Friday, March 7, 2008

Kindy Mum

We're now into the second month of kindy, and this is the second full cycle of the five day fortnight. It's a good moment to stop and reflect on all that's gone on since then. Today we had a morning tea for the kindy Mums as a sort of meet and greet, get to know you sort of thing, so it provides a bit of a benchmark about how far I've come in the last month and a bit!

The worry I carried around about beginning Kindy was epic. The crazy bit was the anxieties I had about Dylan were nothing compared to the anxieties that I carried about my ability to move into this next phase of our lives. I worried that Dylan wouldn't be able to sit still and eat morning tea and lunch with the others kids, that he'd do poo and freak because I wasn't there to wipe his bum, that he wouldn't cope being in a group of 21 other kids, that he wouldn't be able to be still and quiet during rest time seeings he'd given up daytime sleeps years ago and that as one of the second youngest in the class that he was too young to be going. A few days at kindy soon crushed those worries into dust. It amazes me how malleable and adaptable kids are, and in comparison how difficult we adults can find change.

The changes for me were numerous and I was literally terrified of stepping out of the very comfortable, safe and known life I'd created for Dylan and I during the week. I had lots of lovely, warm, empathetic close friends and the thought of going back into a very mainstream group of families really worried me. What would they think of me? And the things that we do as a family?

I am really a shy person, though those who know me will lift and eyebrow and challenge me on that account. I find it hard to be in groups of people that I dont know, especially so if there is no alcohol involved - and let's face it, kindy at 9am with a glass of sav blanc in hand isn't a good look!! My social skills in regards to just striking up conversation are appalling and have probably become more atrophied since Dylan's been born.

Over the past few weeks though - you see the same faces, you smile say hi. You start to know the kids names that your kid plays with - and you start to seek out the Mums or Dads who belong to that child.

A few weeks ago we had a brunch and there were lots and lots of people there. It was one of those environments where I knew it would be far too easy for Dave and I to go and find a cosy corner for ourselves and Dylan, and not have to strike up conversation with anyone else for the whole time we were there. But this time I went 'no' - and I took my plate of finger food and went and stood with a small group of parents - one of the Mum's I recognised as belonging to the same group of kids as Dylan. Small talk ensued and later a longer conversation.

When the topic of the morning tea came up between this Mum and I came up (she's only been here in Australia with her family for the past year) she asked if I was going. I said yes and she said she'd go then - it would mean that we'd have someone to talk to. And I thought it was funny how you tend to group together like social refugees adrift on the same boat together - and how its OK because you're all together on the same boat!

All the fears I had about being a Kindy Mum seem to be dissolving and I'm very grateful and excited to belong to a new group of women and Mums. As always it seems, all those terrible expectations never saw the light of day. It also reminds me that you reap what you sew ... all those small baby steps that I have been taking, and the courage that I've mustered to do connect and befriend new people is paying off. I have to admit - that I think I like being a Kindy Mum.

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