So it may have been the start of a new term for many of you last week. A familiar round of new shoes and getting used to leaving the house on time again. However for us it was the start of our first ever term. Oscar started preschool on Monday. You might have read about how nervous I was here.
At our meeting with the school last year, we agreed that due to Oscar’s pronounced speech delay and communication difficulties, that we would phase his start more gradually than is usual. This saw me stay at the nursery with him on both Monday and Friday and only stay for an hour or so, rather than just dropping him off for the full three hours. Today I’m leaving him for the first time. Only 45 minutes but it’s a start.
The school are very routine driven, which I think he will appreciate. In just two sessions I’ve been amazed at how quickly he’s picking things up. On the first morning the head came to the door to welcome him in. He ran straight past her into the main classroom. His teacher, the lovely Miss Becca (they’re all called Miss whatever, I think it’s so cute!) gently directed him back to the hall and took him into the cloakroom to hang up his coat. He wasn’t overly keen to go but he did. However, on his second session on Friday, he turned left instead of right at the door, and headed straight for the cloakroom. It’s such a little thing but due to the lack of speech I often find it difficult to gauge how much he’s actually understanding, so this cheered me greatly.
So far he’s shown no sign of distress whatsoever! He likes to explore the various areas and has taken a particular interest in the nature table. But really his heart so far belongs to the play garden. Even in this cold January weather he’s been happily discovering the sand box, the windmills and the large box of toy cars. On his first day I watched him play alongside another little boy, completely harmoniously, while emptying the car box one vehicle at a time. This little guy then started murmuring half words and Oscar copied him. Pitch, tone, sound, the lot. It was like watching a pair of Furbies singing to each other! It might not sound that unusual, but I have seriously never heard him imitate another child like that. It blew me away (I also saw him place something on a table when asked, something he’ll never do for me!)
I guess in that respect a phased start was as good for me as it was for him. It’s shown me his capability, in so many ways. I think a couple of bad incidences, in very specific situations (someone grabbing and shouting at your child anyone?), clouded my view of Oscar and his behaviour in public. Yes those things happened, but I shouldn’t let them define how I view every situation.
Time to let it go and to move on.
Time for (pre) school!