If there's one thing I've learned since becoming a parent, it's that kids often take you by surprise.
They're by far the most consistent of little beings, but sometimes they can just shock you to the point you're not sure how they quite achieved it.
The 9th of January saw Princess start her first day at nursery. Her first session was only an hour long and both Ross and I accompanied her. As we presumed, she took to the class like a dream, not one whinge, complaint or tear came from her tiny little face. Although she did cry when we had to leave.
Ross took her for her second session, an hour without either of us there. I was at work that day and I panicked. I was sat in work worrying about how our little girl was getting on. Was she okay? Had she found someone to play with? The thought of her sat by herself nearly set me off in tears. I needn't have worried though. A quick phone call from Ross and I found that she had played lovely with the other children and that she was looking forward to going back.
The week after was the real test. A full week of nursery sessions without either of us.. one of them a full day. Her afternoon sessions were much like the first. She wandered off to play as soon as she arrived, didn't complain for the whole afternoon and was happy when her Dad picked her up.
On Thursday came her first full day session. Ross and I were both worried. We were sure she would be fine, I mean she'd been fine for all of her other days.. but this was a full day. 9am-3.15pm. She would spend all morning there, have her lunch and all afternoon.
I was off work that day so actually managed to take her myself - the first proper session I could take her to. We got up early, got ready and walked to nursery. We chatted along the way. She was telling me all about her teachers, what they were like and what she hoped they would do that day.
Ross and I spent all day waiting for a phone call that never came.
By the time it came to pick her up, we were both full of anticipation. She was sat by the door in her coat, ready with her school bag and lunchbox and when her name was called to leave, she was so excited to see us!
I tell you, I could not have felt more proud of her at that moment.
She has continued to go to nursery for 4 afternoons and 1 full day a week. She is thriving beyond belief and couldn't be enjoying herself more.
She has made friends. She has learned nursery rhymes. She has eaten food she has always refused at home.
She needed this.
She needed this extra stimulus that her Dad and I couldn't give at home. She needed the socialization of other children. She needed another form of authority that could get her to do things she wouldn't usually do.
Even though I sort of knew this, I had always feared it wouldn't be the case. I had been worried she would be upset by us leaving her there and I was worried she would be by herself. I don't know why I was worried really.. I think I was probably more worried for myself. In my heart I knew she would be okay. I knew she wouldn't cry for us when we left and I knew she would have no problem making friends. But the fear that any of that might not have happened filled me with dread.
In a way, it didn't come as any sort of surprise.. but I am still shocked at how well she has accepted this huge change in her life. She has taken to school like a duck to water and I couldn't be more proud of her.
It saddens me that this is basically our life now for the next 15 years.. the "school run". I hope that for the next 15 years she continues to be excited by her upcoming days at school. I hope that she will still enjoy telling me all about her day.
It amazes me that after 3 years, I am still learning new things about my little girl every day. She is funny, beautiful and so, so kind. God knows where she gets it from!
I hope that her nursery visits continue in this way. I can imagine they will. I think the biggest change has come for myself and Ross. When she's not around, we just don't know what to do with ourselves. We don't spend much time away from her, and when we do, we feel lost.
It seems she has taken to the change a lot better than we have.