Open wide, cry inside, she's a big girl now.
I am mourning the loss of a friend. A lovely friend. A loyal friend. A friend who came into my house for half an hour nearly every day. A friend who entertained my kids, gave them (and me) creative ideas, read books to them, sang songs to them, showed them snippets of other people’s lives, and taught them to care about the time. Really, really care about the time. I miss my friend terribly, well friends really. I miss Alex, I miss Justine, I miss Jay, Tao, Rhys, Andrew, Matt, Karen, Abbey, Sofya and Leah. I even miss Emma and Essie and Luke, despite having only just met them.
Yes, my daughter has grown out of Play School.
A number of months ago she said those 5 words that no mother wants to hear: ‘Play School is for babies’ (no not ‘the couch is my toilet!’ or ‘cat food is really yummy’). She had said those words before but we both knew she was just parroting her older cousins and the kids in the playground that had older street-savvy-ABC3-watching siblings. I would just answer her with ‘do you think?’ and quietly put it on in the background. Before you could say there are people with games, her head would pop out from wherever she was and she would watch, dance, sing and giggle until the credits rolled.
But this time when she said Play School was for babies, she meant it and I knew it.
So I am sad. For us both. No more guessing what window we will look through (Arch! Arch! No wait, round! Round!). No more singing along to ‘build it up, build it up, build it higher’ and ‘r-o-b-o-t a robot is fun for me.’ No more laughing at Rhys when he forgets all the words to all the songs. No more giggling at Alex who clearly has way too much fun dressing up as a lady. No more hoping Matt has to reach up high so his tee-shirt rides up just enough to show his midriff. Sad. For us both.
And no more concerts. At the last Playschool concert I looked across at my husband and said ‘this is our last one isn’t it.’ He nodded, I got teary, and started singing along, clapping and cheering as if we were here:
So I have said my goodbyes to Gemima and Big Ted, to Diddles and Slush. And I am starting to come to terms with this kind of hideous TV-watching future:
In the meantime today I found my four year old son using his very precious and limited weekend iPad time to watch a Play School episode. He now also says Play School is for babies because he has a street-savvy-(sometimes)ABC3-watching older sibling. But by the end of the episode, they were both huddled around the little screen smiling as Rachael sang I'm a train, I'm a chuffa train yeah!
I was smiling too. Babies indeed.