The moment has finally arrived.
My 4-year-old girl started her first day of preschool this week! I am so excited for her!
I know that preschool is just preschool. And she’s not leaving for college or anything. I’ve sent two other boys, now eight and ten, through these rungs … I can do this!
But there is some genuine sadness in me. How did four years go by, just like that?? My daughter may still be tiny and innocent, but a baby she is NOT (she’s not so fond of being called one either!)
And I regret to say this, but her babyhood and toddlerhood years were a big blur to me.
One big blur.
When it was just the boys and me, we went to the zoo, strawberry picking, tractor riding … had playdates every week. Without doubt, my sons had my energy, my enthusiasm, my undivided attention. But my daughter? Unfortunately, she has only known a fatigued mommy, one whose attention is often divided and distracted, weary.
Truth be told, I feel guilty. I feel sad that she has gotten the short end of the stick.
Because what exciting event did I have planned for her the day before her first day of preschool? I took a deep breath and said, “C’mon. Hop in the car. We need a new lamp.”
She did not question me, though. She happily climbed into her booster seat, and off we went to Ikea on a mission.
I was in there to get a lamp. But she was in there to have a good time, apparently.
Before we could even get near the lamps, she steered me over to the kid’s section where she discovered a cash register.
She quickly abandoned that when she saw a bin of colorful aprons near a play kitchen. She begged me to tie an apron on, and she immediately said, “Let’s wash dishes!”
Then before we knew it, we found ourselves in front of the stuffed animal bins, some of them looking a bit freakish in my humble opinion.
But this is where my daughter found THE frog. “I’m gonna kiss it!” she announced emphatically.
Because you know what happens when a princess kisses a frog …
Who then turns into Humpty Dumpty.
She was besides herself.
So I did what any sensible mommy would do to calm down a child bordering on delirium … I took her to the places where they sell fragile vases and glass bowls.
And she wanted to stop and smell the flowers, of course … or in this case, the off gassing plastic (hope it’s BPA free).
And to finish off this very “full” afternoon, she had a plate of Swedish meatballs, which is an Ikea must-have.
I really just wanted a lamp. But she wanted to be a kid.
And how true this is.
I unexpectedly learned that this is EXACTLY how to send your child off to preschool … celebrate their wide-eyed wonder for the smallest, silliest things. Because this wide-eyed wonder won’t always be. And thankfully, it doesn’t have to be about Pinterest-perfect, fancy excursions or require loads of non-existent energy. Just being together is all that matters.
Oh no. Where’s the lamp?
I love you my rascal girl. Now you go get ’em!!