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Isolated

I never felt so alone dropping my son off at school this morning, to be honest I don’t normally do the school run, my mum has been filling in for me due to this reduced timetable for my son that the school has enforced. However, for the past couple of weeks I have been doing the Monday morning school run. My son was not overly keen to go to school this morning, but he went in without a struggle, although we have this usual routine of waving goodbye at the school classroom window before I leave through the school gates and I could see he was forcing himself to look happy. However, I hoped he would manage to cheer himself up. Considering he had an extra long weekend with us due to the school’s decision to close the school on Friday due to the wintry flurries, I thought that he had made a good effort and was trying.

To be honest I felt lost and alone as much as my son today, had Mum girly gangs swearing behind us in front of the children (probably don’t get half as much grief as we do), babies in arms and showing off barely there baby bumps, and well I just feel a million miles away from this. I don’t want to get involved either, just not bothered and do not fit in, but worry about my son fitting in. I try not to worry and carry on with my day, and get myself to work, but less than an hour into the school day his teacher calls me that they cannot cope with his behaviour again and he has been excluded from school again. My tether is threadbare and something is about to snap!

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Back to School

Half term break is over with, am I glad it has come to an end? Yes and no really, I loved spending time with my son, but was running out of steam by the end of the week thinking about interesting things to do each day. To be honest we were so busy by the first half of the week, that we needed some downtime by the end of the break. In fact, after the first day back at school, my son has come back ill and cannot go to school for the second day, hope he feels well soon, it has been one chesty cough and cold after another since January. I also dreaded the meeting with his school about my son’s behaviour as soon as he went back, but I think my son was happy about the break we had and is looking forward to the next, although seems far away at the moment. He joined the line at the beginning of the day at school with the friend he has formed an attachment to and bumped into at Softplay during the school holidays. In fact our soft play day was the worse day for us of the holidays, never tried this soft play centre before as obviously we are new to the area, but was busy to be expected, because of school holidays and the weather was crap that day, but with over a 45 minute wait to get in, registration fee, expensive entry fees with paying for yourself to get in too, the experience was a bit of a let down. Facilities were not in the best state, complete carnage, mile long queues for food as well, a bit of a mess and got shouted at by another mother for grabbing a chair for my OH to sit at a table with us, the family at the adjacent table was leaving, but another family arriving was eying up the table although I had been stood there for 5 or 10 minutes next to it sorting our things out. Anyway we eventually moved as didn’t want to be sat next to a hostile family. The best part of that day was seeing my son bump into his new school friend and seeing them enjoying playing in the role play rooms, making the most of what I could just see as carnage and a state ha!

Going back to school issues, finally met the school Senco, and a language assessment has been done on my son and he is at the level where he is suppose to be for his age group. So, his issues are not down to a language delay, I am relieved, but never thought he had a language problem. However, he obviously finds it hard to communicate and deal with his anger and frustration issues, and after talking to his previous paediatrician she is sure in her opinion there are no medical issues behind his behaviour, although has helped us get him referred again in our new area for a second opinion. So, these settling in issues at school are frustrating and at a loss still, however, recent illness is not helping his attendance or progression. Yesterday he did have a good day, when he does return to school I hope he can keep up the good work. I have left images below of some of the best bits about our week off together.

Trip to The Postal Museum, London

Trip to The Postal Museum, London

Mail Rail, The Postal Museum, London

Sorted! Play area, The Postal Museum, London

Another adventure with Ted and Churchill

Meeting Robin Hood, Nottingham

Visit to the Kitty Cafe, Nottingham

Visit to the Kitty Cafe, Nottingham

Fortress Play Area, Nottingham Castle

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Holidays

Half term holidays have begun, and to be honest the lead up to that hasn’t been great. We were hoping that my son would have started settling into his new school by now, but no, seems to have gone a step backwards and has got himself excluded for the second time round after having another emotional meltdown in their care, this time over he feels he was wrongly accused of hitting someone. Whether he hit someone or not, teacher says she didn’t witness it, but told him off anyway in her ‘we don’t hit’ kind voice apparently, I am not happy with the way it was handled. I cannot excuse his overreaction, but feel this needn’t have escalated in the way it did. Cannot see a paediatrician where we use to live anymore as they realise we are now out of area, so basically just left us to fend for ourselves. I put a complaint in, which consequently got them to pull their finger out and help us make two new referrals in our new area, one for a second opinion as the paediatrician thought he had no medical conditions such as autism. I don’t know whether he has, I agree that if he does it is not obvious. I suggested to the school as I was running around in circles at the time trying to get these referrals made that they can refer him themselves and they said they do not have enough evidence, which exasperates me, as they have enough evidence to cause us to take him home early twice and find it difficult to say something positive about my son’s time in school.

