Mole started preschool last month.
Two mornings a week of blissful quiet in the house, with only the sound of Hedgehog toddling around and the kettle boiling for tea to be heard.
Hedgehog and I have cuddles that last for hours, sometimes we snooze together on the sofa, we sit and read together, it is heaven. We’ve discovered one-on-one time that we never really had before. It feels so easy, being with one child, after being with two for so long.
Oh, and Mole loves the preschool too. No resistance to going and no tears when I leave. And she comes home in the best mood too, full of what she did and who she played with.
Right up until the moment she gets in the door and discovers what Hedgehog has been doing in her absence. Namely, having the run of the place and playing with all the forbidden toys that Mole has marked as ‘MINE’, which is most of them. Then it’s tears, screaming on the floor, and slamming of doors.
Hedgehog and I retreat to a safe distance and wait 5 minutes, until Mole has returned all her toys to their rightful place and arranged her room as she likes it. This is part of an on going pattern in which Mole says she is ‘just not ready to share my toys yet’.
I’m still not sure how to solve this problem. I’m hoping the preschool will solve some of it for me.
They are sharing a room together now, in a bunk bed, Hedgehog on the bottom, Mole on the top, so all their things are together. This is part of my plan to contain all the toys in one room, in a bid to stop them migrating all over the house. I suspect sharing a room doesn’t have much to do with it though. They fought before we moved too.
What we need is a back up plan for rainy days when we're stuck indoors and the toys become a battle ground.
Last week I found the answer. Playdoh.
I actually managed to make some that didn’t crumble or turn into a sticky mess. It had coffee extract and food colouring and everything. Mole sat in her apron and moulded the stuff for a full half hour, while Hedgehog danced to ‘Harriet’s Sing Along’ CD behind the sofa.
The presence of the plasterer may have had something to do with it. They go into ‘best behaviour mode’ when a stranger is around. But I’m excited. I’m testing it again on another home day.
So between the preschool and the playdoh, things are getting easier.
I guess this is the early beginnings of school life. Of dropping her off at the gates, finding her peg, hanging up her coat and Peppa Pig bag, and receiving the first of many works of art for the fridge.
We are all ready for it.