GRADUATION, tick. Well, that’s the first one done anyway. The Little Mister has graduated from the Space programme at Playcentre. It was three ten-week terms, which at the start sounded like a very long time. It’s flown.
He slept through the entire first two sessions. Wrapped in his swaddle, on his blanket with his name embroidered on it, he slept on the floor in the centre of the room. The class went on around him and us new mummies sat in a circle. We sang songs, we made toys from household objects, we lamented how difficult it was to settle them, to feed them, we shared how exhausted we were. He slept.
In the third week he woke, for a little while anyway. Then he slept some more. By term two, awake, he paid more attention to the songs. We mummies, getting better at figuring this out, still shared how exhausted we were. But by now we had tricks up our sleeves, for sleeping, for feeding, for settling. We shared these too. Over cakes, teas, nursery rhymes, we learnt more about each other, our babies, and ourselves.
At the end of term three, the Little Mister is not quite crawling. But he has been watching his friends with envy. To think, this little one, rocking backwards and forwards on his hands and knees, was not so long ago a tiny sleeping bundle hardly aware of the babies who have become his friends. Sometimes, this third term, sessions were still cut short because we needed to get home for a nap. But when we were there for the songs, he loved them, his big eyes managing to grow in awe while the five little monkeys jumped on the bouncing blue lycra. He loved painting, water play, being pushed on the swing, sitting on grass for the first time, the wooden blocks with a truck that he figured out how to spin the wheels on. He wasn’t so sure about the sand pit. And when another little one got too close, the corners of his mouth turned down and the big fat tears rolled down his cheeks. He’s still figuring out, I guess, that these are his friends.
But now it’s done. Graduation. We made it together.
I remember not wanting to go to my own graduations (of the university kind). In fact, I think I erased the first from my memory and never went to the second. The first one, which I did go to, was more for mum and dad. Now I understand why it was so important to them. Of course it mattered.