Saturday, 14 September 2013

First full week over

Last week was the first 'proper' week of school for both girls.  J has moved to Year 10 and is not getting on with starting her GCSE studies.  The two youngest though, had their first experiences of school last week.

S had been the week before for a few days but last week was her first proper week.  Now, she's been to nursery in a school before so I was expecting it to be a breeze for her.  Sadly not.  S is quite a sensitive, anxious little girl and the new environment was just a bit too much for her.  She cried pretty much every single morning which is really hard to cope with as a parent.  Even worse is having to physically untangle yourself from your crying child, hand them over to someone else who holds on to them while you beat a hasty retreat, hearing them crying for you as you leave.  Not good.  We hoped that given a few days she would settle down but she hasn't.  We hoped that having a friend she has known since a baby there would help ease the transition. It hasn't.

She does not want to go to school every day (not much we can do about that).

She does not like lunchtime. We give her a packed lunch (which she does enjoy) but she finds the dinner hall too noisy (again, not much we can do there).

We tried talking gently to her about school. She cried.

We tried ignoring the subject of school (hard to do).  She still cried.

We tried explaining more about all the fun she would have at school and all the wonderful things she would learn.  She cried.

Her sleep has been disrupted and her levels of anxious have gone up significantly.  She has started scratching her leg behind her knee and has made it very sore. I don't think she has an itch - I think she's very unsure and scared.

She has made a lovely little friend whom she talks about incessantly (and vice-versa her friends' mummy tells me).  Her little friend has an older sister at the school who also loves S and looks after her every break time.  She still is very sad and upset at school although she tells me "I only cried 5 times today mummy" like that is a good thing. I hope she settles down soon.

Yesterday her little friend's sister told me that she had suggested S do the 'wiggle dance' when she feels nervous or a bit scared.  Apparently they do it in their house to 'wiggle out the worry'. I thought that was lovely.  S wiggled quite a bit yesterday her friend told me.

She always comes out of school smiling but I would love to see her go in that way. I'm sure it will come.  I'm proud of her regardless as I know it's very hard for her at the moment but I'm sure those nerves will subside.

As for N, she started at nursery in a school on Monday.  She goes 3 full days a week.  She loves it.  She can't wait to go and was disappointed when it came to Thursday to hear that S was going to school and she wasn't.  What a difference.

Day 1 of N's nursery, she walked in, said hello to her teacher, found her name, put her things where they should be and asked if she could do some painting.  Result!

She has had a few tears though. She also found the dining hall noisy (she has a school lunch as she's not a fuss-pot like S) and had a little cry. The teachers settled her though.  She also had one after she woke up from her nap as she wanted me and was a bit confused by where she was.  Other than those kind of minor things, she's fine.  She mixed well with the other girls, listened well to the teachers and joined in conversations.  I'm very proud of her.

On Wednesday I had to leave them both for an extended day as it was my first school run without hubby (fortunately he'd had a few days off work which fitted in with their schools starting). They both start at the same time but finish 30 minutes apart (N being the later finish).  I therefore decided that S would go to breakfast club and be picked up on time and N would go in on time and go to after-school club.

I dropped a crying S off early trying to sound excited about play before school.  She didn't cling so much but was still in floods of tears. The teachers at the breakfast club were so kind and I was sure she'd settle down soon.  N just turned to her and said "You need to stop crying and be a big girl like me".  Great coming from you sister who is 2 years younger than you.

Off N and I went and I left a happy girl at school. I picked S up as usual and we came home, got her changed and headed off to get N.  As we walked around to the classroom where the girls were who were staying for after-school care, there she was sitting quietly eating her cheese sandwich chatting to the other girls.  How cute. She was very excited to see us both and rushed up for a cuddle. She then told me she hadn't finished her sandwich and water so went and sat back down to do so!  I was amazed at her relaxed attitude. Some of the girls S knew from her time there so they were all saying hello and excited to see one another which was lovely for S.   N finished up and we came home, not before all the teachers said how lovely she was and how affectionate and bright little girl. My heart swells with pride for all of my girls.

I hope by the end of next week S will have settled down more and be enjoying going to school a bit.  As for N, I have no worries.

I hope anyone else who had children start school or nursery this week had a lovely time.

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