Lylah – first day – 24/02/2015

“Separates from mum and dad well…explores different activities and resources in the pre-school independently”

Lylah’s first day at pre-school, just under 2 1/2 years ago.  I remember it so well, and couldn’t believe how grow up my baby had become.  I was worried about her, and wondered how she’d cope on this brand new adventure, but I was also excited about the next few years and eager to see how she’d develop during this next stage of her life.

I recall feeling nervous as Chris and I dropped her off, and then feeling relieved when she’d had a great time!  A few weeks in, and she began to feel more wobbly.  This soon passed though, and pre-school became a second home to her.  She is so comfortable there and her pre-school life crossed over easily into her home life, like an extended family.

She really flourished during her time there, but as a parent, you only get a small insight into their sessions.  How I’d love to be a fly on the wall and hear all of the conversations first hand.  For the last few years however, all I’ve had is the feedback from her key worker and the odd snippet from Lylah on the car journey home.  Then yesterday, I took the time to read her full folder after it was given to me on her last day.  A thorough record of Lylah’s activities, abilities and conversations from the past couple of years.

Reading through the folder, I literally saw my little girl grow before my eyes.  In pictures and words, I can see Lylah go from the shy 2 year old little girl who could just about manage a basic conversation, to a confident bubbly 4 year old who can hold her own in most adult chats.  It’s amazing how you forget how your child was, just 2 years ago, so to have this record is amazing.

Not long after Lylah started pre-school, Malachy was born.  On the 5th May 2015 she said “Got new Baby, it called Malachy, it tiny”.  How adorable?  So innocent and wonderful, little did she know just how much of an impact that “tiny Malachy” would have on her little life.  What is really evident throughout the entire pre-school account is her mentioning us, her family, during conversations with her keyworker, and it’s amazing to know she’s always thinking of us, even when she’s not with us.

There were some real crackers in there.  Throughout the process of me reading out the captions, and Chris and I muttering “Awwww” and “Ahhhhh”, there were also quite a few LOLS.

It’s the simplest things that got me…”Alison, I’ve got hiccups…Oh dear”

And the things I never hear her say at home “Hey presto!  That’s the biggest sand castle ever!”

Hearing how Chris has forced Liverpool FC on our children “I want red.  Daddy likes red for Liverpool.”

Hearing her recollection of our family holiday to Cornwall:  “We went in a caravan.  I had my own bed, it was really snuggly.  We went to the beach”  I mean, it’s the simple things.

And the beauty in hearing how imaginative she is “Suggests blue play dough could be Elsa’s cape, then a mermaid’s tail, then finally decided to put it on a doll’s head – Look it’s a hat!”

And just how wonderfully funny our little princess is “Helps other’s to dress up.  Joins others in fast space where music is being played and says Look, let’s get this party started, come on everybody!”  That’s my girl!

Her last day at pre-school was filled with mixed emotions.  Reading the last entry from her key worker into her record book brought a lump to my throat and I couldn’t read it.  When Chris read it out to me, tears stung my eyes and I could’ve burst with pride at the complimentary words written about our little girl.

The presentation should have been wonderful, but as I have a 2 year old boy who won’t sit still and thinks its okay to shout “SHUSSSHHHH” through the pre-schoolers final rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle” (fellow parents, I am SO sorry), it was a little more fraught than I would have liked.  But that’s life.  He’s part of our family and he was there to see his big sis end this phase of her life and start the next one.  It’s not the end of pre-school for us, Malachy will be back there in September, and I still have that to look forward to, but it was the first of many lasts that I know I will experience as a parent.  That’s something parents have to get used to.  They aren’t little forever, and their early years are filled with milestones that come and go.  Cry tears of joy though, and be proud of them.  Support them in their next stage and cheer them on to success.  And just like Lylah has, they’ll make you proud.