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Do they sell them in B&Q?

24 Mar

Trying to get information out of Aidan about what he did during his afternoon at pre-school is like trying to get AB+ from a pebble.

However, in his ‘I’m-so-tired-you-must-take-me-to-bed-now-this-instant-immediately-and-no-I-don’t-want-a-bath’ state one absolutely classic gem came out.

Aidan: “Mummy, I went in the cage”

Me: “The what now?!”

Aidan: “The cage, Mummy”

Further conversation was obviously beyond him as he then said ‘n’night’ & laid down.

So I’m left wondering, what the Hell is this ‘cage’ he’s referring to and, more to the point, as he’s clearly so exhausted from being in it, where can I get one?




Control Freak…..

24 Mar

I’m sure this will not come as a surprise to you, given my previous post about my OCD, but I am a control freak.

I find it very hard to delegate any tasks at all which really doesn’t help my stress levels.

Having said that, I’ve found it relatively easy to delegate to Aidan’s preschool for 2.5hrs every Thursday afternoon.  It must be because he’s such a little sod angel.

However, I am struggling with the fact that, other than what can be gleaned from the brief chat with his key worker when he’s collected or from the little tidbits of information that Aidan chooses to share, I have very little idea what he has been doing while he’s been there.

Last week he came home with purple paint on his hand and top, so I’m guessing he painted a picture.  (I’m so clever!)  He also started talking about things being bigger or smaller and saying Sharon (his key worker) had been showing him big and small stuff, so I’m guessing they did work on that too.

I understand that the focus is really on playing (Learning through Play) but I still want to know what he’s been doing!  I also understand that, at £10 a session rather than £60+ for a full day at nursery, I can’t expect the detailed notes the nursery will give you at the end of the day.

I have noticed his level of understanding, tolerance and use of different vocabulary have all dramatically improved and he is counting, or recognising letters and numbers, without prompting now, so what more can I ask really?

I think I just need to chill out……………or possibly install CCTV?




One small step for Aidan, one giant leap for Mummy and Daddy…..

10 Mar

Today Aidan started preschool.

A momentous day and yet, to Aidan at least, it seemed to be just a minor turn in the path of his life.

I felt like I should take a photograph of him, all ready to go, but as he doesn’t wear a  uniform or have a special bag/backpack yet there wouldn’t have been much to distinguish it from any other photo of him.

He was excited all morning and seemed perfectly prepared for the fact that Mummy and Nanny wouldn’t be staying there with him.  He knew that Mummy was “going to get pennies” (a.k.a. working!) and he thought Nanny was going to do the same.  (Not sure how Nanny felt about that suggestion as she’s been retired for several years!)  I should probably explain that, as I normally work all day on Thursday, his Nanny will be the one taking him and picking him up every week so I thought it was important for her to be there to meet the staff and so it wasn’t so strange for Aidan next week when Nanny does it on her own.

Silly Mummy got us all to the preschool a little bit early and they weren’t quite ready to let us in so we had to wait outside for a little while, which Aidan found a bit frustrating.  Once they opened the doors he was raring to go, taking his coat off and stating that he wanted to go and play in the pink car!

He picked his name out from the stars on the table and put his coat and bag neatly on a chair, then stuck his star on the chair back.  Honestly, it was like he’d been there before!

After saying hello to his key worker, he was off and into the pink car!

I spent a few minutes going through some details (mainly about him being reminded to go to the toilet!) with his key worker and then, after seeing that he was very happy, decided that the time was right to say our goodbyes.  Once again, he wasn’t phased and gave me a lovely kiss and cuddle before saying “Bye Mummy, see you later”.  This made me a very happy bunny indeed!

What didn’t make me a happy bunny was then being delayed, unnecessarily, by the manager who kept thrusting forms at me and then, when I was halfway through completing them, saying that I could have taken them home to do!  She then spent a further five minutes finding a receipt for me for my payment.  By this time, Aidan had come over to me and Nanny several times to show us things, so had probably got the idea that we were staying.  All of this meant that when I finally did leave (after saying goodbye to him again) he started running towards the door, bawling his eyes out.  I know it was harsh but I didn’t turn back and just shut the door behind me.  What a bitch! Giving him more attention at this point would only have prolonged it and I knew the ladies there would be able to deal with him.

So off I went to work, wondering if Nanny would be getting a call from them soon!  I really couldn’t vouch for the accuracy of my work until I got a text from my Mum, just before 3, to say that she’d picked him up, (they like you to pick them up slightly early the 1st time) he was very happy and was looking forward to going again!  Apparently, when she got there he was sitting with all the other children listening to a story and didn’t notice she was there for quite a while.  His key worker said he’d settled in very well and he was proudly wearing a star sticker that he got for being a good boy!  He even asked to go for a wee about five minutes after we left!

The manager, as well as some of the other ladies there, commented on what a “confident, chatty, sociable, polite and happy little boy” he is.  Excuse me for a moment but…….that’s my son! *Proud mummy alert*

I’m prepared for the fact that next week, or the week after, or the weeks after that, may not go as smoothly but I’m chuffed to little mint balls with how well my little man coped with today.



No pina coladas at preschool…..

7 Mar

It would appear that Aidan may have a pineapple allergy.

We’re not 100% sure but there have been a few coincidences that would be explained by it.

On Wednesday, Aidan was suffering with a cold all day.  Runny nose, bit off his food, coughing, grumpy and clingy.  It was fantastic fun as I’m sure you can imagine!  He managed a small amount of dinner (cottage pie, carrots, peas & sweetcorn factlovers!) with a glass of orange, lemon and pineapple squash.  He seemed tired and ready for bed but also a little upset and restless.  Daddy was just about to start his bedtime story when Aidan calmly told him he was going to be sick…..and he was, oh boy, he was!  Bless him though, he seemed much happier afterwards and even wanted to get involved in the clean-up operation.  (Did I mention he’s a bit weird?)

