Andy and I received confirmation from the LEA last week that Samuel has a full time place at school next April.
I'm not sure whether I'm glad or not.
I'm glad because it means he'll be at school, learning to read and write and do all the things he sees his older siblings do. He's keen to go. He loves coming to school to pick them up as he can play on the monkey bars and mess around with the other little brothers and sisters there.
I'm glad because I'm selfish and it means not having to do additional trips to Mum's and to nursery to pick him up en-route from work. I can just drive to work and drive back. I haven't been able to do that for ten years now.
But I'm sad too.
Sad that my little baby is growing up. I'm sad that my 8lb 15oz chubba bubba is now no longer a baby. He's no longer Turbo Toddler either. He's a little boy. He's my last baby and I can't pickle him to preserve him. I can't stop him growing. I can't keep him to myself anymore.
I'm sad that my Dad will no longer see him everyday. I'm sad that my Dad, who worked while the other three stayed with Mum will have his bond with Sam broken. They go everywhere together. It's both amusing and heartwarming to see a 3½ year old walking hand in hand with a giant of a Grandad who's 6' 2" tall. It's been amazing to see the hard hearted man who I never got on with during my childhood have a child the height of his kneecaps mellow him. It will be sad that they can't take advantage of Dad's free OAP bus pass to travel round half of Berkshire finding new playgrounds to visit, new climbing frames to master and new ponds with ducks to feed.
If you've got children, don't wish their time away. Don't wish for them to reach milestones just because another parent bleats on about how their child is 'forward' at achieving goals. Don't feel bad when other children walk and talk before your child does. Cherish every cuddle. Don't be too quick to wipe away the sloppy kisses. Be glad that they haven't grown out of their little clothes too quickly and don't be hasty to push them to the next level.
Because before you know it, they'll be going to school and you'll have an army of 'experts' delighting in pushing your child, reporting on their achievements, or lack of achievement, picking up their errors, placing them on gifted programs, accelerating their learning and making them grow up way too quick.
Let them be little, just a bit longer