Monkey’s first day at playgroup!

This week was a big day for us as it was Monkey’s first day at playgroup! Looking after Monkey, raising him and teaching him about the world has been my job since he was born. It is why I wanted to be a SAHM and I feel privileged that I have been able to do so for this long. However there are many reasons why we think it will be good for him to go to playgroup. One day he will have to go to school and we want to be able to ease him into it, first of all with a couple of days of playgroup, then preschool before he starts school. The local playgroup generally feeds into the local school so our hope is that he will make friends at playgroup and pre-school and that they will move up together to school one day.

Making friends is the biggest reason we have been keen for him to go to playgroup as although he sees my friends’ children, with jobs and other commitments he doesn’t see them quite so often anymore and it would be nice for him to have more time playing with other children. But he has never been left without me, hubs or his grandparents before so we knew it would be a big change for him, and for us, for him to be in someone else’s care.

He was originally due to start in November, when he was 2 1/2, but with LM being born we didn’t want to make such a big change at that time, as we didn’t want him to feel that he was being taken there because  she was here. So we delayed his start date until after Christmas as we felt that would be the best time for a new start to the routine, and Friday afternoon was his first day.

WP_20150109_18_57_43_ProWe had been trying to prepare him and help him feel enthusiastic and excited about starting playgroup in the run up to the big day. We were recommended a lovely book by a friend who had used it with her son to help him prepare for playgroup, “Lulu Loves Nursery.”* We substituted the word nursery for playgroup but it is a really lovely book and talks about how Lulu is worried about being without her mummy, and feels shy at first, but then decides to be brave and she really loves her day at nursery. It is a great book and also comes with a certificate you can fill out and give to them at the end of their first day.

Monkey absolutely adores this book and we have been reading it over and over since we gave it to him, it has definitely helped Monkey with the concept of me leaving him there but coming back again afterwards. It has also helped that our playgroup provided a little leaflet, which reads like a story, about all of the things you can do there.

The big day dawned and we had a fairly quiet morning at home to make sure he was well rested. Daddy didn’t want to miss it so he came home and we all went off to playgroup together. Monkey had his little backpack on and was dead excited, running basically all the way there and dragging Daddy along! We got there much quicker than I thought we would have actually so had to wait outside for a little while!

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When it was time to go in, Monkey was straight in there, playing with puzzles, he didn’t seem bothered about us at all. We decided not to hang about too long so said our goodbyes after a few minutes and headed out. He only gave us cursory hugs and goodbyes, but as we were leaving we did see a bit of a sad fac, though we heard no cries and saw no tears.

We were both a bit on edge that afternoon, though I think because I still had LM to deal with I was a little less anxious than hubs who was back at work, unable to focus! I did keep an eye on my phone though in case they called but we heard nothing. When we went to collect him the staff said that he had been a little upset, and cried a few times, but that they had been able to distract him with books and toys each time and he had got over his tears.

At the end of the session they have all the children sat together to wait for their parents and then call them out one by one to us parents who are waiting in the foyer, though they can’t see us. I didn’t really know how they did it and if I had I would have asked if he could come out first, but I didn’t so they called out 4 or 5 other children before calling him out, so by the time he came out to us he was very unhappy again. I can understand it as from his perspective, sitting there waiting for mummy and daddy, watching other children go out to their parents, wondering if we were coming for him, it must have been pretty scary.

WP_20150111_11_11_05_ProWe had big cuddles though and he said he enjoyed himself. He showed us the fab picture he made and was excited about the fact he had been using glue.He was telling us about the books he had read and the friend he had played with (I’m not sure he actually did play with this little boy or just said it because we had talked about him beforehand) and within a few yards he said “I love playgroup” which we took as a very positive sign. In fact he even asked me if he could go playgroup again the next day, which is another very good sign. We stopped for an ice cream on the way home (as they do in “Lulu Loves Nursery“*) and he very pleased with his certificate from his  book :)

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I am expecting more tears on Monday, potentially even when I drop him off, and probably for a few more times, but hopefully he is off to a good start and it well get easier and easier the more he gets used to the playgroup, the staff and the other children. Fingers crossed anyway! But for now I am just a proud mama and think he did so so well for his first day!

