So when does your premmie actually stop being a premmie?
It's been an emotional week for me this week. School went back and all Poppy's friends started prep. Except she didn't.
Hayden and I made the decision in the latter half of last year to give her (or 'gift' her as many people have said) an extra year of kinder. Intellectually she could absolutely have started, but emotionally she's just not ready. She's quite shy, does not really participate in group activities and hates me leaving her at kinder or daycare. We were so torn about what to do, but deep down we know that we are making the right decision. It doesn't mean that I feel good though watching all Pop's friends head off to school and wonder if I've made a huge mistake and that Pop will never form new bonds like the ones she has with her little buddy's...
This brings me to my inital question. When does your premmie actually stop being a premmie?
The way we convinced Poppy that another year of kinder is necessary is by explaining to her that she wasn't turning 5 until 2017. Her birthday is January 12, but she wasn't 'due' until late February, so although she fits the compulsory age to start school, she would technically have been starting as a 4 year old.
We were very lucky with Poppy as a premature baby; she was a pretty good weight (1.6kg - this freaked me out at the time by the way, but I've since learnt that she was quite big in premature baby terms), and she never had any health complications. We saw a paediatrician until she was 2 by which time he told us that she had 'caught up' and no longer was considered premature. This was music to my ears, but as the years have gone on, there have still been instances where I have 'corrected' her age; dropping her off at 3 year old kinder, swimming lessons, maternal and child health sessions when she hadn't really gained much weight, birthday parties when I couldn't leave, even the dentist. I find myself explaining that she was born early and as a result may be slightly behind. I suspect her reserved personality has a lot to do with it, but as a parent of a premature baby I can't help but wonder if her prematurity at birth has anything to do with it.
I'm not sure I'll ever know the answer to my question and I know for a fact every child is different (my 2 year old also premature baby Essie is the complete opposite personality), but I do think it is a question I'll be asking myself at a few more large milestones in Poppy's life.