Crisis of conscience and the post summer blues

I have spent alot of time wanting my son to get older. To move past being a newborn, a baby, a toddler – to be the age he is now, really – that perfect moment in a child’s life where they are no longer a baby and have a degree of independence – but everything is still new and exciting and they want to share it with you. What I forgot to consider over the summer is that they move on from this. And if you push the agenda, it will go faster. And now as I see him changing before my eyes, I’m already lamenting the loss of my baby boy and feeling terrible because I think I am making it happen.

The Crystal Ball

The Crystal Ball (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was so sure I wanted my little boy at preschool this year. He’s a smart kid and a big kid and a September kid, and the school down the road has a September 15th cut off date, so I went right on ahead and put him in. He didn’t cry and he doesn’t look out of place amongst his class, who, it turns out, are mostly aged within six months of each other. But I wonder if I did the right thing by taking him out of nursery. That window where they are so cute and innocent and yummy will close before I know it and instead of putting the breaks on I fear I have sped up the process, making him move away from needing me more quickly than I truly intended. I miss him eating with me at lunch, I miss his little smile and I miss the coziness and security of nursery – and now he is in this big grown up school that I’m not sure I’m ready for anymore.

I feel like a terrible mother for making my just-turned-three year old dress up in a uniform and stay in someone else’s care from 8.30 until 1.30 every day. And yet, what was the alternative? Another year at nursery (which is only a half hour less, btw, and where they also wear a uniform) where he might feel less grown up, but quite probably get bored – and in a class that is one third as big again as the one he is in now, quite possibly be left to his own devices for more of the time? In these terms, he is better off where he is, in a class of 11 children and a wonderful classroom that has far more interesting things to explore than his nursery would be able to offer. So then I swing back and think that maybe it is all in my mind, that he will have a far richer experience where he is and I should just stop worrying. Maybe my judgement on this is clouded, and it is my experience I am missing after all the interaction I had with the nursery. Whatever it is, it’s bothering me. A lot.

I think having had a few weeks with just me and him on the road, there is also the Daddy Factor which is making me extra emotional. My boys have always worshipped each other, this much is certain, but since we got back to Dubai, my son has expressed clear favouritism towards Daddy and quite frankly, whilst I don’t blame him (there are times I like him far better than me too, and this past week may well be one of those times) it is very upsetting to think that all the hours I put in doing my best to be a good mother might be somewhat akin to pissing in the wind. Everyone assures me he doesn’t mean it, and whilst I remain unconvinced (he really has made it very clear) it has encouraged me to try harder at being a super dooper Mummy (I am nothing if not competitive). Dumping him off at school for 5 hours a day doesn’t really fit with that, making it doubly upsetting.

Oh, I don’t know, this is just a big ‘sigh’ of a post isn’t it? Maybe I just have to get back into the swing of things and I’ll be fine. After all, coming back here after nearly two months surrounded by everyone I know and love is a big adjustment for me too and I haven’t really had much time to get my head around that. I need to get to know the school and his teacher and be involved, and then I am sure I will be more comfortable with it all. I need to figure out fun things to do with my little boy when he gets home so that we can still play together and enjoy the time with each other. I need to start doing the ‘school mum’ thing and make some friends, and have some play dates, and figure life in Dubai out all over again. And I need to decide how to spend my own time while he is gone in a positive and productive manner so that I don’t wallow.

But mainly I need a crystal ball to tell me I’ve done the right thing.


Good Housekeeping is one of several periodical...

I’m not sure there is anything ‘good’ about my housekeeping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…whatever you want to call it, I’m aware I’ve taken a bit of a blog holiday of late. Something to do with have travelled 3 continents and back in 7 weeks, coming home to social cold turkey, no cleaner, still no school and husband travelling for work. All I seem to have done is housework and yet the place is still a tip and there are seventeen loads of washing to do even though I swear the laundry basked was empty before the weekend. However, this morning I’ve waved the little man off to his first day at pre-school (GULP) so normal service should be resumed shortly. Only not today because I really do have to clean the house. And fix the oven, which won’t light. And get a man in to sort out the front door, which is so swollen from all the heat and humidity I can barely get it open. And change the sheets. And buy a pot plant and an art apron, which were on the list of things to bring to school that I didn’t get chance to get. And still somehow find time to sit worrying about my little one all morning, wondering if he is doing ok in his new class and if the teacher was paying any attention at all to the fact that his snacks are in the front zip of his bag, NOT in his lunchbox. I’ve spent four weeks wishing for today and I just realised I didn’t mean today. Today is not about enjoyment or relaxation. I’m not sure I will relax until I pick up the boy and I know that he survived, that he is happy, and fed, and that I am not a terrible mother for leaving him in the chaos that is the first day of the school year. And in the meantime I have all that lovely housework to do. The bit where I go to the gym, have a manicure and then sit in a sun-filled cafe writing my novel (HA!) is a few weeks off, I fear. So, off to work I go. I wonder where the maid keeps the dusters…

Bat Cat

My son has been ill and off school for nearly a week now and while he’s definitely on the mend things are moving quickly from mere boredom to full-on hysteria. This morning, in between breakfast and being forced to take a toy dog for a walk around the living room, I finally managed to get 10 minutes of uninterrupted time on my computer and stumbled across this story  tweeted by the breakfast DJ on Dubai 92 FM. I opened up the link to be greeted by a rather sick/amusing (delete as the mood takes you) tale of a man who converted his dead cat into a helicopter. My son happened to pass by as I was reading the story and saw the picture. Instantly renaming the poor pussy ‘BatCat’ he insisted on looking at the photos and laughing hysterically whilst shrieking ‘BatCat’ at the top of his voice. Upon tweeting Catboy the DJ (there are a lot of cats in this story, sorry) to tell him, he then related the story of BatCat on air and dedicated their ‘Topical Tune of the Day’ to my delighted son, who is still amused and excited in equal doses about the stuffed dead cat that flew on the radio.

I am so proud.