Maia Proves Mum Wrong
Remember Maia from a year ago? Mum, Malia tells us about how it felt letting her go on the first day of kindy!...
"Well this year Maia started 4 year old kindy. She attends 15 hours a week and has funding for an aide for 10 of those hours. I was excited for her and myself.
I thought she would enjoy spending time with other children and participating in all those messy play activities daddy had banned from the house, such as: painting, playdough, sand and textas. I would also be child free for a few hours, for the first time in 11 years!
I packed Maia’s backpack with changes of clothes, nappies, wipes, lunch and a drink bottle. She excitedly let me help her put it on, but she immediately fell backwards and let out a cry. My excitement turned to worry. I thought about the extra things Maia needed in her backpack that other children didn’t need.
I worried that Maia needed more help than other children. She wasn’t even strong enough to carry her own backpack! I worried that now that she would be with children her own age that she would look out of place because she was so small.
I started to feel anxious that she wouldn’t be able to communicate her needs because she doesn’t really talk. I worried she wouldn’t wear a hat when playing outside, because she hates hats. I worried she wouldn’t eat anything and would just throw her food. I worried that she needed help using the toilet and changing herself.
I wasn’t expecting to feel anxious after dropping her off. But I quickly realised that even though Maia had spent time away from us, this was the first time I had ever left her in the care of complete strangers and unfamiliar faces. Even more surprising was that I felt lonely and wasn’t really enjoying that ‘me’ time I had longed for. I missed Maia too much.
When it was time for pick up, I watched Maia sitting on the mat looking like all the other kids. I saw her little anxious face looking around for me as children were being excused one by one to go to their mum or dad. When she saw me she didn’t wait to be excused (we are still working on that) and she ran up to me with a huge grin on her face and gave me a big, long hug and kept squeezing me. I guess she missed me too.
The next day when we arrived at kindy Maia found her cubby hole for her backpack and pointed to her name and picture label. She unzipped her backpack and said ‘hat’ and put it on her head and waved goodbye.
Now that Maia is in a mainstream kindy setting, it will be harder for me to not compare her to typical children her age. But I need to be patient and celebrate her successes. I still worry and wonder what she is doing at kindy, but I’m starting to enjoy my ‘me’ time a bit more. "