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 is....so 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.

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