily dramas and demands of the largest of my two small humans.
These are the things I’d like a break from:
- asking for a particular item of food, then refusing to eat it
- asking repeatedly if we are going to the beach tomorrow
- asking why we are going home when she has just been told three times
- frowning and grumping when being told no
- not being able to wait, for anything, ever
- constantly grabbing things off her baby sister and making her cry
- wanting to do painting and sticking all the time
- having to sit on or very close to me all the time
- wanting me to watch TV with her whenever she does
- using her whingy voice CONSTANTLY, even to ask for an apple
- asking to make cupcakes all the time
- looking at something, looking at me then asking me where that something is
- having MEGA meltdowns (major crying, screaming, not being able to breathe type episodes) when we have to go home from somewhere she doesn’t want to leave etc.
I also do realise that she would need a break from me just as much as I need one from her. It can’t be fun hanging out with Grumpy Mum too often. She would be sick of me:
- asking her to do things when she’s not ready. In a minute Mum! You tell me that, why can’t I say it too?!
- snapping at her because I’m frustrated and tired. Are you still angry Mum?
- being told to hurry up when she thinks she is going quite quickly enough. Slow down Mum!
- telling her no we can’t make cupcakes now cause it’s dinner time. Why would that matter?
- not understanding her strong need to wear her dress ups RIGHT NOW, even though it’s bedtime.
- often having to pay attention to her baby sister before her. But I need a cuddle Mum!
- not playing in the sandpit with her. Just make cakes with me Mum!
- not taking her to the park at the precise moment she wants to go. Can we get out of the house Mum?!
So, I love four year old kinder cause we both need some time out. But also she gets to have a world of her own and that is so important. I am not the only person in the world who is going to teach my children things. I’m also not going to be there for every single milestone they pass or achievement they make, and that’s ok. Miss Four has to find her own way through kinder, negotiating friendships, settling into new routines, learning new things, trying new activities. All awesome stuff that will help her grow and keep her interested in the world. They have to have some of these things to themselves and this is one start to a long journey of my daughter having her own life experiences. Then when she gets home, I’m calmer (so important!), she brings me a painting that she did for me and we put it on the wall (we may run out of space soon!) and she tells me about her experiences while we eat cupcakes together.
Four year old kinder makes me happy for her and for me too.
How does kinder / school make your feel?
Don’t forget to check out Barbara Good’s take on this topic too in her Reality Bites column over at A New Good Life.