Beyond the school troubles, we are settling more into our new home and our son’s behaviour has started to calm down at home, as he was quite hyper and getting a bit disrespectful. We are continuing to go to a Gymnastics club here, which he is persevering with, it is quite different to his old one so he is getting use to it still. I think the old one was a better fit for him and he found the class structure more familiar, as there was a repetitive routine, with only slight changes. This one seems to be slightly different each week, plus there is less coaches and apparatus, but he surprises me and is giving it go, and wants to return, so that is the main thing. He loved the new local weekend playgroup, despite my partner hating it, but we are going back next weekend and my partner said he will try to be less grumpy hehe So what can I say we are not getting the behaviour that school experience with us, yes, he tests the boundaries every now and then, but not having destructive meltdowns with him and not seeing him be aggressive with other children in our care either, yes, he has less opportunity as he is our only, but we do take him to places where there are other children.

We started the half term by visiting a local farm, the sun was out, but was very cold still so we had to wrap up warm. However, he had a lovely time exploring all of what the farm had to offer.

Collage crafts at the farm

Crafts at Standalone Farm

Collage crafts at the farm

Crafts at Standalone Farm

Train ride

Play area at Standalone Farm

Action shot with daddy Sand pit fun

Sand pit fun in the sun

What a pair?

Baa!

Model railway

We look forward to having more fun together during our half term break and forget about any school troubles until our next meeting, groan!

Take care my lovelies

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2017 so far

It has been over a year now since my OH got made redundant, and I am proud that he was able to secure another job so quickly and has recently got a temporary promotion. One dark cloud has been lifted, but 2017 has been a so so year for us, with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. OH’s mum has been in and out of hospital like a yo-yo pretty much all year, after my son’s heart scare was clear and that anxiety was out of the way, his behaviour began deteriorating with all childcare providers and now not even settling into school well, despite these troubles we can see real progress and leaps in his development at home. The mystery is his behaviour for us has been a lot better than it has been for ages, yes, there are some negative moments interspersed along the way, but nothing like school is telling us. I have had him assessed by a paediatrician who thinks nothing is medically wrong, so completely stumped as the school has finally excluded him (one day suspension) and I fear this will just get the ball running on that, and will be one of many. I am not completely happy with the way school has handle things, and yes you might as well say either blame the boy or his parents, but I really don’t believe in this school’s tough love approach. 

Really at the end of our tether about this, OH is under a lot of pressure as he is trying to make a good impression in his new role and I am trying to fulfil the hours I am suppose to do at work, and feel I am just managing to fulfil that part of the bargain.

Overall had such a awful start to my son’s school, despite our best efforts, plus other negative things that have happen during living in our current location. I want to move and my partner agrees, it’s just finding a place and hoping we can find a school that is more suitable for him. I do not believe a move is going to magically solve things, but think we all just need a fresh start. I was honest with my son’s current school with our moving intentions and that he is only staying on at school until the end of this term, and unbelievably they told us not to move, do schools control all aspects of your life these days, from nosey home visits, constant scrutiny and deciding whether you can move house or not?!?!?

Still where possible trying to remain positive, although difficult with things constantly trying to bring us down.

Family shot with Peter Rabbit
Threading beads, yep, he does concentrate sometimes
LO and mummy on our half term adventure
Building towers at Softplay
Pumpkin Patch visit and our lanterns
My son’s poppy remembrance card
Progress at gymnastics

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School ☹️ Home 🙂

I don’t know what to say, I feel sorry for my son. He is trying to love school, I remember his first official day starting school, he tried to hold back the tears and he was constantly blinking, and his lower lip was starting to tremble. I could see he was nervous about his first day. Then upon collection as we took the first week of school off of work and collected him early everyday, he was so excited to see us and I wanted him to be enthused about going to school, and gave him a medal for his bravery.