All was well overnight so, despite him still being a little grumpy, clingy & snotty on Thursday morning I went off to work leaving him with my Mum.  Apparently, he was tired, a bit quieter than usual and not massively hungry but generally okay all day.  I picked him up and came home with him at about 4:30pm when he promptly asked very nicely for some squash so I obliged.  He wasn’t particularly interested in any dinner but did manage a slice of toast.  All was fine until just before his bath when he started to get very upset, fidgety and restless again.  Within five minutes of this behaviour starting he was then sick again (in the toilet this time thankfully!) but, once again, seemed much happier afterwards.

I started racking my brains trying to think of some kind of connection and reason as to why he was only being sick in the evening.  He also had some small spots, (usual for Aidan when he has a virus) as well as some red, sore looking patches of skin on his legs.  Suddenly I remembered a traumatic experience last Spring when I’d taken him to the local aquarium and he’d become restless in his pushchair and then, about 5mins after exiting the shop, vomited all over himself and his pushchair.  Guess what?  About 30mins before we’d gone out he’d eaten some fresh pineapple.  He had a similar ‘rash’ then too.

After speaking to my Mum that evening she told me she remembered having an allergic reaction to pineapple as a child and my nephew had an allergic reaction to kiwi which I believe contains a similar enzyme.

I think it is something he’ll probably grow out of (my Mum did) and it doesn’t seem particularly severe in that it doesn’t cause his mouth & throat to swell as it does in some people.  It may even just be that the acidic nature of the pineapple aggravated mucus in his tummy from his cold (it always goes into his tummy!) and he’ll be fine with pineapple at other times.

So, I’m going to tell the preschool on Thursday that he shouldn’t have any pineapple as a precaution and then, when he’s fully over this cold, I’m thinking of trying him with that squash again so that I’ll know one way or another?  Would you do the same?

Maternal Chip Missing?

20 Sep

Let me just start by saying this post is not intended to be judgmental of anyone, we’re all different, we all cope with things in different ways and I would never presume my way or opinion was infinitely more valuable than anyone else’s.  In fact, I question myself most of the time!

I follow a lot of fellow Mums on Twitter who have children of a similar age to Aidan and recently a lot of the tweeting has been about their little ones starting nursery or pre-school and how anxious they (the Mums) are feeling about the whole process.

The hubby and I have been extremely fortunate so far with regards to childcare in that, although I work part-time, Aidan has always been able to be looked after by either of his Nannys on the days that I work.  It’s gone well, they love having him and he enjoys spending time with them and is really close to both sets of grandparents which we’re so pleased about.  We were also pleased that we didn’t need to put Aidan into nursery as soon as I went back to work which was when he was 8.5 months old.  The biggest reason for this was financial, nurseries are expensive!

As time went on we started to think about the possibility of putting Aidan into nursery 1 day a week when he got to 18 months old, mostly for socialising and developing confidence (although he’s full of that!) and sharing skills.  Work wasn’t particularly busy for me (I’m self-employed) so this got changed to 2 years old.

Aidan turned 2 at the end of July (future blog post warning!) and the following factors were still affecting our decision:


Work is still not that abundant for me so it’s hard to justify the £50 a day expense of nursery.


99% of the time Aidan no longer has a nap during the day and if he does he is a total nightmare come bedtime.  He just doesn’t seem to need as much sleep as other children his age.  Apparently, my brothers and I were exactly the same!  All of his friends who go to nursery sleep there for approximately 2 hours during the day and a couple of them go to bed much later than Aidan as a result.  I like my evenings thank you!  Obviously if I haven’t seen him all day then more time with him in the evening would be great, but if this became the norm and he wanted to do this on the other days too – no way! (Aren’t I horrible?)


We have put Aidan’s name down on the list for the local pre-school attached to the best (non-Catholic) primary school in the area.  In fact, the school being a 5 minutes walk up the road was one of the major deciding factors when we moved!  He can start there the term after he turns 3 (September 2011) and the lady who lived here before us gave us the impression that children who have been to the pre-school get a slight preference when it comes to admission to the primary school (her little boy went to both) which would obviously be ace.  However, I have recently found out about a few local pre-schools (not attached to schools) which will take children from 2.5 or even, in 1 case, 2 years old.  These seem to be about £10-£15 a session (2.5-3 hours) and he could possibly go for 2 mornings a week until September next year which would be a lot cheaper than nursery!  Also, a lot of nurseries around here operate on a 2 day minimum which we don’t need and can’t realistically afford.  So, it looks like one of these local pre-schools is the best option for us at the moment.

Anyway, I’m waffling… (I do that, sorry!)

My point is this:

I’m not worried about Aidan starting pre-school or nursery.  I have no doubts that he will play nicely and thrive in an environment geared towards learning and discovery through play.  I’m sure he will also relish the opportunity to play with other boys his age as all of his NCT friends are girls!  The only small concern I have is that he may miss a familiar face when he first starts but I’m confident that he will adjust to this quickly.

I’m also (and this is probably the most controversial bit!) not especially worried about handing over the care of Aidan to, effectively, a roomful of strangers.  I’m confident in our ability to have assessed the pre-school when visited, to have talked to the staff about their policies, watched the children playing there and determined how content they seem.  I also place trust in the systems in place for checking nursery and pre-school staff prior to employment.

So, my questions are these:  Am I being naïve?  Is there something wrong with me?  Do I have a maternal chip missing?  I’d love your comments!

* I reserve the right to completely change my mind and go to pieces the week before Aidan actually starts anywhere, OK?