This time last week was an important morning for Charles.
I'm ashamed to say that I didn't blog about it despite really wanting to. I briefly mentioned it on Twitter.
As with everything parenting related you are judged, and I knew, knew I was going to be judged for our decisions for this coming September.
I could sit here and justify our decision but why should I? It doesn't make us bad parents, despite what others clearly think.
Anyway, following my nightmare time with the school we originally had his name down at, we were swiftly given a place at one that's even closer. I couldn't mention it in my last post for various reasons.
This preschool is amazing and has 'Outstanding' Ofsted report. In fact due to the type of preschool they are their 'Outstanding' Ofsted report sets them apart from other preschools locally and around the country.
We were asked to attend a session on the morning of the 11th. My mum was due to babysit Harry but was suffering a terrible migraine so we took him with us.
The preschool staff were all very welcoming.
We registered Charles and signed ourselves in on the visitors sheet and then explored the different tables of activities. Various members of staff came over and spoke to us which I found very reassuring.
The manager then came over, took myself and my husband to one side whilst Charles busied himself with Play-Doh and talked through the structure and routine they have in place.
From 8.45 until 10.30 they use the activities, promoting learning through play. 10.30 is playtime/break, usually outside and snack time. Children are involved heavily with snack time and each day a different group will help prepare the food.
Once play time is over they have story time and song time. They involve the children as much as possible by using props and even dressing the children up.
Some children will go into the kitchen and take part in different activities. When we were there the plan was for some children so create jellyfish using jelly.
We will see a folder full of his developments and things he has done at the end of every term.
We were then told that we could leave Charles if we wished. He seemed to have settled in well and we didn't see any reason not to. We went and said goodbye and left, with the promise of a phone call in an hour.
We popped for breakfast then returned home. I sat by the phone and waited.
The manager phoned after exactly an hour. "Charles is fine. See you at 11:45"
With that I packed Harry into the car and we went into town to spend our Mothercare vouchers....I was constantly watching the clock.
The traffic can be awful in town so I left in, what I thought, was plenty of time. I of course then got every red light, joined various queues, and had to wait for the train.
I arrived at 11:47, raced inside apologising to the manager who told me not to be so silly as I wasn't late.
I walked in and looked to my left and, on a line of small school chairs, I saw my baby boy. He looked so tiny and so cute. His face lit up, as did mine and Harry squealed and waved.
I went over, cuddled him and he showed me his school bag, tshirt and the painting he had done.
I purchased another 2 tshirts whilst I was there and spoke to the manager.
They said he had got on very very well, told us who is Key Worker would be and looked forward to seeing us in September.
Charles absolutely loved his morning at preschool and has talked about it everyday since.
He played in sand, drove a car, played in a train, played with the computer, played with Play-Doh, punched holes into paper using a hole punch and dressed up in a nice red sparkly dress.
Every time we drive past he waves and shouts "HELLO PRESCHOOL! I SEE YOU SOON!!"
We are taking our full 15 funded hours meaning he will attend 5 sessions a week. This may mean him going everyday or going for 2 sessions in one day.
I know some people are against this but you know what? I don't want him to go. I'd have him at home with me forever if I could. But he rarely see's friends and now needs social interaction with other children. He's ready for it. I know it's the right thing to do.
It also means that in the time he is at preschool, which is only for 3 hours lets face it, which goes quickly anyway, I can spend quality time with Harry.
I'm planning on having a set day to go swimming with him and in between we'll go for walks and have special bonding time.
I'm excited that Charles will hopefully make some friends, I feel sorry for him only having 2 at the moment although it's all about quality not quantity but it's no good when he hardly see's them.
Also, as I've said plenty on my blog before, we've never really done routine so it will be nice for Charles to get into a routine before he goes on to big boy school. It will also get him used to taking instruction from other people.
I'm excited for Charles and his new adventures.