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His medal for bravery for his first day at school

However, as weeks have gone by and he has had his first month at school, our son is being constantly reprimanded for bad behaviour, we have been called into meetings and I am not even sure I agree with their way of handling it. We are being criticised we are not firm enough, whereas I think their tough love approach is not helping, making his meltdowns worse and I feel sorry for him. I don’t do time outs or naughty steps, I have tried to in the past, but I just end up in a battle of wills with my son and it does no good for me either, and just end up making myself feel more stressed and angry. I rather do time ins for my son and I think they work better. I think the school want a quick solution and more worried about staff ratios, hence, I want an assessment of my son completed and if he needs more support and funding for more one on one attention, I am prepared to fight for that.

https://www.positiveparentingconnection.net/time-out-vs-time-in-whats-the-difference/

Last weekend was a real downer, the school called us in and the headteacher said ‘it was the worse behaviour she had seen in her 30 year career span’. I realise she might want to emphasise the seriousness of the situation, but I don’t appreciate her professionalism for saying it or how even saying that helped. After a good cry that evening, I refused to mope about the entire weekend with my son. We went to playgroup as usual, the volunteers wanted to hear things had turned around for our son starting school, but unfortunately I had to say they hadn’t. However, he had a nice time at the playgroup and I couldn’t fault his behaviour there. We went to the library to return some books and get some new ones afterwards, and the only struggle we had was he wanted to run off while we were trying to walk to the library. This has always been one of the ongoing issues we have had, running off, fussy eating (some not his fault as he has had intolerances and a hyper sensitive gag reflex when he was younger), refusing to sleep sometimes even though tired (this is something we experienced a lot less of now) and his dependency on me to fall asleep, he is scared of the dark and being on his own. However, we dealt with the running off issue and had a good talk with him, and have to report he said to me at the beginning of this week ‘Mummy, I am learning to walk by you’.

The school wanted me to punish him all weekend, but I was never going to do that, I talk to him about his bad behaviour and told him he mustn’t do these things and we talk about alternatives, but then we move on and give him another chance. We enjoyed the disco that I got tickets for ages ago despite us all being a bit coldy, he was less apprehensive about a darkened, noisy dance hall, loved the falling metallic streamers and the giant balloons, and I loved helping him trying to reach and hit them back up in the air. We didn’t stay as long and left early, before my son got too hyper and timed it just right.

The other thing my son has been doing really well at is his preschool gymnastics classes, joining into both parts equally and letting me move to the upper viewing gallery part way through without a fuss. He has earned a Star of the week sticker 3 times in a row since the beginning of term and his first badge, and he has truly earned it and it is a big leap forward for him.

Today we went to a church fayre run by the organisation that runs the playgroup we regularly go to, first it was nice to see my son taking the initiative to do some crafty things as a lot of the time he isn’t interested. Particularly the sand art work as it required concentration and patience, and it seemed very therapeutic for him. He also picked out this bracelet for me to make up for the jewellery he has broken in the past (his words), I forgive him for that as he was a lot younger and going through a grabby stage even though I tried my best to keep things out of the way. He also picked out a necklace for his nan who has recently been recovering in hospital, and might finally be going home again this week!

Hoping we carry on with the progress at gymnastics, school I am not so sure where we are heading with that.

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Happy New Year – 2017!

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Enjoying our day out to London over Christmas 2016

Apologies, I haven’t updated my blog for sometime, probably since late October last year. However, it has been a busy time for us and also my last blog host site became uneditable, well at least from my iPhone as that is what I work off at the moment, so it has taken time to transfer all my blogs to WordPress, and the last three I had to manually type again. It may not look aesthetically the best site at the moment, but may work on that later, but I hope the content may interest some of my audience and thanks to all those who liked my FB page recently and got it up to 50 likes milestone (I think I owe one of you a stress relieving dildo), hopefully will reach 100 before the end of 2017, who knows.

Anyway, so what has been taking up all my time. As I indicated in my last few blogs my OH was made redundant towards the end of last year, so it’s been job search, job search and continually updating CV, which I have overviewed some of that process. I am pleased to say he is now in work, although not his dream role nor a permanent role yet. However, at least he is earning and the rate isn’t bad by today’s stagnant standards, he is earning over the recommended London living wage, so things are OK for us at the moment. He hopes to move on to a permanent role with increased responsibility soon. Fingers crossed that can happen.

