This week Eleanor started kindergarten. Although kindergarten is itself optional, there is also the option for children to do pre-entry the term before they turn four, where they visit for two hours once a week (something I wasn't even aware of until after James started kindergarten when he was four!). Eleanor goes on Tuesday afternoons.
There were a few tears in the morning at the idea, and she was reluctant to let go of my hand at first, wanting me to stay the whole time. But by the time we'd put her bag in her locker and found her nametag and ventured into the playground, she realised that she could go on the slides and swings and climbing frames as much as she liked, and she was off. I stayed about 5 minutes, then she happily waved goodbye - and I got some time to myself!
It all went well, and she's quite looking forward to visiting again next week.
This last photo was taken that evening; she sometimes likes to be lifted onto my sewing table and hand me pieces of a quilt to sew together. These were the foundation-pieced palm-block halves. She's also quite good at poking the pins back into the pin cushion, though I have to remind her not to push them right in.