This is a letter written to my daughter JJ, when she was 3 years and 5 months old. I hope she can look back on these letters when she is older, and see what an awesome little girl she was.
You’ve grown up so much these last two months.
A (much coveted) spot became available at our local preschool this term. It’s a preschool with beautiful natural grounds where you can dig in real dirt, plant vegies and find snails. It’s a preschool with a child-led, play-based curriculum that mirrors many of my parenting philosophies. It’s a preschool where you will get to know other children from our neighbourhood, children that you will go on to school with in a year or so’s time, perhaps even meet a best friend. It’s a preschool within walking distance to our new home, encouraging healthy exercise habits (for me), providing opportunities to meet our neighbours, and giving us an excuse to explore the local neighbourhood flora. To put it mildly, we’re stoked.
It’s not that we had any problems with your Early Learning Pre-preschool. In fact the extra staff ratios there were perfect for your transition to being ‘away from Mum’ for the first time.
But whilst you liked it there, you are loving your new preschool.
There have been some big changes. You are now the youngest in your class. You are expected to do more things for yourself – put on your own sunscreen, look after your own things, and the big one, go to the toilet all by yourself.
So we decided that the time had come for “Do A Poo In The Toilet Day.” I explained that today was the day, and we were going to have a party tonight to celebrate, because by the end of today you’ll have done a poo in the toilet. I asked what could I do to help – what was it that needed to happen so that you would be happy with doing a poo?
And that is how the situation arose where I happily fed you a massive slice of cake (with icing!), while you sat on the throne.
And after that, it was time for action. It took a lot of cajouling. You were scared. You did try to back out of the idea (after the cake was eaten). But I reminded you that we had a plan. And we spent the rest of the day in a rotation of sitting on, trying, freaking out, getting off the loo over and over and over again.
Finally, when Daddy came home from work, you were so excited to tell him about the party that was coming up, and you wanted to demonstrate our plan, that you hopped on, and (after tense moment) there was a plop! And with the deed finally done, you burst into hysterics at the relief.
And we did have a party. There were streamers, balloons, music and dancing. You ate dinner off the special plate. You grinned all the way to sleep. And the next day, you proudly proclaimed to anyone and everyone that you were a “Poo in the Toilet Girl!”. And you’ve been happily going in the toilet ever since.
(Photo by Megan Webb Photography
This last month you’ve also weaned off the dummy. It was something we’ve been working on, gradually reducing your access to only bedtimes or when you were extremely upset. But in the end you decided for yourself to let it go. Roughly coinciding with starting your new preschool, you announced that you didn’t need the dummy anymore. Without it’s calming effect, bedtime settling stretched out to be an hour longer than usual, so we had a few rough weeks. But it’s improving, and you haven’t asked for your dummy since that day.
Previous letters to JJ:
A Letter to JJ (3 years, 3 months)
A Letter to JJ (3 years)
A Letter to JJ (2 years, 9 months)
A Letter to JJ (2 years, 7 months)
A Letter to JJ (2 years, 6 months)
A Letter to JJ (2 years, 5 months)
A Letter to JJ (2 years, 4 months)
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