30/10/2016 17:36 GMT | Updated 31/10/2017 05:12 GMT

What Happens When Your Child Starts Pre-School

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The first half-term has finished, finally! I have been reflecting on the past half-term and what happens when your child starts pre-school:

Social skills. They are now mixing with their pint-sized peers and, therefore, learning important social skills such as how to stand their ground - "that's not fair!" How to express their displeasure - "that's not fair!" Finally, how to cooperate - "that's not fair!" Yes, your little darling is now a social butterfly, watch them blossom and spread their wings to an encore of "that's not fair!"

Introduction to the basics. They will start to learn numbers and letters. They will develop a love for messy play, in fact they will love finger painting so much that when you are out of the room they will continue it on your white walls. Congratulations, your little one has now found his/her inner Picasso. They will also insist on singing lots of songs at the top of their voice. Lovely. However, you are sure that the happy birthday song doesn't actually involve shouting that you are a smelly monkey.

They will want to create. They now love baking and helping you make the dinner. This makes cooking dinner three times as long as they insist on helping you to stir everything, this invariably means everything ends on the floor and you have to start again and again.

Basic hygiene at pre-school. They will go to the toilet on their own and they are reminded to wash their hands. However, this is a learning process and you will all get lots (LOTS) of stomach bugs. Your house will now smell of Dettol and bleach and they become your new best friends.

Learning about the wider world. They will learn about nature and the seasons. This will lead them to stuffing their pockets with conkers, and the odd condom that has somehow found its way onto the field. You then break their heart when you have to explain that they can't keep the funny looking balloon.

Lunchtime at pre-school. They will learn to eat with their peers. They will love this so much that despite having a cooked lunch, they will insist on having another cooked lunch when they get home. You suspect worms. See basic hygiene point.

Learning is exhausting. They will be very tired when you pick them up and this will mean that they fall asleep in the car on the way home and you are left sitting on that driveway for all of eternity.

Encourages independence. They will learn how to be independent. This will result them in saying, "no" to everything. I mean everything!

Emotional development. They suddenly realise that turning on the tears gets a reaction. They become masters of manipulation.

Develops motor skills. Your child will develop a love for jumping. This might involve jumping from the dining room table to the settee, whilst screaming "I can fly". You might want to consider wrapping them up in bubble-wrap and making them wear a helmet.

Imaginary play. They become very good at this, choosing to recreate the argument that happened between the not so loved up neighbours. You have to explain to the key worker that she isn't recreating arguments between you and Mr C, when she shouted at the key worker "I am fed-up of you rolling in late at night, smelling of perfume. I'm not stupid you know" At least she censored it.

Has your child started pre-school? If so what have you learnt?

This post first appeared on Island Living 365