Ebony started nursery in September and the weeks have flown by ever since. It’s strange how those few short hours of routine can zap the week away. We no longer have long days stretching ahead of us just waiting to be filled with adventure. Instead, we just have our afternoons together. Once lunch has been eaten, clothes have been changed and nursery tales have been shared, there doesn’t really seem to be much time left at all.
Our mornings, once relaxed and slow, have become rushed as we try (and often fail) to get out of the front door on time. Organisation has never really been my strong point so I can’t say I’m surprised to spend my mornings desperately washing, drying and ironing the uniform that most parents probably have waiting neatly on a hangover the night before.
Ebony seems to spend her days at nursery covering her entire uniform in paint, felt tip and glue. If there is a muddy puddle in her path, she will charge through it, sending mud flying onto her clothes. I am starting to realise I should have bought a complete uniform set for each day of the week. Month, perhaps, with my erratic laundry system in mind.
There have been a couple of days where we have made it to the front gate only for me to turn around and discover Ebony’s unbrushed hair sticking up in all directions. Or we’ve forgotten her book bag. Or her soya milk. And we’ve had to run back inside to deal with the forgotten tasks before running most of the way to nursery together.
I miss the slow, stress-free mornings of days gone by when we controlled our own destiny. The days where we could whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. The days when it was fine for Ebony to spend an hour carefully choosing and putting on her clothes. These days, I urge and coax her into her clothes quickly whilst I try to force myself to embrace the idea of being awake.
Her friendship group has swelled, and now she has a group of friends I’ve never met. Little girls and boys we see on the way into nursery, who wave and say hello at Ebony as she proudly points them out to me. She has a best friend at nursery now, a sweet little boy who she chases down the street the whole way to nursery. They spend their mornings playing firefighters together in the nursery’s outdoor area.
The teachers make an effort to involve her in everything, even making a special batch of vegan biscuits for her when it was Children in Need. To celebrate a teacher’s birthday, the children were given sweets and Ebony was given a bag of vegan gummy bears that had been purchased specially for her. She came out clutching them, excited to have her own vegan sweets.
She’s always excited to go to nursery, and always seems to enjoy her time there. She tells me about the games she plays, the things she learns and the conversations she has with other children. I have gotten used to working each morning, rushing home to write as much as I can before it’s time to collect her. It’s satisfying to be able to tick things off my to-do list each day instead of cramming it all into a weekend day like I used to.
As Christmas approaches, I’m aware of just how quickly the weeks pass now. Of how quickly she is growing up. My parents saw Ebony for the first time in three months recently, they hadn’t seen her since before she started nursery, and they couldn’t believe how much she had changed. These changes slip by unnoticed by me as the days merge together, but I notice little things sometimes. How she can reach higher up in the kitchen cupboards, my little girl growing taller. How she learns new phrases and words as her vocabulary matures. How she can hold a proper conversation now as she chats to me on the way home from nursery. How old and wise she is now, and how quickly she has become the amazing little girl she is today.