Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The one where she starts school

I debated whether to post about her first day at school or not and then thought that if I don't mark this occasion, it would look odd and that however ambivalent my thoughts are, they really should go right here.

On the surface, things went really well. The nursery staff kept going on about how ready she is for school, how she'll do amazingly. Of course this is nice and reassuring. It doesn't change the fact though that starting school at 5 (Snowflake will be even younger) is an uncomfortable territory for me.

Yes, she was bored with nursery. The last couple of months were a struggle to motivate her to go at all, and the same applied to the forest kindergarten. She was keen to start school, for the sake of something new and different. A new challenge for sure.

However, I know my child. Some call her lively, other boisterous, my dad calls her a Powerkind, I quite like Firecracker myself. She is ever full of energy. This wonderful girl of mine does not ever feel tired. She just feels even more energetic and keeps going until she collapses. She will go from one thing to the next, life's too short to stay in one place for too long. She always runs, often climbs and jumps, balances 8 feet up in the air and makes my heart miss many beats when I know she is going higher and higher while having reached her extra speed mode (when other children would be tired) and I know an accident is immanent. She babbles incessantly, often in a made up language and always at full volume. She will knock on anyone's door and want to come in, search your every drawer and nook. She has no understanding that you may not want to spend time with her, or that other people's houses are their, not her, castles. Her first question in the morning is "where are we going today?" and her last question at night is "Where are we going tomorrow?". Just being at home is not an option, she lives life in the fast lane. She demands full attention and will not take being ignored for an answer but keep asking for a response until she gets it. She does all of this with an infectious smile and a determination which is rather something.

I can't see this child sat at a desk for most of the day. Sorry, I really can't. They say the teachers will work with her, keep her busy. But how can teachers give individual attention to 30 in a class? Above all, will she enjoy school?

We've kept it positive of course and made it special without pressure. She went with a gleam, she is so proud to be a school girl and to wear a uniform. She is confident in her reservedness in groups and declared she would not speak in front of the class on her first day, but maybe on her second or third, instead she'd watch and observe. I love her confident shyness, her awareness and ease. She will find friends even though she demands her friends to be best friends with her and only her, she doesn't want to be second best and can be oh so hurt if her best friend, her self declared twin, plays more with another child than her.

When she came home she was full of stories. Yet she also remarked how she never got time to play properly. I didn't bring it over me to say that there won't be much play at school. That this is it. "Am I going again tomorrow?" yes. You'll be going every day of the week. For 12 long years.

I have no idea how long the enthusiasm will last. I hope for the best. And wouldn't be all too surprised if it waned by the time she'll go full days. But today I'm both proud and sad that she refused to hold my hand as she walked to school, and she asked me to leave as soon as she'd found her seat. Proud that I know that she'll take on the world in her stride and sad that I've lost a part of her to the world.


sustainablemum said...

A big day for you both. You put it into words beautifully.

Melissa said...

I may have just got tears in my eyes reading this. Your girl is a lot like mine, and a year older, so we are not far behind.

Frambooske said...

I'll be honest, I'm not looking forward to this day... I'm not convinced either by what I've seen on the inside of UK schools. Having said that most teachers have a heart of gold, do take time to get to know the children and I hope for your girl she has teachers that inspire and capture her interest. x

kat @ slugs said...

ugh ugh ugh. I am soo dreading next week when E starts. :(

Tallulah@Bilingual Babes said...

My son is also a firecracker (great term!). He is about to start his third year at his nursery/school and while he has now settled in and got used to all the rules (no jumping on the stairs! no running in the hall!) he is still finding it hard to channel all that energy. I think next year at 'big' school will be better, as they have a much bigger space for the kids to play. It helps if he 'gets his beans out' before settling down to work. We try to do a lot of exercise & sport for now, that seems to help :-)

The Lass said...

I have another one of those (Scottish/German) firecrackers here. She's four years old and frequently tells me she wants to go to school NOW and why isn't it TOMORROW? We're based in Berlin, so it'll be 2014 before it happens for her, but the prospect fills me with not a little dread even now. :/



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