My son had a number of childhood illnesses at the same time as my OH was out of work, I know that time of year, but he was really unlucky one after another, chickenpox, hand, foot & mouth and the worse one as I said before just a common cold, but it did end up giving him a chest infection and then the other alarming thing is when he saw the doctor they heard a heart murmur. This has caused us some worry and anxiety, he had blood tests and they came back clear, but he saw our GP again after these were taken and was feeling much better, however, she could still hear his heart murmur. So, he was referred for more tests at a heart and lung specialist hospital. This caused us some worry in the back of our minds over Christmas, but we tried to enjoy our break and make it a good one. He had all the tests done last week, ECG & Echo scan and I am relieved to say his heart is normal and healthy, and it is just an innocent heart murmur, and has been discharged. He has really been good for all the tests and is a much better patient than I am, very proud of him. We celebrated by having a family meal out and granted his request for a new toy, although going to have curb these requests now as it is going to bankrupt us.

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Christmas Day 2016

I also finally succumbed to the lurgy bug, just before the New Year, so didn’t get to finish transferring all my blogs to WordPress or work on any new ones until now. I am hoping we can look forward to 2017 with optimism as a family unit that is, although politically things look dire, my OH will break free of contracts in more ways than one this year and hopefully will move into a permanent role soon and feel happier. It’s my son’s 4th birthday this summer and he will go to big school in September, we await to hear what school he has been allocated in April, we faced a conundrum with what we put as first choice in the end, more to do with childcare and then when we heard his old preschool bestie attended the one we were going to put as second choice and changed our minds at the last minute to move it to first despite some reservations we had, so we will see what happens. Either way the top two choices are 5 minutes down the road from us, although one has slightly better hours of wraparound care than the other, then we will be completely astounded if we get allocated the last two choices haha, shouldn’t laugh as it could happen, they are not bad schools just geographically further away from us and not as practical for us going to and from work.

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Happy New Year from my Paw Patroller

For my readers, thanks for the attention and I hope my ramblings bring some comfort or laughs for you and best wishes for all your families in 2017!

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Primary School Application process nightmare race to commence soon…

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This is just about to begin this year for us over the next few months. To be honest I have a good idea what school my son will be going to, rather than worry about whether my god are we in the catchment area to nearest outstanding school (which I know we are not)? We are probably going to put our nearest primary school on the top of our list and cannot see why he won’t get it, unless there is some stupid boundary rule thing we are not aware of even though it is just five minutes down the road from us, but anyway pretty sure we are in the catchment area for it. The only thing that will stop us from choosing it is when we visit it something does not feel right.

Anyhow, the reason for this blog is merely down to fact when I was recently checking out a local mummy group, I was quite surprised to someone’s response to a post. Basically the mum that posted was new to the area and sending her eldest child to the school we are probably going to and hope to send our son to next year as well, and her post was just a shout out from the mum to other mums really, understandable, but it was someone else’s response that took me by surprise. I mean of course I am interested in hearing other mums views on the school, but the lady basically said the school is undersubscribed because people are put off the ethnic mix in the school. Jaw drops! The school has a good Ofsted report, admittedly the previous ones were needs improvement, but obviously standards have been raised. I note the other mum is probably trying to distance herself that these are not her views, but then why say it?

Does ethnicity go hand in hand with academic achievement, because if it does, not that I read this rag usually, I don’t usually quote the Daily Fail, that other ethnicities are outranking white British students or did the mum mean people don’t send their children there as that is where the poor children live? I mean it’s not exactly cheap to live where I live and I still cannot afford to buy here. Anyway seems such a shame if that is the truth and it’s not good education for all (yes, I am not completely naive, but it should be), and that parents have to desperately go searching to live in the right area to be next to the best school or even trying to defraud the system just because they are so desperate for their child to attend an outstanding school that is most likely to be oversubscribed.

Daily Fail article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3521989/Betrayal-white-pupils-16-white-British-children-lag-12-ethnic-groups-alarming-report-says-let-schools-parents.html

Parents who cheat at school:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/9904282/The-parents-who-cheat-at-school.html

I mean I added my own comment and said I thought mixing with other cultures was a positive thing (I would as I am a product of immigrants, we all are really if you look far enough back in your family history), and that I would be glad to get to know other parents that were thinking of sending their children there. Hopefully, I will get some feedback from the mum on the group, fingers crossed.

Please don’t let me be a status worrying & bossy mummy hehe

Oh god then there is the playground cliques next haha

From this netmums guide I definitely think I am going to be a roll out of bed and wing it mum hehe although might refrain from wearing the pjs, I know I try to avoid the usual office wear as much as possible, but wearing my pjs, well that is even too lazy for me

Playground mummies:

http://www.netmums.com/child/10-types-of-mums-youll-meet-at-the-school-gate

Anyway wish us luck with our application process for next year, I am sure there will be a few more posts focusing on the subject from me in the future