So today was Millie’s first day at Primary School and we were both up with the larks with excitement. I met Millie in the bathroom as I often do on exciting days, when I’m up from not being able to sleep and she hears me and comes running for a cheeky hug.
And it was lovely to have a little Mummy and daughter time to get all giggly and excited together, and as I plaited her hair ready for her first day at school we talked about all of the things she was looking forward to, what she’d like for dinner when she gets home and how quickly the summer holidays had passed.
Getting Millie dressed in her school uniform was like dressing a doll, my baby girl suddenly in uniform, it melted my heart and seemed so unreal to see her looking so grown up, professional, final. Gone are the days when we can play all day and have DVD mornings on the sofa when we’re sleepy; now it’s the real world, six and a half hours a day for the next thirteen years and what a shock it is.
Walking Millie down to school she proudly carried her P.E kit, book bag and lunch box and looked loaded up like a poor little donkey but refused to let go of any of it when I asked if I could carry something for her. She was beaming from ear to ear as she squeaked down the path in her shiny new school shoes past the school gates and into her new classroom. And it was lovely to see her recognise her friends from a year ago and those she had last seen at the start of the summer.
When it was time to say goodbye I gave Millie a kiss and a cuddle and stood next to her as a shadow, reassuring her with “Are you sure you’ll be ok? If you need anything please ask your teacher. Have you found your friends from preschool? Do I really have to go now?” And Millie smiled cheerful and said in a tone far wiser than her years “I’ll see you at home time Mummy, have a nice day.” And as I walked out I watched her and pined through the window like a lost puppy dog making sure she really was ok, and she didn’t even look back! Walking away I felt like I’d lost my right arm and being around the house without her it felt so empty and quiet and horrible. I pottered around doing housework and counting down the minutes until she would be home.
Why is it when I’m stressed out the washing machine overflows, the phone rings non stop, dirty dishes hide the entire kitchen work surface and time flies faster than concord; but as soon as Millie starts school I can’t find a single thing to do around the house, everything is in order and suddenly there’s ninety-six hours in a day. If only I could sell this experience of time control we’d be millionaires Rodders!
Eventually it came round to three fifteen and I ran to the school gates like an expectant meerkat, poking my head through the window and waiting eagerly to catch a glimpse of our big girl. And as soon as she came walking out of the door it felt just like greeting a returning loved one at the arrivals lounge of the airport after they’ve been away for some time. I felt as though I hadn’t seen her for so long and the more excited I got the more she played it down “Hi Mum, yes I had a nice day, shall we go home now?” You could be forgiven for thinking she was the parent and I was the child. Day one down, only another four-thousand seven-hundred and forty-five more school days to go!
Later on I popped down to the gym for my forth day in a row working out, and I decided after the commotion of the day I should push myself that little bit further and lift a little bit more and run a little bit longer and it was such a great release, it took all of my stress, tension and tiredness away and filled me with absolute energy as if I’d just woken up. I can see how people can easily become addicted to the gym and I wish I’d discovered the well-being it brings years ago. And when I got home like an energetic duracell bunny I mowed the garden, folded the washing, cooked the dinner, did the dishes and took out the bins. Before I would have been rushing from pillar to post like a pinball unable to finish anything and now I feel so calm and controlled and able to deal with anything; the wonders of de-stressing!
Gabriele is now eating two solid meals a day and is still showing a preference toward baby rice as opposed to baby porridge. He’s a giggly little bundle of dimples and squish and he wouldn’t need to wash for fifty years for the amount of kisses I give him each day. I love his cuddles, I love his smile and I love him and Millie to the moon and back and then some. Life could not be any more sweeter than it is right now.