Sometimes feels like we are actually back at school, rather than my son

After having a really positive weekend last week and starting to feel quite upbeat about things, now feeling deflated again. I had a difficult time with a certain colleague at work and not sure why they were behaving in such a rude manner, but asked for this particular job to be reallocated as I could no longer work with the person and to be honest I am still a little fuming over their tone. However, person is leaving for another job, so end of story dealing with it, but just was not in the best mental place to deal with someone being a twat for no reason with everything that has been going on for us.

My OH’s mum is still in hospital and after 2 weeks of confusingly not knowing what action the hospital has decided to take, they finally know she has broken her hip and still confused why it has taken 2 weeks to discover that, and now his mum is waiting for a operation, which will still take a good deal of time to recover from. I have to say the in and out hospital trips that have been happening since the beginning of this year have been exhausting for all of us.

Then having my son’s nursery inability to look after my son and manage his behaviour has been disappointing as well. I hoped he was getting on well with the new childminder and he seemed to be, the drop offs have got a lot easier and no more dramatic goodbyes. However, this week his pal from his gymnastics sessions has started again, although haven’t seen the boy at the sessions lately.

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On the same wavelength these two, but yes, my lo does need the learn the art of being kind to his friends at times

My son was very excited to have some similar aged company at last with him at the childminders. Although I think this week he has been feeling a little too at home at the childminders, relaxed and himself and over excited about having a playmate, which is a good thing, but with that he shows both his good and bad sides to his personality. I finally get told again that some of his behaviour is unacceptable, her daughter has been dying to tell tales on my son for weeks, but being shushed by her mother and I think perhaps my son irritates the 8 year old girl, I mean I don’t suppose a 4 year old boy and 8 year old girl have much in common. I don’t know how to take it, but as far as the health visitor is concerned there is nothing to worry about his behaviour and he is just displaying normal behaviour for his age. Yes, he can be a monkey at times and some of it is boundary seeking, but most of it is manageable and he is not constantly embarrassing us when we are out with him. It’s disappointing as he has started to enjoy going to the new childminder, and I know he does like the other little boy that is attending, but I am starting to get fed up with those that are fed up of looking after my son because yes, he isn’t always an easy child, but he doesn’t have special needs or any indication that he has. I am not withdrawing him for another childcare provider and will try to work with her, and realise soon he will be spending more time at school and hope that is good for him. The school transition sessions have gone OK, again no dramatic tearful goodbyes, so that is something, he has seemed very happy upon collection, but don’t know fully what he has been like at every session as we only got to witness the first one. I don’t know if he got over excited or did any inappropriate things, but hoping he responded well, but don’t know until we start to get more feedback from the teachers.

Anyway it is a shame as I was just starting to get optimistic and now just feel doubtful, but we are doing our best by our son, we regularly go to playgroups to socialise him with children his age, taken him to story time sessions at the library to work on getting him to sit still and interact with that, preschool gymnastic sessions, helping him to follow instructions, participate in both larger and smaller group activities (he responds better to smaller group activities usually at the moment), wait turns, sit still and develop patience. We walk almost everywhere and try to do lots of physical activity either by going to soft play or outdoor play at playgrounds and parks and swimming when we can. We read to our son every bedtime ourselves.

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Marble Reward Jar, hoping this helps

We are trying to only reward him for good behaviour, have even now got a marble reward jar to help my son visualise when he is being good better. He has always enjoyed filling up jars with coins, so I thought this would be a more simpler way to do it than our previous star chart award system, which was just getting too exhausting for us too keep up with and we’ll probably put that away for when he is a bit older. I don’t know what else we can do, but keep re-emphasising how he should act, but sometimes this parenting lark feels like we going back to school and being told off for something we cannot control while we are not there to supervise.

Drained

Wednesday 12th July 2017

Feeling drained, finally had the health visitor round for a home visit yesterday. Let me say I had to reiterate a lot of things that went on that I rather be moving on with, but at least I got confirmation that no further referral is needed for my son in her opinion. He is just a normal, yet very active mischievous boy. I should crack open the champagne, but don’t quite feel like that as still working on the transition to primary school for him.

Champagne being poured into champagne glasses

He had a stay and play session at his new school yesterday, not sure how it went, but there were no dramatic goodbyes when we left him and he seemed very excited when we collected him from the session. However, have no idea on how he responded to the teaching staff or other children. We have one last session next week before he starts his settling in week in September. A picnic party so let’s see how it goes.

My OH’s mum is in hospital again, to be honest that is getting exhausting dealing with that. However, in between my OH being completely stretched with that and trying to spend some time with us as well, and the drama of two months ago. I am now looking forward to finally taking my boy to visit a farm this weekend, a place we have been meaning to take him for ages, but always never happened. Hoping we can take our mind off of things and enjoy our day there.

Moving on, trying to anyway

I have been putting off this blog for sometime, because well, was in the middle of resolving everything that went to pot!

I am furious with how my son’s old nursery have handled things over the last 3 months that he was there. After attending meetings and trying to cooperate with them, but after what they went around saying we could no longer work with them or wanted him in their care. They blew our world apart for a bit and our plans for my son’s care until he started school, I thought he was happy there and doing OK, but seems they have either maliciously made things up or not been filling us in on the whole picture. They completely left us in limbo and a shitty situation to transition my son onto school. However, we found a nearby childminder and after some heartbreaking drop offs and settling in he seems to be OK, and it is starting to get easier.

We had a little break away, which was nice, images below.

Now back at work, yet still to get a second opinion from the health visitor and whatever team she has checked with (she has told me the name, but still do not get their purpose) and finally have a follow up appointment arranged for next week with her, and have my son’s first school transition event tomorrow. So wish us luck with both, particularly with the health visitor as just want to be reassured everything is OK with my boy and have nothing to worry about. We have been continuing with going to story time at the library, our usual playgroup and preschool gymnastics’ sessions, and have to say he is really doing a lot better with the exercise sessions and getting involved with all parts of the session, so big leap forward for my son.

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 one is 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.