WHAT A COUPLE of weeks we’ve had. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster and just like that, Jamie’s two years at playschool are done and dusted.
With the Covid restrictions easing, we have been able to enjoy going out and doing things that frankly we would have simply taken for granted before the pandemic. Lily’s birthday fell on a Monday this year, so of course in true Lily style, we had to start the birthday celebrations for the entire weekend!
The week running up to Lily’s birthday and I was sitting smug at the fact I had managed to source and buy all the near impossible requests from Miss Lily.
- A unicorn suitcase – check!
- A pink princess birthday card with sparkles – check!
- Balloons (any kind but lots of them!) – check!
- A rainbow birthday cake – check!
- Pink candles – check!
Ha! Easy! Easy!
“Oh and I would like my haircut please Mummy?”
“Anything else Lil?” I asked sarcastically. “Trip to Disneyland perhaps?”
“Good idea Mummy!”
The only time that Lily had ever had her haircut previously was when James cut her fringe during the first lockdown. Although I was quietly raging he had done this, he had actually made a good job (not that I would ever say!) and stopped our little girl looking like Cousin It out of the Addams Family! I was also feeling slightly anxious at the prospect of a trip to the hairdressers with Lily as I had no idea how she was going to react. I mean the first trip to the hairdressers with Jamie resulted in a melt down and screaming match that no amount of promises of ice cream or treats was going to resolve. Unfortunately, the hairdresser had already started shaving Jamie’s hair with the clippers so unless I wanted my son walk around looking like he’d had a fight with a lawnmower, we had to endure the cries until it was finished. Needless to say, we left it a couple of years before Jamie saw the inside of a hair salon again! So, I anxiously made an appointment.
“Mummy? What is all happening for my birthday?” Asks Lily.
“You’re going to get your haircut on Saturday morning, we’re going to Noonie’s house (this is Aunty Fionnuala but all the kids call her Noonie as they can’t say Fionnuala!) for a party to celebrate your cousin passing her exams, then on Sunday we’re going to the petting farm to see all the animals. Then in the afternoon, everyone’s coming for your tea party and then on Monday (Lily’s actual birthday) Mummy’s going to take you and Jamie swimming after playschool.”
I was exhausted just having to explain it all! What Lily doesn’t realise is all the other stuff that needs to be done in between all the above. The food shopping, collecting the birthday cake, oh yeah and James had his appointment for his Covid vaccination on Sunday afternoon before Lily’s party. Just because we weren’t busy enough!
And it was brilliant!
Needless to say that after a jam-packed weekend of fun, the kids (and us!) were pretty wrecked and just tried to get through a week of normality. The visit to the hairdresser was especially popular, with all the stylists so impressed with her composure and Lily wanting to know when she would be going back.
Except the following week was no normal week. It was Jamie’s final week of playschool. It wasn’t even a full week as his last day in the playschool was Wednesday and then the school had organised an end of term trip to the petting farm for their last day.
I was expecting the last day to be emotional but every day was hard going! Monday they landed home with a bag full of stuff they had done throughout the year, sports medals, certificates and a lovely folder full of pictures Jamie had done, reports from all his teachers, and progress updates. Tuesday, he came home with all his jackets, wellies, hats and clothes that had accumulated throughout the year. Wednesday was the day that it hit Jamie and he actually realised his time there was finished. I didn’t think it had bothered him until we got to bedtime.
“Mummy? Will I see Michelle and Mary and Wendy and Bernie again?” (His teachers) He asked.
“Yes, you will see them again tomorrow when we go to the farm.” I replied.
“But I won’t be going to play school anymore.” Jamie says while welling up.
“That’s right but you’re going up to big school soon and all your friends from playschool will be there as well.” I tried to say optimistically.
“I know.” Jamie says.
And after a wee cry, a drink of juice and a cuddle, Jamie went to bed.
I went downstairs and after a wee cry, a glass of wine and a cuddle from James who thought I’d finally lost it (men have hearts of stone frankly!) I sat and watched the film Bridesmaids which always makes me laugh.
The following morning and Jamie was so excited to be going up to the farm to see his playschool buddies. It was chucking it down with rain and to be honest, the thought of standing in a crowd of roaring kids screaming, “Watch me Mummy!” while they hurl themselves backwards off a 15ft slide in the pissing rain was filling me with dread!
But actually, it was class. Jamie had an absolute ball and just grinned from ear to ear until it was time to leave. We were totally drenched but didn’t care and it was the best way to end his last year in playschool.
So, here we are at the start of the summer holidays and what a crazy year it has been. It’s the end of the first chapter in Jamie’s life but we’re looking forward now to the next. Jamie is starting primary school and Lily is starting her playschool journey.
“When I go to school and Lily goes to playschool, what will you do Mummy?” Jamie asks.
(Sleep, have a shower that lasts longer than three minutes, gut the house from top to bottom? I was thinking.)
“I’ll be at home cleaning your clothes and tidying your room and making you nice food for when you come home.” I replied thinking on my feet!
“Oh okay mummy, coz I don’t have to go to school. I can stay here with you mummy.” Jamie says.