Today Lucas had his very first session in pre-school. I had no idea what to expect from him; how can you tell beforehand what they will make of it? It’s such a different situation for him and even though we go to playgroups this feels more formal. The home visit went so well right up to the end when his teacher had to leave and take the class teddy with her, cue Lucas wailing and hiding under the table! Since then he has been a bit cautious when I’ve mentioned school and his new teacher but this afternoon he happily set off with me on our walk to nursery. He was only in for an hour and I was able to stay with him. I tried to hold back a little bit; he doesn’t often look for me in playgroups and he didn’t really today. As we went in he hung up his hat and bag on his peg then ran off into the classroom; once he was in I saw him turn and look for me but a quick nod from me was enough for him to carry on exploring.
As I sat back and watched him playing with the other children today it really made me realise that he will be fine. I’ve been saying it all along but you never truly know how they will react in that different environment. I felt so proud of him; he is usually friendly to other children and can be so sweet. Like all three year olds he has his fair amount of tantrums but I’m starting to see that the fiery side of him we get at home is slightly more controlled in a different environment. He tidied up after himself and found toys to give to other children and he understood that he needed to take turns (maybe having two baby brothers interrupting all his games has helped!)
At the start of September we had a form to fill in from the school and one of the questions was ‘What do you most want for your child during their first nursery year?’ I keep coming back and looking at this question and trying to decide what to write in the small box underneath. The truth is I’m not sure what I expect Lucas to gain from nursery or what I particularly want him to learn from the experience. I suppose we all wish for the same things when they go out into the world on their own, that they will be safe and happy. I would like for him to make friends and for him to carry on improving with his language. I want him to have fun and to look forward to going into the classroom. I want him to enjoy his time there and to feel secure. He came out today and chattered and sang all the way home, he was full of smiles and couldn’t wait to go back next week. He just seemed so energised from the experience and seeing him like that makes the letting go worth it. I need to remember that next week when he goes in without me and a whole new chapter starts.