Linking up to:

MaternityMondays
We're going on an adventure
#ToddlerApprovedTuesday
Ethans Escapades

and

Mini Creations

with his first ever picture from playgroup :)

*Affiliate Links

Our Brave Little Monkey!

Part 2 of the bad bank holiday weekend story!

After coming home from hospital Saturday night, thankfully hubby and I managed to get a decent night’s sleep. Sunday afternoon we had planned to have Monkey’s 2nd birthday party. As what I had been so poorly with didn’t appear to be contagious and, though I was very tired, I was feeling a lot better so we decided to go ahead as planned. We did have chats with some of the family and Monkey’s Great Grandpa decided not to risk it in case he did get poorly, but everyone else wanted to come along and celebrate the little man’s birthday, and I certainly didn’t want my being ill to put a stop to the fun!

Everything was fine throughout the day and hubby’s bro came round to give us a hand with jobs and entertaining Monkey as I was still not a lot of use to man or beast! We popped to the shops to buy a birthday cake as we hadn’t been able to make one, and Monkey desperately wanted the Peppa Pig cake and insisted on carrying it all round the shops, back to the car, and in the car on the way home! Miraculously it survived! (Sadly I didn’t get a pic of this – a clear sign I was not well and wasn’t thinking clearly lol!)

Monkey had his nap and then the family started arriving and Monkey woke around 4, which was when we had planned to start everything. It all started off really well and Monkey was thoroughly enjoying opening his presents and having his family round.

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Then, about half an hour in, things went pear shaped :(

Monkey threw up everywhere, the poor thing, and we were immediately concerned but tried to be optimistic. “He’s just over-excited” was said numerous times, albeit with frowns and doubting looks! He opened a few more presents and then threw up again, and again. There was no escaping it now, Monkey had caught whatever bug I had. Our wonderful lovely family were so great at helping tidy things away and even clearing up the puke while hubs and I looked after our little man, but we made it clear, particularly to older and more vulnerable members that they should get outta there as soon as they wanted as we really didn’t want anyone else to catch it!

What followed was our little man being really poorly and throwing up a lot over the course of the evening, but you know what? He was such a darling. He coped so well with it all and we were so proud of him as he just acted so maturely for a just turned 2 year old.

He basically wanted to be in bed, on his own. When he was throwing up or crying, of course we were there, to cuddle, clean up, change sheets and clothes, rub his back and soothe him as much as possible. But basically as soon as he had finished, and often before we had finished cleaning floors etc, he would snuggle down in bed and wave goodbye,as if to say “It’s ok Mum & Dad I want to sleep now.” One time I lingered briefly in the doorway after he’d waved me away, because honestly I didn’t want to leave my poorly boy alone. I wanted to hold him and let him sleep on me. But he lifted his head, frowned and waved at me again, like “seriously, leave me alone, mum.” Honestly he melted my heart.

Another time hubby and I were knelt at the side of his bed and he was looking up at us with his gorgeous puppy dog eyes and Daddy said “Are you ok Monkey?” Monkey shrugged his shoulders, held his hands out to either side, and said in his gorgeous way one of the few phrases he knows “I don’t know.” Then he snuggled back down and again when we hadn’t left immediately, lifted his hand and waved us away.

Sadly a few hours later hubby also succumbed to the bug and was terribly, terribly poorly. My worst point of the night was soothing a poorly little man upstairs, with puke in my ear and hair, and all down my back, while listening to hubby throwing up downstairs. Really not a very good point of the weekend, and honestly with still not feeling 100% myself, being surrounded by all that vomit was not very fun.

