Settling into School

Another week, another write up.  I’m back in my stride.  I have a little more free time and there is plenty to write about.  You have had the two recent specials with Amélie going to Nursery and a week later with Éowyn going to school.  Momentous times in anyone’s life and although the first day can be frightening, exciting or a mixture of both it is when the realisation dawns that you have to keep going (and going) that the real stories begin.

Éowyn as you may recall was extremely excited about going to school; she couldn’t wait to put her school uniform on, pack her schoolbag and head off to the car.  This didn’t change the following day and neither did it the day after.  The only problem was the day after was a Saturday.  Éowyn was really upset that she didn’t have to go to school.  We tried to explain that Saturdays and Sunday were the weekend and you didn’t have to go to school at weekends.  She wasn’t convinced.  It probably doesn’t help that Daddy works weekends and so there is no point of reference.  I am sure she will get used to it.

Indeed the following week was her first five day week and by the Thursday she was bushed, ‘Do I have to go to school tomorrow?‘ Éowyn asked.  When we said that she did, she nonchalently shrugged her shoulders and conceded.  I think it was just a lack of an appreciation of how long a week actually was rather than wishing the weekend would hurry up and arrive.

Éowyn has come home almost everyday with a sticker for good work.  Whether that is helping to tidy up, or for demonstrating her knowledge she is proud of each one.  Sometimes she doesn’t understand why she got a sticker: counting to 20 for instance.  Éowyn has been able to count to 20 for quite a while, indeed she can count to 100 and Amélie who will be three at the end of the month is capable of counting as high, so Éowyn was surprised that not everyone in her class had the skill.  However her favourite sticker was one the states ‘I’m a genius‘.  She was given it on Monday for knowing that the date was the 16th September.  Lucinda and I were both surprised, a) because neither of us knew what the date was and b) we didn’t know that Éowyn was so knowledgable about the days of the month.

Amélie, on the other hand, is not nearly as excited about nursery.  Indeed, we have had tears most days.  We have also discovered how sly she can be too!  She is obviously upset with the change in her life.  She has always been either with Lucinda or at one of her grandparents’ homes and if she is anywhere else then she is usually with Éowyn.  Therefore, being on her own in a strange place is bound to be disconcerting if not downright frightening.  She is also picking up vibes from Lucinda who is probably as attached to Amélie as Amélie is to being at home with mommy.  Indeed there are few tears with daddy, more a questioning of whether she is going to school.  With Lucinda, however, there are tears and sobs and refusal to go.

It is up to daddy to be the bad guy.  I am quite happy with that.  It is something that needs to happen and if I am the one that needs to harden his heart to ensure that this transition happens then so be it.  Lucinda can be the good guy and pick her up and give her plenty of attention on the days she isn’t at nursery.  She is getting better and on Tuesday when I took her to nursery there were no tears.  Admittedly, neither were there cartwheels of joy but she held my hand and walked into the classroom then, after kissing me goodbye, ran over to one of the teachers to give her a cuddle.

In fairness, it can only get better.  The day after the first traumatic day she followed Lucinda around the house never leaving her side.  She was obviously afraid that Lucinda was going to leave her, in fact she did say to Lucinda on a number of occasions, ‘Mommy, you aren’t going to leave me, are you?‘  The day before she was next due to go to school she once again tried it on with Lucinda.  I was a work and Lucinda was bathing the girls when Amélie began to force a cough.  It was a very pathetic, obviously faked cough.  ‘Mommy,‘ she began, ‘I have a cough, I won’t be able to go to school tomorrow.‘  Nice try.

Amélie also confessed to a crime that we knew was her but neither had caught her in the act, nor got her to admit to it.  We have a wicker laundry basket and bits of it had be picked off and left on the floor.  We had asked both girls if it was either of them and neither of them had admitted to it.  Amélie, however decided that perhaps honesty was the best policy, either that or perhaps she was hoping it would be a bargaining tool to stop us sending her to school.  Whatever was the motivation she turned to Lucinda, completely out of the blue, ‘Mommy, I’m real sorry, you know the washing basket I pick it and when you ask me I say no but I do it all the time because I like doing it.  What can you say?

With two emotional girls, a pile of paperwork to catch up with for mortgaging both the house we are trying to buy and our current house that we will be renting out and the fact that I haven’t seen my family in about six weeks we made a decision not to go to one of the four weddings we  have recently been invited to.  With Amélie in such an emotional state and Éowyn having only just started school it just didn’t feel right to leave them for a night.  It was a decision not made lightly as both Lucinda and I were looking forward to a night away and obviously sharing in the celebration of our friends but as parents there are many sacrifices you have to make and this we felt was something that needed to be done.

So where are we at with our house purchase.  The good news is that our mortgage for our new house has been approved.  We are, however, still waiting for approval for our buy to let (or should that be ‘let to buy’) mortgage.  For those of you that have been in this position it can be a waiting game.  You answer the questions posed by the solicitors, the banks, and the estate agents then everything goes quiet before all of a sudden you have the keys to your new home.  That’s the plan.  Time will tell if that’s how the next few weeks develop.

It is not often though that the house that you are leaving is under threat of being demolished along with the entire village in which you have been raised.  That is what is facing Lucinda and her family not to mention ÉowynAmélie and Ezra.  Of the fifty or so proposals for expansion of London’s airports the South West Heathrow proposal will see the complete destruction of Stanwell Moor.  We have had two village meetings with representatives from BAA, HACAN, Gatwick, The London Mayor as well as political figures including our MP.  However, they have only outlined their proposals, a hard sell of their ideas if you will; nothing to address the blight that has affected the village (and this is not just a virtual blight but, for us, it is a reality).  In some ways it just makes you more frustrated with the situation as there is nothing that we can do at the moment.  Until the 50 or so proposals are whittled down to the 3-10 proposals that will receive greater investigation (mid-December for that decision apparently) and then, if we are still on the shortlist, until the actual proposal that gets the green light (mid 2015 at the earliest) we will be in limbo.  Obviously this is the same for residents of all the areas that are affected at each of the airports.  Not the nicest of positions to be in and we sympathise with all that are affected by this process.  I wonder if it does go ahead how much Éowyn will remember about her first home?

I will leave you there with the usual photos be warned though one of the below may move you to tears.

Love and peace