Last week I lost another hour of Mommy-Daughter time to pre-school, as Sam has recently voiced out that she “wants to eat with friends“. When I pick her up after her 3-hour school day, we linger outside the classroom of the 2’s as she watches them and some of her 1’s classmates sit down and pull out their packed lunches. (she was put in the 1’s because of her cut-off birthdate, but the teachers allow the 1’s and the 2’s to play together every now and then. Plus, she reads all their names outside the classroom door so she knows who they are by heart.) Usually I take her home like most of the 1’s, get some food into her and then put her down for a nap.
But — the request came. Why would I say no, if so much good can come out of it? She’ll learn to eat more independently, and she may just eat a wider variety of foods (Her teachers tell me she eats anything they put in front of her, unlike how she is with me at home). She’ll get more time for socialization with friends, also signaling that she’s okay to be away from me for longer periods in a day. This will be beneficial to me too, as the extra hour allows me to get more things done. Plus when the baby arrives, it’s one hour less of adjustment time for all of us.
How providential was it that the week we decided to put her in for the extended lunch hour, Sam received an insulated lunch box as a gift. She absolutely adores her little owl. There are no complaints when you ask her to carry her lunchbox to the car and into the classroom. It’s actually quite cute.
Obviously, she was ready and took the initiative to say so. The irony of it all was that I wasn’t, and yet I couldn’t say no! The first day I had lunch alone at home, I missed her terribly. Even if I actually was able to sit down and eat without any interruptions, it just felt that there was something lacking and I’d misplaced my child somewhere. Talk about separation anxiety! I had this vision of a not-so-distant future when I’d just hear her running out the door, “bye Mom, not having lunch here!” and it closing behind her. Heck I used to do that, and now here it is, happening to me, slowly but surely. It’s nice, it’s exciting, but also bittersweet. Literally speaking, in the blink of an eye, things start to change right in front of you.
Ahh, the Little Owl that made me cry. Damn pregnancy hormones! 😉