Sailing Into Big School

So, I guess the biggest thing that happened to me this week was my five-year-old daughter, Sailor, starting Kindergarten. Now, I’ve been kindly told to try and tell my stories in under a million words, so here goes …

Like thousands of parents across the country, I dropped my baby off to her first day of “big school” and tried to take at least one nice photo of her in school uniform to proudly show off to all my friends, most of whom were probably too busy doing the same thing!

Sailor was super duper excited, and wouldn’t let me get a clear shot of her. She insisted that I go home, and told me very matter of factly, “You will be ok, mum. You’ve got Scout to look after. You can go now.” Cue lump in throat.

I was asked by another num if I was doing ok, handing over my first-born to her new teachers. “Yes, fine thanks!” I said, while trying to casually inspect my shoulder for baby vomit. She gave me a friendly “you’ll be ok” look and that was that. I could feel myself about to lose it.

I headed back to the car, and once safely inside, I burst into tears like a crazy person. I madly searched through my handbag, hoping to find comfort in a chocolate bar. Damn. Nothing. I wiped my nose on my sleeve – kidding! It was actually one of Sailor’s sleeves, and started the car. All the while, baby Scout was “growling” at me like a lion from the backseat – her latest trick.

What happened to me? I was fine that morning. I was excited for her. Where did this crazy emotional-wreck appear from? I had to get home. I needed to debrief and hide away. I managed to pull myself together, turned up the radio and blasted Gangnam Style – Sailor’s favourite! Wail! I cried the entire trip home.

Once Scout was in bed, I headed out to hang the washing on the line. Staring off into the distance, I thought about the last five years and how much my little person had grown. Had this been a made-for-TV movie, Lionel Richie would have been the soundtrack. I thought about her silly mispronunciations. “Pockmorn”, “Happay Burstday”, and “Noonicorn”. At this point I realised I’d re-hung my dry washing back on the line and left all the wet ones in the basked. Major sigh! I thought something was wrong with me.

I spent the next two hours looking at photos of my little girl and laughing at all the memories! How on earth did we manage to grow her from such a teeny tiny little monkey? We were petrified about being parents. When it hit home that she was our responsibility, naturally, we panicked. My hubby and I had practiced with gold fish before deciding to have a baby and we had no luck whatsoever. How did we know we wouldn’t over-feed her and kill her with too much love like we had done with Stinky and Franky?

As I sat there on the floor looking at photos it dawned on me. I have actually done it! I have loved, nurtured and raised my baby for the past five years and now she is making the next move in the game of growing up. For all the doubts I had when I first became a parent, I really needed to give myself a big pat on the back and a big crazy hug. I should be proud!

Suddenly, I felt so connected to all the other people who had gone through the same crazy journey. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. I was so sad because I felt like I had lost my little girl, but my perspective was so wrong.

All of a sudden it was time to pick her up. Stupidly, I was an hour early. Classic Chezzi move. Never mind! It gave me a good chance to spend some nice one-on-one time with Scout in the playground while I waited for the other parents to start arriving. I talked and laughed and enjoyed the other parents’ company that afternoon. What a legendary bunch of people us parents are!

Finally, the school bell rang and I saw my little “big” girl run out, full of stories from her first day. I must admit, some days my mind is elsewhere when the kids tell me things about their day. Not this day, though. I listened and watched her little face and shared in every moment of her first day. And then I hugged her and kissed her and told her I was so proud of her and that I loved her. She wiped my kiss off her cheek and gave me a “gross” look and at that moment I realised, we were going to handle this school thing just fine!

Little Sailor at 15 months of age. So precious and so teeny tiny yet full of spirit!

Sailor at 4 weeks old.. on set at Australia’s Got Talent…. seems like only yesterday.

12 responses to “Sailing Into Big School”

  1. Maria says:

    Such precious memories. Sailor (I just have to say here, I ADORE her name!) looks so gorgeous in the pics. My daughter was the same on the first day of school – it was all, “Bye-bye mummy, you can go now” and not a backward glance whilst I walked off crying. Then a day or two later it sunk in for her that school was an ‘every day’ thing and then it took a few weeks of having to prise her off me, with her screaming and me crying and the teachers telling us both not to fuss. Now she is fifteen years old and it all seems like yesterday! (luckily she walks into school without a fuss now lol). How does Sailor like school? I hope she is loving it; she is such a bright, gorgeous wee spark of sunshine xx

    • Chezzi says:

      Thats pretty much what happened to me too. Sailor was all happy for the first few days and then it sunk in that this was her new home five days a week and she had a little panic! It’s a big transition for them. She’s a fortnight in now and is much better. It’s tiring for them though, so I’m trying to limit the extra activities after school but that’s tough.
      Wow, your baby is 15 now! That seems like such a long way off for me but then again so did 5 years of age! It really does go too fast!
      Thanks for your comments Maria! Love hearing from you.

