Audrey has attended nursery since she was 10 months old. When she was born and the surprise of DS popped up, it never crossed my mind that she wouldn’t go to nursery whilst I was at work. Her needs were those of a baby, it didn’t seem like a stretch for a nursery to care for her.
Anyway, it’s funny how the thought of leaving her was so tough, then suddenly it becomes natural and if you can get them in nursery and have a day off to yourself – woo hoo!
I am very pleased by our choice of nursery, it’s a beautiful building with an amazing outside area (including a pirate ship!), they have rabbits, sensory rooms, yoga space… I remember thinking on the tour, ‘she will have so much fun here, more fun than with me’!
Audrey moved up to the over 2s room in October and settled in much easier than I had thought. After all, she can’t walk and she’s still quite small, but it didn’t phase her. Within a week of being there she stopped saying “yes” and started saying “ok”! Those pesky older kids and their slang!!
We were attached to Audrey’s key worker and were really worried about her adjusting to a new person. Thankfully, we didn’t need to worry. Audrey loves Grace, there is a picture of the two of them in her nursery book and when we get home and read about her day, she points at the picture and says and signs “Grace”. It’s actually a funny thing that I was worried about this other person that Audrey would form an attachment to, but now I feel so warm and fuzzy about it all.
At the end of last year they had parents’ evening and I let Ted go because I went last time. Plus he really hasn’t had a good chance to look around inside since the initial tour and I’ve been around several times.
Well of course she had a glowing report. She is falling within her age range for everything apart from physical development (fair enough, she can’t walk) and these are broad ranges of course, but she is ahead of her typical peers for literacy! Which is amazing. She loves books. She loves them so much she will often push a leaflet on me and make me read it to her. And all the books we read regularly, she reads along, she remembers key words and points and says/signs things on the page (like rabbit or hat). She sits alone turning pages of books chattering away, making up the story… sometimes she has her dolly, Alice, on her lap so she can read to her. It’s so lovely and is definitely something we have nurtured at home, but is supported very well at nursery.
There are a few things we hadn’t really pushed at home that nursery did the ground work on…
Counting: the first time we counted (I think it was Ted carrying her up the stairs), she joined in and we were blown away. She can count to 3 on her own, sometimes higher, but can count to ten if we are counting along.
Letters: rather surprisingly the other day she took my address book off the coffee table (it has A to Z pictured on the cover) and she said ABC!
Nursery rhymes: we had thought we’d avoid these, but of course once I’d started taking her to music groups, I realised you can’t really avoid children’s music, it does make kids happy. But the most exciting thing was singing a nursery rhyme for the first time and seeing Audrey’s reaction, realising she knows it! It first happened ages ago with “Twinkle Twinkle” – she lit up and started signing. Then I went to a group where they sung about a turtle “Bubble, bubble, bubble… Pop!” and I had no idea what this song was, but Audrey clearly did. Since then, she has just become so good at singing and signing, we can’t help but burst into spontaneous rounds of ‘Wind the bobbin up’, ‘Row row’ and ‘Sleeping rabbits’.
We’ve also had lovely moments at pick up, where other parents have told us that their child talks about Audrey a lot. It used to confuse me, Audrey isn’t always that interactive with other kids (she’s getting more so as she gets older), but I would wonder why these kids would be interested in a bum shuffler that’s usually not happy about another child being loud/in her face (she can be quite delicate!). But Audrey is a good sharer, she is gentle and she loves to say hello, blow kisses and offer cuddles, so I guess actually she’s a good playmate option. I’m always so proud to collect her as I know she’ll come out thrilled to see us “Mummy!”, “Daddy!” and will say “Byeee!” to everyone and blow them kisses.
Here’s a selection of some nursery pics they sent home and a Christmas decoration and picture she made (with assistance of course);