On Friday I took Noah for his first, of three, taster sessions in preparation for him starting pre-school in January.
Choosing a pre-school was never a hard choice for me, I knew where I wanted to send him and after reading all the Ofsted reports of all the pre-schools in the town my decision was cemented. It had one point that prevented it being Outstanding and it was such a minor thing that it seemed ridiculous (to me). The one outstanding nursery truly is marvellous but is in the middle of nowhere and with an old jalopy as a car and knowing how bad those lanes get in winter it was never a contender.
I have been feeling a little (who am I kidding, a lot) nervous about sending him to Pre-School as he has never been in this sort of setting before. In fact, barring a couple of occasions I can probably count on two hands, he hasn’t been left with anyone other than ourselves in his entire (nearly) three years.
Don’t get me wrong, he mixes with other children well and I’ve always taken him to baby/toddler groups and he has friends whom he plays with it’s just I’ve never left him in that sort of setting before.
I worry about so many things. I worry that he will integrate and not just want to play on his own, that he’ll be a bit of a push over, that he won’t communicate as well as he does with us so will get sidelined or forgotten about, that he won’t ask to use the toilet, that another child will hit or push him and I won’t know why, I just want him to be happy and dread that he’ll be sad at some point and I won’t be there to make him better again. (Jeez I’m crying just writing those things down).
I needn’t have worried too much about most of these. As soon as we arrived he wandered off on his own and immediately started to play with the toys that were out. He investigated the room and sussed out where everything was, where he could get a drink, etc. Before long he was engaging with the play leaders and making efforts to join in with the other boys in the group, whom I think he was a little in awe of as it was Children in Need dress up and they were dressed as Iron Man, Batman and a Wolf (they are all he’s talked about since we got home when school is mentioned).
It was only an hour long session so no sooner had we arrived, we had to leave again. This was when he threw probably the worst meltdown he’s ever thrown. It really was quite impressive. When questioned by the leaders as to why he was playing up (I think they were a little horrified to be fair and probably, for a moment, wondered what the hell they had let themselves in for) I told them it was because he didn’t want to leave, they immediately relaxed, smiled and told me that was a really good thing! For them maybe, not me who had to literally wrestle him out the building a little red faced. Not even promises of tea cake pacified him until we were three streets away.
On calming and reflecting on the morning I have no worries Noah will love it there (and he’s only going to be there two mornings a week). When talking with him about it he says he really loved it and couldn’t wait to go back. Though when I mentioned that next week I’d be leaving him there he simply said; “No mummy, you no go, you stay and watch” so we’ll see how next Friday goes with that!