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Molly’s first day of preschool

Posted on: January 11, 2012

Today, Molly started preschool! She was so excited to go, and I knew that she would have a blast. She was so ready.

In the morning, as we ate breakfast, Tiernan decided to share his wisdom in the ways of preschool. He told Molly more about what goes on there in 10 minutes, than I have been able to get out of him in the entire year he’s been going! He was very informative and encouraging: “Molly, when the teacher says to come and sit on the floor, well, that means we have to go and sit on the floor!”

Molly drank it in. “Okay!” she replied, eagerly awaiting the next piece of advice.

“Molly, when the teacher says it’s time to go to the toilet and wash our hands, well, that means we have to go to the toilet and wash our hands!”

And so on.

Eventually, having exhausted routines to explain to Molly, he put his arm around her and said, “Molly, when the kids are mean to you – sometimes they are – well, I will be right next to you and I will tell them to stop.”

“Will you give me a cuddle?” asked Molly.

“Yes. And I will give you one now.” He replied, with a big hug. Aww. I nearly died of cute. In that moment, I was so proud of him. He really does love his sister, and was so, so, so excited that she would be coming to preschool with him.

Actually, as I have mentioned before, the arrangement is a little complicated. Tiernan attends preschool on Wednesdays, but Molly will be alternating between Wednesdays and Fridays from week to week. It’s not ideal, but there are some advantages. They will get to do preschool together sometimes, and apart sometimes. I think having Molly there will really encourage Tiernan to come out of his shell a little. At home, and in any other situation (playgroup, at the park, in the supermarket, etc.), he is well and truly OUT of his shell… but for some reason, preschool is different. He is shy with the other kids, until he warms up, and he is often reluctant to go at all. Molly, on the other hand, is pretty confident no matter where she is. So really, I’m hoping he might learn a little from her, and not the other way around. Molly truly is an independent little thing, and I’m worried that Tiernan might smother her a little (there was evidence of it today… which I’ll get to in a bit). So I think having a day there on her own every second week will also be good for her. She will get to make her own friends and make her own ‘place’ there without Tiernan looking on all the time.

So, as I was saying, Tiernan was being ever-so-cute and loving towards Molly, offering to protect her and look after her. He asked her to sit next to him at the table when they ate lunch (cute!). He asked her to play with him all day (so sweet!). Then he picked her up and started carrying her around the house, and I suddenly realised things had gone too far.

“Um, Tiernan,” I had to say, “Just remember that Molly isn’t a baby, and she can speak for herself and play by herself and do lots of things by herself, can’t you Molly?”

“Yes Mummy!” She enthusiastically agreed.

I asked Tiernan to tone down the helpful, protective big brother thing just a notch. He agreed, and off we went. They had a fabulous day. Molly didn’t want to leave when I arrived to pick them up in the afternoon. The teachers were delighted with her, and marveled at her confidence and independence – they had expected her to be a bit more like Tiernan, I suppose. Tiernan’s group teacher (whom I adore, and really respect as a teacher), saw immediately what was going on with Tiernan being in ‘big brother’ mode, and made sure he wasn’t overdoing it throughout the day. She was very impressed when, at news time, Molly told Tiernan to be quiet because it was her turn to talk – he kept ‘helpfully’ adding extra bits of information to her story about going to the beach, and it was annoying her, so she told him to stop!

In the end, Molly and Tiernan spent a lot of the day playing together, but also some time playing apart. Apparently, Tiernan kept trying to get Molly to play with him, but she kept wandering off to do her own thing. Eventually, Tiernan’s teacher reminded Tiernan that he had his own friends at preschool, and that by playing with them, he would be showing Molly how to make friends and play. This did the trick – he went back to his own friends and just ‘kept an eye’ on Molly from time to time. I’m really happy that they’re in a preschool where the teachers really do understand them. I think they’re going to have a great year!

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