All change please, all change

This is it.

Lily's last 'proper' week as a pre-schooler.

She'll attend her last pre-school session, her last Mum and Toddler's morning, her last proper 'coffee break' and her last Bounce and Rhyme at the library.

We'll have our summer break and then it's time for the next bunch of 'firsts'.

Her first day at school.

First school events.

First school friends.

My emotions haven't quite settled yet so I'm not decided on whether I'm sad, excited, relieved or glad - I probably won't decide at all and be a mixture of all four (and more) for the next six months...

It's hard not to be emotional when you look at your child and realise just how much they have grown and changed. I've taken a step back and looked at the whole Lily - the bits it's easy to overlook and take for granted as I plod on through each day.

She isn't exactly the same Lily as a year ago. She has different tastes, an increased fussiness when it comes to clothes and lots more attitude (help me). She's as kind and sweet as she has always been but her funny, crazy side has grown to match and I often struggle to keep up with her constant energy!

We love reading books in the evenings and sometimes joining in with Junior Park Run on a Sunday morning. Lily has picked up her Dad's love of the beautiful game and is already counting down to her first match at Selhurst Park next month, loves wearing her footy kit and always wants to play football.

She is fiercely protective of Ollie - even when he annoys her I find myself amazed by her patience. And of course, even if she gets angry and loses her temper with him, no one else is ever allowed to do the same. If he even whimpers she yells out his name and races to get to him, often beating me to it! If another child takes his toy she runs to me shouting that 'Ollie had it first' - sometimes I suspect that she is just taking his side, a show of sibling solidarity in a busy toddler group. He get's dragged into all her games - cafes, shops, babies and dressing up - just last week she announced that he was a 'Duke' and that I was invited to their wedding (okey dokey then...)

And not just Lily, but the routine and dynamic we have at home is already changing. I am looking forward to spending quality time with Ollie but I know he is going to miss having his partner in crime around for most of the day. We may not have an epic school run to dread but the timings will control what we do and when, giving us a slightly new structure - one we must keep to.

I am definitely going to miss her. She's been my companion for most days since she was born and hardly a moment goes by when I'm not thinking of her in some way. I know this won't change but I will miss having her with me to chat when we catch the bus, the funny things she says when we go out for a walk and the way she plays with her Ollie and her friends.

It was hard in January, becoming a full time stay at home Mum but I am incredibly grateful to have had more time to spend with Lily. To watch her and know myself that she is ready for the challenge of school. I can't keep up with her appetite for learning, for wanting to read and write, for constant play and activity - she needs the opportunity, the environment to suck up even more information and make more friends. Right now, she's the big fish in the ponds we visit but soon she'll be little again and I think she needs that.

If anything, she is more ready than I am for the changes ahead. I may be a mess of emotions and anxiety but she seems to be taking it all in her stride. I'm watching out for wobbles, ready to soothe her fears and boost her enthusiasm but it doesn't seem like she needs it just yet. She just sees the next big adventure and can't wait to get started!

3 Little Buttons

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