  2. Donna-Rae Walsh says:

    Awww what precious memories you are going to have love ❤️ her name she is just soo adorable 😍 This will be me one day when my daughter starts school and i will be the same boiling my eyes out😭 Xx

    • Chezzi says:

      Good luck! It really does hit you like nothing I’ve really experienced before.. Just like most of “parenting” its an emotional roller coaster of joy and love and sheer terror and sadness… xoxox

  3. Daniella Lukanovic says:

    This is such a great post as I felt like I could relate. My 9 month old son is starting childcare on Monday as I have to go back to work and I broke down in tears when I was speaking with the staff at the centre. I felt so silly but it’s good to know there are other parents out there who feel the same way. It’s hard when your child grows up so fast but it’s so lovely to see them develop their personalities and explore the world around them.
    Thanks for such a great post Chezzi. You handled it all so well. Sailor looks so cute in her school uniform! 😊

    • Chezzi says:

      Oh Daniella I recall the first day Sailor started daycare. It was devastating as she didn’t want to go and cried and I felt like the worst parent in the world! I feel you.. It’s so hard being a parent. We really have so much guilt don’t we.. We’re so hard on ourselves thinking we should do something differently or thinking we haven’t done enough for our little people that we love so much! Thanks for sharing your experience and I’m really glad I was able to share mine with you!
      Much love xoxoxo

  4. Oh I love those moments where you suddenly feel connected to all the other parents out there. It’s why I love blogging because it’s almost always part of a shared experience with the rest of the motherhood.

    Loving the blog by the way! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do xxx

    • Chezzi says:

      Oh Lauren thank you for your beautiful comments! I agree with you about blogging! It really is nice to hear when others go through the same trials and fun stuff us mothers go through! Being a Mum can be lonely at times and I’ve really started to enjoy putting my feelings down on paper at times. Thanks for your support! I’m a huge fan of your work too by the way! love loads xoxo

  5. L. says:

    This is pretty much the exact thing that happened to me! My kiddies have each gone off to Kindergarten happy (three down, one to go), and I’m the one thinking “But don’t you want me to stay for a bit? One more hug? A kiss?” and I’m the one wiping away tears with the song “All by myself” echoing in my imagination (despite the fact that I still had/have assorted other little tots hanging on to me). It’s a Big Thing to hand our babies over to others, and School is a Big Step! It’s good that they are happy and settle in so well (I’m REALLY going to cry when my youngest goes!). And you think you will have more time when they go to school – But you Don’t! Between drop off and pick up, and between homework and lunchboxes and getting play time in and trying to get them to bed early… let alone everything else… time flies! I love your daughter’s special words! We have “oboes” for elbows, “hostifuls” for hospitals, “gilaughs” for giraffes and “rainbrellas” for umbrellas. Dear little muchkins, but growing up fast! All the best on your school adventures!

    • Chezzi says:

      hahahaha I just laughed out loud reading about your experience L. I love you could hear “All by myself” ringing in your head as you waved your little one off.. That’s exactly how I felt.. Time with our littllies is just so precious.. I’ve been guilty of whinging about having to play dress ups again or having to clean up a trillion pencils spread over the floor.. but then they start school and you realise that teeny tiny short time you had together is gone.. I’ll be an absolute mess when Scout starts school! I hear ya! xoxoxo

  6. leanne ryan says:

    my baby is now 11years old in year 6, I cried all day on her first day of school, held it in until I got to the car then bawled all day, worying is she going to be ok, eat her lunch, make it to the loo. now high school next year I will probably bawl my eyes out again, worry like heck.

    • Chezzi says:

      Hi Leanne,
      Oh noooooo I kinda forgot we have to do it all again when they start high school.. Of course! And that’s even scarier.. for us Mums anyway..
      Good luck with that!!!! I’m sure she’s excited and will thrive next year! Kids always seem to.. It’s just us Mums hahaha xoxox

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