Today was Liam’s first day of pre-school. We snagged the last open morning of the week, and although new semester starts in February, we could start him immediately.

It was NOT all sunshine and roses.

We’d talked it up to Liam over the last 2 days, telling him that Kids Club was like the playcenter (which he loves) except with teachers. He was apprehensive. ‘I won’t talk to the teachers’ he said. We didn’t give him a head’s up that mummy couldn’t stay with him.

It was all good when we arrived, and off he wandered to play with the toys. All good until mummy came in to say goodbye, he looked confused, and said ‘Mummy, please don’t go’ and my heart fell out of my chest.

I sat in the waiting room after that, out of sight, and had to bear hearing him scream and cry for at least an hour (which felt like 3), until he was relatively calm again. The assistants came out and gave me periodic progress reports: “He’s crying, but with no tears”, “He’s calmed down, but isn’t playing, but you can see that he’s interested in the activities and paying attention”, “He’s drawing quietly at the table”… and my favourite, “He likes the snackroom, he’s pouring drinks for the other kids”.

At 12 o’clock, he ran into my arms all crying and choked up. But when he calmed down, I asked how he liked Kids Club, and he said he was super tired and wanted to sleep, but it was fun, and he wanted to come back. (We’ll see how he feels next Thursday morning)

Afterwards, he had a good run around, laugh and play in the garden with a little classmate named Matthieu, and I’m hoping that memory will be good enough to encourage him for next week.

The club says it usually takes about 5 or 6 weeks for the kids to get used to the new routine, and stop crying. Less time if the come more often, obviously, but that’s just not an option for us.

But for now, I have to go and cuddle him while he falls asleep for his nap, because he seems to be a bit anxious that I’ll go again.

Well done Liam. Very proud of you. Such a big boy.