Yesterday, on the day when hundreds of thousands of teenagers found out their A-level results, Toby received two certificates: one for participating in sports day and the other to mark his departure from preschool. In less than four weeks’ time. he’ll be going to ‘big boy school’.
It’s a big step for a 4½-year-old who cannot remember a time when he went anywhere other than the nursery/preschool he has been going to with first his older brother Isaac and more recently his little sister Kara. He has moved from room to room with his little gang of mates, who will now be going their separate ways. (Aside from regular play-dates. And birthday parties. And being reunited at the holiday club attached to the preschool they have just graduated from.)
When Isaac made the same step two years ago, he couldn’t get to school quickly enough. With Toby, who welcomes change in the same way that turkeys welcome Christmas, it’s likely to be a tougher transition. I know he’s going to miss preschool a lot, in particular his key-worker to whom he’s become closely attached. He’s had a couple of trial visits to his new school, which resulted in meltdowns. And if you try to engage him in conversation about the prospect of going to school, you get stony-faced silence in response.
There’s no doubt he understands what’s going on. He’s been clingy and whiny all week, holding on to his mother like a human comfort blanket. Denial, I suppose.
But the deed is done. Toby has now graduated preschool and September will bring just the first of many big moves and changes he will experience in his life. On the bright side, at least he doesn’t have a nervous wait for his exam results. And he has his certificates already.