We survived however, as you do, with numerous loads of laundry.Thankfully ages ago we bought a spare version of Monkey’s favourite blanket and managed to keep the two blankets in rotation between wash cycles. We only have one doggy bear unfortunately (Monkey’s favourite comforter, so named because we have no idea if it is supposed to be a dog or bear!) as it was a gift and we have never been able to find it to buy a spare. Thankfully he survived the night with some damp cloths and got a good wash in the morning! If anyone has seen this dog/bear/comforter toy anywhere, please let me know so we can buy an emergency replacement for the future!

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Monkey slept through from around 11pm (thank goodness) and hubby managed to sleep from about 2.30am. Around 6 am I heard Monkey knocking around and so went to give him a little water. Again, as soon as he had his drink, he gave me a wave and snuggled back down again to get some more sleep, and slept in til around 9am (VERY late for him).

Amazingly he was full of beans yesterday (Monday), and had far more energy than hubby or I, so he managed to open his remaining presents and have a good play, though a lot of Peppa Pig was watched!

Opening presents in his jammies

Opening presents in his jammies

Poorly boys watching TV

Poorly boys watching TV

Unfortunately though he had a poorly tummy Monday night and was not himself Tuesday morning. He threw up again and then slept a large portion of the day away, though he did later perk up (in between naps) and have a good play and a munch on some dry crackers. He was much happier after a second long nap in the afternoon and ate some soup for tea, so fingers crossed he really is through the worst this time! Hubby is also doing a lot better today thankfully though he and I are both still pretty exhausted from the whole weekend! As I type though i can hear lots of post bath time fun and singing of row, row the boat so I am confident both my boys are on the mend, if a little skinnier than a few days ago!

We are just amazed by how well Monkey coped throughout the whole thing. Obviously he cried a lot and was very upset when he was being sick etc. and obviously we would have been there to cuddle, rock and soothe all through the night if he had wanted or needed us. But he didn’t. He wanted his bed and his favourite things, and to be alone. Even today (Tuesday), he has made it clear when he wanted to go back to bed and just be on his own and it has felt so strange being without him through the day. But, I guess when you scale it up to adulthood, it’s what we want to do. To just rest and be on your own. To have a bit of a moan and receive some comfort, but then go and get some more sleep again.

So it may seem like a strange post to link up to Small Steps, Amazing Achievements, and Loud & Proud, but we are so so proud of him and can’t believe how quickly our little monkey is growing up!

N.B. We still have the Peppa Pig cake, it never made it out of the box – so as soon as the illness is well and truly gone our brave little monkey will get a lovely treat!

Oh, and thankfully, at the time of writing, none of our family have caught the nasty bug so fingers crossed none of them will either!

Ethans Escapades

Not My Year Off

Family Day at the Zoo

We are really lucky to have all of our immediate family really close by, which means we see them really regularly. We are also really lucky to have a fab little zoo, called Hamerton ZooPark, within about a half hour drive of us. We’ve been once already this year and because they offer a great value season ticket, no doubt this won’t be my last post about it either!

It is such a great place, but it opened *I think* in 1990 and would have been a lot smaller then, so wasn’t somewhere either hubby or I went to as kids. But both of us had been as adults and it is a fave place for us. My parents though, had never been, so this Easter Monday, when talking about what to do as a nice day out together, we decided they really needed to see how great it is! My little bro and his lovely girlfriend love it there too and really wanted to come for a fun day with Monkey.

The other option for the day was a local farm, but last year Monkey was terrified of the noisy sheep and while I do want to take him back, I thought avoiding sheep may be safest for a stress free family day out!

We really lucked out with the weather as it was such a glorious day! Monkey was dead excited at just being able to run around with some of his favourite people there to play with him!

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He was also really brave and stroked a donkey, and a goat! Clever Monkey!

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I also took my big camera this time, and managed to get some nice snaps of some of the lovely animals!

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It was a lovely time of year to go too as there was some gorgeous baby animals! I loved the baby meerkats!

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And we saw this gorgeous baby wallaby emerging from his mumma’s pouch, and then jump right back in again!

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Monkey loved seeing all the animals..

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But I think he loved spending time with his family more than anything!

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Overall it was just such a lovely day in the sun!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall