For the last five months since Eva started at primary school, we have had tears every single morning without fail. And I’m not talking about a few, forced out tears to tug on my heart strings, or a couple of bad days here and there, it has literally been full on hysterics before we have even left the house, sobbing for hours in her bed each night, and begging and pleading with me not to send her to school each morning. And, as a parent, it has been incredibly tough to still prise her little hand from mine and hand her over each day when everything inside of me was crying out to snatch her up in my arms and take her back home.
As the Christmas holidays came to an end I began to feel that familiar sense of panic in the pit of my stomach, torn between enjoying my happy, care free little girl again and agonising over how difficult it would be on that first Monday of the new term, to watch her revert back to that sad little girl with her wobbly bottom lip and those eyes that begged me not to leave her. And, as I suspected, that first day back was unbelievably hard, having had such a lovely time together over the Christmas holidays, and I would have given anything to be able to keep her at home and hold on to my happy little girl for a while longer.
So when we were asked to take part in the #DesignADiary Gel-a-Peel campaign, to decorate a diary for 2017, I thought perhaps this was something that Eva and I could enjoy together, a way to concentrate on getting through each school day and counting down until the weekends.
By colour coding each date in the diary, green for a school day and pink for weekend and school holidays, Eva was able to see at a glance just how many pink days lay ahead at the turn of a page, and she instantly brightened up when she saw so many pink days ahead, especially over the Summer months! “Pink is my favourite colour and it means my favourite days at home!” she told me as she marked off the days. I told her that for each day she did not cry in the morning, I would put a smiley face in her diary and, if she had a whole week full of smiley faces by the weekend, she would be allowed to choose a treat, something which never fails to bring out her competitive side!
Designing her diary was something that Eva was really excited about, having seen Gel-a-peel advertised on the TV, and she has been desperate to get her hands on it. Gel-a-peel allows you to express yourself through your own creative designs, either by using the gel colour tubes to follow the template designs or to create your own ideas, perfect for my headstrong little girl.
Gel-A-Peel sticks to a range of surfaces, including fabric, paper and card, and dries after fifteen minutes to a soft, gel like substance leaving no mess.
Although Eva initially found it a little tricky to apply the gel, after a few practices she really got the hang of it and any mistakes can easily be wiped away when wet or peeled off when dry.
The set includes 3 sparkly gel-a-peel colour tubes, 16 templates, 5 designer tips, a clear drawing sheet, cleaning tool, and accessories to make earrings, bracelets and hairclips. The kit retail at £14.99 and having successfully decorated her diary, it was a huge hit with Eva.
The next morning, with the promise of a smiley face in her diary up for grabs, I reminded Eva of the treat she would get if she went into school without tears that morning. And, although she still refused to get in line with the other children, she willingly let go of my hand, planted a kiss on my lips and in she went. And that in itself was a miracle!
Over the course of the week we had mixed mornings, some days still a little reluctant to go into school, that bottom lip wobbling, her eyes brimming with tears but, defiant as ever, she refused to let them fall, so intent was she on claiming her prize at the end of the week. And after five smiley faces, and the promise of any treat she wanted, my sweet little girl asked for just one Kinder egg, and she was over the moon when Saturday came around and she claimed her prize.
The following week when she came home with Star of the Week, it goes without saying that I was the proudest Mummy in all the world.
And just days later, five long months, through tears and tantrums and so much worry and upset, all in her own time, this happened.
Day three of this little beauty going into school without tears!! And even more amazing, standing in the line with the other children!!! It may not sound like a big deal to most of you, but since September she hasn't stood in that line even once!! I can't even tell you how amazing it was to see her stood there with a big smile on her face. It may have taken almost five months but I'm pretty sure…..WE CRACKED IT!!!!!!! 😍😍😍
And by the end of the week, when she was running into the yard without a second look back, flashing me a cheeky little grin with a sparkle in her eye as she stood proudly in line with her friends, the only tears were mine.