Winston will be starting preschool next September, so over the past few months I’ve been to visit the two options near our house and asking my local ‘mum friends’ what they think. We always knew nursery would be most probable; but the conversations why, and if we wanted him to go were certainly still worth having. Neither of us believe that nursery is essential in the grand scheme of life, and I’ll be at home with Rufus so does it really matter? I wouldn’t class myself as a clingy mother and I don’t feel the need to protect him from anything, I’m just quite nonchalant about the whole thing. I believe that if a child already mixes with lots of other children; there’s not really anything else you can’t teach, or try at home. The number of parents choosing to home school is steeply rising in the UK, and children in the UK are offered a school place one, or even two years earlier than almost all other European countries. Both of which I’m sure you knew already. It is so interesting.
I loved nursery. I loved infant and junior school, I mostly loved high school and I loved 6th form. I loved playing the recorder, being in the hockey, netball, cross country and athletics teams. I loved being in the school orchestra and choir. I loved school dinners (yes, really) and the friends I met at school are the ones most dear to me now. I wouldn’t ever want my children to miss out on any of that…I literally cannot wait to go to school assemblies and plays, to attempt to control my competitive nature at Sports Day and to listen to some hideously out of tune concerts. Had I not enjoyed school, I’m sure I would feel completely different.
I hoped that when I looked around each nursery that I would instantly know which one I preferred, but it didn’t turn out to be as easy as that. The nursery I went to was huge, purpose built, new and clean with lots of outdoor space. The two I looked around were both homey and small, which took me completely by surprise and I didn’t have a huge preference for either. In the end we’ve decided to go with the one that has more outdoor space and is ever so slightly closer. Being able to walk is a priority; as I don’t always have the car and it was something I loved as a child…even though my Mum said I would strip on the way to nursery and infant school. Upon arrival I would just be in my pants and vest. How annoying must that have been for her? Plus, if we have another baby I don’t want the baby travelling in the car more than necessary…judging by my first two it would just be a nightmare and all of us would probably be crying by the time we got there.
At the moment Winston goes to playgroup twice a week, and I leave him for two hours. This is quite a recent thing and he absolutely loves it! I love it because I get to see what he makes, I love hearing what characteristics the workers notice in him and I love asking him about what he’s done and who he’s seen. As long I agree to stay with him a tiny bit and to pick him up after story time he is happy. Rufus and I go shopping, swimming, eat, read or do jobs that are far easier with just one child.
I’m not sure what happens next, and when we hear whether he has a place for September – or not. It’s all a bit new, and I am starting to feel sad that he is getting older far too quickly.