Break from the Old Routine

Today Rex is going to his last session at the nursery Audrey first attended age 10 months in 2014.

If you don’t know by now, I do get incredibly attached to things. Places. People. Garments. Routines. Buggies(!). So it’s a very big deal to be leaving. It was a tough decision, but Rex has gone down to one day a week there since September last year (when we added a day of preschool) and he started to express a preference for preschool for some reason.

We felt we needed nursery (because it runs all year around, plus we can add extra sessions with short notice), so we were very reluctant to let it go. However Rex is starting school next year, so maybe it’s no big thing to deal attempt the work/school hours juggle a bit earlier…?

I will miss the Wednesday calm time, because Ted takes Rex to nursery, I get to take Audrey to school and pick her up alone, spending an afternoon with her, knowing she will calming eat her dinner at the table (Rex is not a fan of dinners). However, this isn’t a reason to keep up the expense of nursery. I have to embrace change (annoyingly), I realise that eventually the scary new routine becomes second nature pretty quickly.

But still, we are leaving a nursery that took my little baby girl all those years ago and helped her to learn so much. Audrey always loved nursery. Rex has mostly loved it. But I guess I’ve loved it the most, because there is nothing quite like knowing your child can be somewhere 8am to 6pm and be safe and cared for with a strong routine, good food, friends, learning… it was great for Ted and I to have “day dates” when the kids were at nursery!

But the time has come to move on and get used to the juggle of work and school holidays because we have many more years of that to come!


Nursery times 2

Today I went back to work after 18 months of maternity leave (well, the cold, hard fact is, I was made redundant whilst on maternity leave, but let’s ignore that). 

As I walked home (that’s right, no dodgy commute, just a meander through leafy Hove), I felt so incredibly emotional. I’m a cry baby anyway (I’m sure I’ve mentioned my tearful John Lewis advert moments/sniffles at people dying on Neighbours/sobbing to La La Land?), but this felt like such a mix of feelings. Rex spent an entire day cared for by nursery staff! – You see he’s only spent time with friends and family before, this was a big deal. 

Audrey is a nursery pro – she started at 10 months and save a few tears at pick up (when she realised we left her!), she’s always been an easy-going sort; she took to it like a rubber ducky to kids’ bath time and we never looked back.

Rex has been a bit more clingy in general and at 16 months he’s at a trickier age than she was, but, nursery settling sessions went well. So I wasn’t crazy-nervous about him starting and to be honest second time around you’re much more willing for your kids to fly or fall. But when lunchtime arrived I realised I was keen to check in and hear from nursery that he was having a good time (which he was).

Once the day came to an end I was excited to get home to see my family. It was a good feeling because it is so rare that I get to miss Rex. Audrey has been going to nursery twice a week and on those days I get very excited for her to come home… clearly every day I cannot wait for my husband to get home, but for Rex… well we just don’t get very long breaks from one another to miss each other. What a novelty. I missed him. Amazing.

In many ways I’m one of those mums that complains about how I’m always with my kids and that I have no time for me, but then doesn’t let others look after them. I fear leaving them, it’s a control thing and I’m working on it. Walking down the street alone on a mild summer evening was pretty awesome. I started daydreaming about dates with Ted, maybe going for a run; just time without kids that I haven’t “allowed” myself before.

Getting home (5 minutes before my crew), I really got the “sight for sore eyes” phrase. Wow. My beautiful children arrived home with their Daddy, full of smiles and lots of shouting “Mummy!!”, it was wonderful. Rex was very clingy, but in such a lovely way and I got lots of cuddles and kisses.

For anyone wondering if working (and this is only part time to be clear) after having children is a good idea… thinking; will you feel guilty? Will it be difficult to do something other than wipe bums and faces? Will my children suffer? Well, in my experience, working or just having a regular activity away from your children is a great idea (insert thumbs up emoji here). I just feel like I’ve had a boost and that both my children seemed lovelier because I didn’t spend the day with them! Ha. 

Check them out in pics below – Rexy got for a balloon on his first day and he loves balloons!

Nursery times

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);

Actually, this week she brought home some bread she had helped make! I love nursery.

Stuff and things 8

So I’ve started a new job. I’m working 2 days a week and Audrey is at nursery, which thankfully I know she loves.

We had parents’ evening last week and whenever I told someone (workers at the nursery) that I was Audrey’s mum, they would say “Hiya!” And blow kisses. And tell me how socialble she is. I enjoyed parents’ evening a lot, because I felt so proud, I know that Audrey is a character and very memorable!

She is moving up to the transition room before ultimately joining the over 2s, which is scary as they’ll all be walking and Audrey will be this tiny bum shuffler amongst them! But I do want her to move with her peers and I know it’s good for her to see typical toddlers her age – great motivation to copy them when she can. The sad thing is, she’ll be changing key worker and that’s just hard because we know she is attached to her current key worker (that’s the whole point, obviously) and I’ve really grown to love that bond they have. But onwards and upwards for Audrey!

Last week we also had two bits of good news- a thyroid test came back normal and Audrey passed a hearing test with (almost) flying colours! She couldn’t be completely signed off from hearing checks, as she has a small amount of fluid in her ear, so they need to check her again in the winter time (when colds etc are worse). Fingers crossed we’ll escape the need for hearing aids/gromits, but it may be that she needs them and that’s ok. Her speech is coming along very well.

They will also need to continue to check her thyroid, but at least for now we know she is ok.

We’ve got Daddy’s birthday coming up and then Audrey’s, so we are in for some busy weekends of fun. I’ll start prepping the Audrey turns 2 post now…