Story time

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Bookstart Bear National Book Week at the local Library

Twice now my son has almost been an angel at story time at the local library, we have started to go as want to get him ready for school and know he finds sitting still at times a bit of an issue. However, pleasantly surprised and have certainly gone more smoothly than his exercise lessons. His old nursery tried to recently say this is one of his weaknesses, I don’t know maybe me being with him makes all the difference and I can’t hold his hand throughout school. Although have to say really pleased and proud of him. He enjoyed yesterday’s session so much that he has asked to join the library so he can take out books, so sweet.

What a last few weeks?

What a last few weeks? Not just for me personally, but terrorist attacks too, the world has gone mad! Simultaneously this country seems focused on wanting to nuke the world too, the one thing we need a world leader to do is have a willingness to nuke everyone, I despair?

I mean my childcare woes seem trivial in comparison, but it shook my small world up and shocked by what just seemed to me as unreasonable spitefulness. We have found replacement childcare and hoping my little is one much happier there and can continue to progress. Waiting for the NHS to still get back to us and confirm they have no worries or concerns about my son, and he is ready to start school in September.

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Enjoying himself at the playground

This weekend we tried our first story time at the local library and have to say I was impressed with my son in the end as it was his first time in a library, he sat and listened, and was very quiet. To be honest I think the volunteer would have appreciated a bit more feedback and interaction, but it was only a small group and it was only our first time attending. However, nothing like the nursery was trying to tell me he was at these kind of sessions, admittedly he may behave better for me. So, two things we are going to continue to persevere with is his preschool gymnastics class and story time at the library. We have also got more puzzles and few simple games like picture dominoes and memory games to work on his concentration. Trying out magnesium flakes in his bath a couple times of week in order to help relax him a bit more, not sure it will make any difference, but suppose to be good for skin conditions and he does have mild eczema anyway, also might try it out myself as apparently good for muscle stiffness, yep feeling my age!

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Magnesium Flakes

http://drcarolyndean.com/2010/10/should-kids-take-magnesium/

So starting to feel positive, things we need to sort out are finances for childcare (refunds and new payment, just another headache I will be glad is out of the way and done with) and toy organisation, never ending, got rid of a few bits about a month back and now feeling overwhelmed by toys once again ha! Feeling happy about our son’s new garden corner, but got to deal with those pesky slugs who are chomping on my new plants this week!

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Pesky chomping slugs!

The one thing I wasn’t anticipating was changing my son’s childcare so near to starting school and was hoping to only deal with one change, rather than two, but hey life is always ready to throw a few curveballs your way!

A letter never sent in the end

Some may wonder why I said on my FB page I was going to be a bit quieter for a while, well it was nothing really major, no loss of life, serious illness or anything. However, my life has been turned upside down for a bit as that dreaded time has come that my son has been no longer enjoying his time at nursery and got suspended. Yes, that’s right my not even 4 year old boy was almost kicked out, but we made the decision not to return him anyway.

This is the letter I almost wanted to send over the weekend to his nursery after the depression started to sink in. The nursery knew that the back up care I had was gone, so feel their recent actions was not just coincidental and accidentally timed to be simultaneously parallel with my mum’s holiday.

The letter never sent

I would like to stress how your knee jerk reaction has made others feel in my family.

A chronically ill woman who already suffers depression who is getting over two recent falls that had immobilised her, sobs her eyes out over her grandson, you are aware of this, my partner’s mother has been in rehabilitating in hospital since March to April.

Spoilt my mum’s holiday already before she has gone on it, a holiday with my older sister and her two boys that she doesn’t see very much as they live a good distance away from her. Now my family’s problems are going to be on her mind throughout her holiday that she should be enjoying and that she can’t support me. My mum lost her brother two years ago, a very dear uncle that my son did meet, but can’t remember and all of us lost my father two years ago, my son never got to see him, only went to the funeral when he was 9 months old. My father had cancer and was just diagnosed days after giving birth. You are not aware of the family bereavements, but you are aware of my mum’s holiday, told his keyworker and additional sessions were booked. This makes me think your actions were predetermined to cause provocation.

My other older sister who is also a survivor of child sexual abuse is very angry you could ever have thought of such a thing, you haven’t denied it either. She has offered me her support as your actions have start to make me feel unwell again and have sent me back into depression, I was possibly going to be weaned off my medication this summer and that is not going to happen now. This sister also has an autistic teenage daughter and is disgusted by your emails, and treatment, this is not support it is purely bullying tactics.

Seriously if you think something like that was happening, why have you been beating around the bush for so long? Why not just go straight to a child protection officer to start a thorough investigation?

Your recent actions make me suspicious of your motives, and are covering something up or just want my son out of the way as he is too much hard work and you are worried how it maybe perceived by not only other parents as the nursery manager said verbally to us, but by an Ofsted inspection, we are not paying you enough anymore and this is more a business matter masquerading as a welfare issue.

My son is a happy, healthy, active and sometimes mischievous boy as he is not even 4 yet, sometimes needs help and guidance with his social skills and his emotions, which he obviously has not been getting at your nursery nor the attention required to stop him from getting bored or disruptive. I believe he has been getting more attention for his bad behaviour than his good behaviour, and will continue to act up if this is the behaviour management tactic taken. I do not believe my son is a serious threat, and his behaviour can be managed. I think your suspension was an over reaction and your staff should not be wearing necklaces around small children anyway as part of your uniform/jewellery policy and for health & safety.

These issues are clearly not going to be resolved as we have repeatedly said we have lost faith and trust in your nursery’s ability to care for our son and manage behaviour not for just our son, but any child, as do not believe our son is the only one that acts up at your nursery. If we do not receive the unused credit owed to us refunded back to our various childcare voucher schemes by the 25th June 2017, including the deposit, I will be consulting legal advice that part of my company schemes can provide me with.

That was the letter above, but my OH persuaded me it wasn’t worth me sending it, we already had said enough and my family history or any other issues were none of their business. I gave the nursery permission to fill in the ASQ questionnaire that the health visitor gave us, our answers were radically different, but the bit that hurt me the most is their belief my son has an awareness of sexual activity, such an unfounded claim. Eventually we did get a reply from the nursery to agree to refund us on Monday, 5 days after the suspension. I have found replacement childcare, my son has had a trial session today and it seemed to go OK, so will keep my fingers crossed. I have no problems with putting labels on a child that needs extra support, but feel it is very damaging to put a label on a healthy child that does not need it (let alone even go down the road of medicating a child that does not need it) and that is what I feel the nursery has been trying to do, not to support him, but to justify their reasons for not being able to manage his behaviour. Also to divert attention that something untoward was going on, seriously if there was those kind of concerns going on then report it straight to the local child protection officer rather than drag it out. Anyway, I have just found this whole experience unbelievable and shocking.

Nursery woes, plus sunshine, ok rain, but happy rain

Sunday 21st May 2017

We had another meeting with my son’s nursery earlier this week, and the Community Nursery Nurse who we last saw over a year ago attended. We answered her questionnaire and it was concluded the answers we gave wouldn’t trigger a referral, and that the observations the health visitor made during a 2 hour assessment at his nursery had reported no concerns either. Relief, some would think, but nursery are still pushing for something and don’t know what they want us to do. According to the nursery he is not behind in his key milestones, he is meeting all of them and above for his gross motor skills, which is good as he was a bit behind a few years ago. The Community Nursery Nurse then suggested have they thought he maybe gifted? The nursery seemed dumbfounded by this suggestion. I am not sure he is a child prodigy or anything, but I think he is bright and has lots of potential if he can get engaged with something, but it does take work. I also think he has outgrown nursery, but what to do? I think he maybe experiencing a mixture of under-stimulation and overstimulation there, and needs more guidance with his social skills around children, he is our only and his cousins who he doesn’t see very often are much older than him, but I think the nursery are slow to spot the signs and intercept at times. We have no where else to go until he moves on to primary school.

On the plus side, we went to the weekend playgroup we have been regularly attending for the last two years, garden party, changed to an indoor party due to, well, our lovely British weather. They were celebrating 5 years of running playgroups and activities for the community, and have recently opened a community garden. My son had a lovely time and enjoyed himself, especially playing with his new friend he has recently made at playgroup. The two boys seems to be on the same wavelength and enjoy each other’s company very much.

Today we are making a second attempt of trying a gymnastics session, and hoping he gets involved a bit more with the warm up activities this time, but we will see.

Victory!

