Friday, 18 September 2015

An Admission of Guilt.

I'm going to be honest and say that one of the things I love about E going to Pre-school, is the way that the staff get her doing all the arty crafty stuff that I don't do with her much  at home. I feel guilty for not being a mum who does lots of sticking, collaging, painting, sewing, building etc. I mean to offer it, it's just that somehow it doesn't work out that way, we're busy doing other things. Plus I admit at times I'm reluctant to get things that could result in some sort of damage to the flat/paint on the carpet incident (she drew on the wall with pencils this morning, little monkey. She also worked out how to move her desk, climb up on it, and turn the bedroom light on, but I digress). Luckily, now that Pre-school is offering E the chance to do arts and crafts on a thrice-weekly basis, I feel less bad about only getting round to the occasional play-doh or a bit of painting.

I'm always thrilled when E brings her art home to show me. No matter how splodgy or mis-shapen any project may be, I love that she's got into it and had fun. Of course as her mother I will always think she's ultra-talented! Her latest piece is titled "Spiders". Beautiful.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Preschool - New Term, New Germs!

Now that she is three, E has started at Preschool this term. It's local, just a couple of roads away, and on the same site as the infant school we hope to get her into. She's going 3 days a week while her Dad and I are working, and it's really going to help prepare her for school next year.

E looked a bit bewildered on her first day, but remembered the settling in session she'd had in July, and all the toys she played with ("I bounced on the trampoline!"), so seemed fairly keen to go. Her Dad did the drop-off. He said she hung back initially but then got settled playing. She was the same the next few sessions. So far, we've learnt a few things:

1. Pre-school is a place to play, to have fun and be busy. So busy in fact, that E forgets she needs to stop playing to wee. Cue two accidents on the first long day there. Luckily the lovely ladies who work at the preschool are now aware to prompt her. Unluckily for us, there have been a few accidents at home, which seem to be a result of either a) being to busy to stop playing to go to the bathroom, or b) out of protest. Joy.

2. No matter how much fun she has had at pre-school, when asked what she's done that day, E will say "I don't know". Every time. Even whilst walking home holding a painting completed a few hours earlier :-).

3. E has friends at pre-school. Our neighbours' daughter L goes there, as does E's friend C and another, A. Plus she's making new ones. She spoke of a new playmate the other day so we asked what they were called. She didn't know, and asked us what their name was! Hopefully pre-school will help E to become a little less shy and able to join in group games more easily.

4. E looks utterly adorable in the little uniform she wears. It's only a polo top and sweatshirt, but it made her look so grown up when she put it on. Yet she still looks so small to wear a uniform! When I dropped her off last week, wearing her uniform and her little Thomas the Tank Engine backpack, it felt like the end of an era. How on earth had we got such a proper little child, when she was only a baby, like, yesterday? Where did the time go? I was so relieved she didn't get upset when I left. My heart broke for the little boy who stood crying by the gate, arms outstretched, calling for his "Papa! Papa!".

5. Pre-school is infested with GERMS. It's no-ones fault. Just one of those things. A whole new bunch of children meeting for the new school year, sharing their bugs around, handling toys, sneezing, coughing and generally spreading disease. Yes it's good for building up their immune system, fighting off these things, but do they have to share with the parents? E came home last with with a rotton cold, which she kindly gave to us. So I spent yesterday trying to rest in bed, and sleep off a temperature, cold and dodgy throat. Meanwhile, E behaved like a tantruming toddler for large parts of the day.

Maybe Pre-school is a bit unsettling for E. It's a big change, it's new, and she's been feeling ill. Even though she has fun there, it's still different from what she is used to. I'm 100% certain that at Pre-school she behaves like a little angel. She will do what she's asked, when she's asked. She's too shy to do otherwise at pre-school. So, if she wants to exert her own opinion and be independent, she comes home and fights us, challenging our requests for her to join us for dinner, or go to bed when asked. She saves the naughtiness for the people she is closest to. Unless we're just yet to be told otherwise! Generally E's behaviour follows a pattern - the more she feels she can misbehave for you, the more attached to you she I guess it's a sort of good thing? Ish? Better that we get the tough bits than other people! Plus I don't want her to be a robot. I read a good article about child obedience the other day, and I'm trying to bear it in mind when I get frustrated with E. She's only little still.

Today, while E is at Pre-school, I'm dealing with the shared germs by lying on the sofa, dosed up with Lemsip and catching up on Trash TV while coughing, spluttering, and snotting everywhere. At least I'm grateful E didn't bring home a sickness bug. I'm dreading that one. Hopefully when I go to collect her later, she'll have had another good day. Preferably one of many yet to come.

Summers End and Smiles

Well, I'm not quite sure where the summer vanished. One minute we were facing 6 weeks of no routine, empty days to fill, wishing for sunshine, then suddenly it's all over and time for E to start at Preschool.

You know, I can't even think what we've been up to! Hmm lets see....playing in the park, celebrating E's birthday (July feels a long time ago), seeing family, celebrating friends' birthdays, taking a train trip with Thomas the Tank Engine, going to the beach, and spending time with the people we care about. Something that's been lovely to watch this summer, is E's budding friendship with our neighbours' children. They live in the flat opposite ours, and are 3 and 5 now, a little girl "L", and her older brother "M". They are adorable. E's played with them since we moved into the flats, but this summer even more so - the three kids have taken to running in and out of their flats, playing in one then the other, or chasing each other in the garden. They are always so thrilled to spend time together. If E hears L & M in the garden, she jumps up on the sofa and calls out of the window at her friends, so happy to see them. When we go out and they spot us on our return home, they come running up to us to give E big cuddles (and us too :-) ). It's such a bonus of living in a flat with a communal garden. Given that E is an only child, it stops her from getting lonely at home. Not that she seems lonely. But growing up with siblings I always had playmates, and I sometimes worry she might miss out at times. Thanks to her friends at home, and friends in the area, I'm pretty sure I can stop worrying about her getting lonely. Hooray!

I've not kept up with noting many of the little titbits E has come out with over the summer. But I must share a couple that I can remember:

 Talking about our friends' baby that's due in November:
"Will baby understand what I'm talking about?"

When barging into the bathroom while I was on the toilet:
Me: "E...can you please shut the door. Either come in or go out. Daddy doesn't want to see me on the toilet".
E: "But Daddy can see you because he's your partner!"

When tidying up toys the other day:
"I'm going to put these in here for other babies who don't have toys. I don't need them any more. So other children can have them, as they don't have things. They might want them. " Bless her.

So many times E just makes us smile. Other times she drives us up the wall with her "threenager" behaviour. I guess that's life with a small child. But how we love her.

(Summer day trip to the New Forest Show)