Eli started kindergarten this week. In Western Australia 4 year old children are provided with the opportunity to attend kindergarten for five days a fortnight. Compulsory, full time schooling begins at age five with a year of preprimary, followed by year one. Eli hasn't attended school before, but with three older siblings he is very familiar (and very comfortable!) with school. Eli is very affectionate and loves to greet teachers with a loud "hello" and a squeezy hug. Almost everyone knows his name. Probably because he introduces himself.
During the week Eli attended two half day sessions, before starting full days of kindy next week. He has been excited about starting school from the moment we arrived home from our big holiday. I have been excited for him too, though part of me wants to squash him up and not let him grow any more. I love having him around. We are good friends.
In the days leading up to Eli starting school I felt a range of emotions. Eli is the youngest of my four children, so all of his 'firsts' will be the last for me. I was reminiscing on the array of cute behaviours that Eli has as a four year old. The mispronunciation of words such as 'mouthguard' instead of 'lifeguard'. 'Eye tacks' instead of 'contacts' (Jed wears contacts). 'Sea guile' instead of 'seagull' (they don't seem to have a lot of guile if you have a hot chip in your hands!), 'yat' instead of 'that' (we're working on the 'th' sound. It's the only time that I have encouraged any of my children to stick out their tongue) and 'baby feed thing' for 'nipple' (this came about when he was trying to tell me that one of his nipples was a bit sore from his rash top).
I particularly love his term of endearment for me. Each one of my children has called me Mamma. Each one has also then called me by my first name around the age of three and a half. Eli was no different. Except that he added an extra stage. He calls me sweetheart. And I love it. I don't even mind hearing him call out "Sweetheart, sweetheart. Can you wipe my bottom?".
|A bit of craft before going to kindy today. Because you never have too much practice at tearing off sticky tape.|
Eli has loved his introduction to kindergarten. And I have been fine. I haven't even started talking to myself. Yet.