Our son had us on tenterhooks today as we tried another preschool exercise class, after weighing up that the Little Kickers’ one just wasn’t quite right for him. My lo has so much energy that needs to be channelled in a more structured way. However, he is going through a phase of not wanting to go to new places again. After the last class I decided to ask my son well what kind of thing would you like to do, and he said jumping, so racked my brain to find one that was suitable. Found a local gymnastics club that has a trampoline and lots of other equipment to try, and runs a weekend preschool class.

As usual after trying to build it up and get him to look forward to the class, on the day he has the grumps. Plays up in the morning before we get out of the house, then cheers up and then we get to the sports hall where the class is being held. He goes shy, clingy, and very grumpy again and doesn’t want to participate. At this stage it looks like a massive fail, I get him to sit on the mat eventually where they are warming up and I sit close by him, but again he is not really participating, but doing his own thing. Then the children split up into smaller groups with different coaches to do different activities. One of the coaches tells us a lot of kids may feel intimidated by the larger group and prefer the smaller group activities. She was right as he decided to join one and got involved, started to follow the coach’s guidance and instruction, eventually he had a go on the trampoline, the bit he was looking forward to. So in the end victory, so definitely one we will persevere with now as think it will be good for him, not that he will be a sports star, but just good for his development in general. So yes, whoop, whoop!

Bear, our absent Friend?

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Monday 20th March 2017

My son’s nursery had the idea for him to take a teddy home and record it’s weekend with us, my son was very excited about it. I had only heard about this before as my sister’s sons who are quite a bit older than my son did something similar a few weeks back. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to it, but would go with the flow as my son seem thrilled about it. Unfortunately Friday came and my son had blew his chances with teddy by bad behaviour. I knew the nursery had to enforce some kind of discipline for his behaviour, although never get a good understanding from them what leads up to these so called ‘moments’. I know my son is not a angel all of the time, but it would be nice to know his triggers and root causes for his ‘moments’ whilst in their care. Although, I have got to point I just listen and let them offload, if it gets to a more serious point I will take action, but at present he is just acting his age. Maybe I am a softie, but thought it was a bit harsh to build this moment up and then take it away from him. Although have to say I was relieved teddy wasn’t prying into our lives that weekend as felt pretty rubbish on Saturday anyway, and the only exciting thing we did was go to the disco event on Sunday. That’s the other thing I hear these teddy escapades can get quite competitive between the parents, what a bore, huh?

Afternoon Disco

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Big Fish Little Fish Rave/Disco

We did it! Our first rave/disco with our son. Since going to a couple of family fun days held in a local bar last year, have been wanting to experience one of these events with him as he loved chasing the disco lights at this family fun day and I thought it would be an enjoyable sensory experience for him.

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The event was well organised and bar for the grown ups as well was a plus, although only got time to drink one glass of wine with a little tear away to keep an eye on. I think my son was a bit apprehensive as the main event is held in a dark hall with the usual disco lighting and mirror balls, the music was louder than I expected it to be for an event aimed at families with under 8’s. Next time definitely bring the ear defenders with us for our lo, and more glow sticks/lights as well as there was no one selling them, event organisers missed a trick with that. There is also a baby chill out play area, which was fine, tents, tunnels, ball pit and soft foam playmats for tinies, craft table with play dough and giant mural to colour in. My son liked this chill out area the most, as music was not as loud and room not as dark, but grumpy venue steward told us this area is for babies only and upset my son as he was having fun playing in one of the tents. My son is just over 3 and half so not exactly too old for the Play equipment they had in the room. I don’t think this rule was true anyway and think the area was both for babies and toddler/preschoolers, as when we came back later to the room it was being over run by all families and all ages. I think the event organisers could have done a bit more to this area, it was fine, but maybe have some more robust play equipment.

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My son warmed up to the disco in the main hall and got very excited when he saw giant balloons being bounced about, and was showered by glitter, and witnessed sensory visuals such as golden fireworks going off on the stage where the DJs were. I think my OH felt a little bit out of place, like oh my god we are too old for this, but when he saw my son was really enjoying it he lightened up and has decided to try it again when they hold another event in our local area later in the year.

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My only few criticisms perhaps music volume level could be a bit lower, baby chill out area include more things to keep los occupied and entertained, perhaps staffed by a less grumpy venue steward, but to be honest I think she gave up her baby only stance in the end, but it wasn’t very welcoming. I would give it 7/10, I think my partner would be happier if there was more 80’s music (the cheesy kind) haha!