Thursday, August 23, 2012

School Daze

Back to nursery for my boys. It is not mandatory to attend nursery in Finland, but as most parents have to go back to work after 2 or 3 years due to the high tax rates, most kids do attend a nursery of some sort from 3. My boys need it to stimulate their brains and I need it to give me a break and to spend time with my little one. 

They attend nursery here until they are 7, but at 6 they go into a kindergarten year which preps them for school, which is what Mouse is doing. He's really excited to be the big kid at his school and they've started something cool where the older kids are Helpers with all kinds of responsibilities and he's loving it.  He's happy to be back with his friends and we already have two birthday parties to attend in the next week. 

It's also a big week for Foo as it's his first go at full time nursery. It's been a stressful month with our holiday and then straight into nursery, so he's been a bit stressed by the changes and lack of routines. It hasn't helped that he's had to restart his Occupational Therapy as well and there's been a teacher's meeting which meant a late start, so there's been no sense of repetition in his days' routines so far. 

So even though he's been super-excited to go to nursery, he's been a bit upset once he's there. Especially at transition points from one activity to another. The first day he wouldn't eat or go to the toilet, wouldn't stop crying 'I want to go home' except when he fell asleep on one of the teacher's laps. It's become his mantra when he's stressed, tired or confused this week, even when he's sitting in the house, he'll ask to go home. It breaks my heart as I just want to keep him with me when he cries, but I know he needs this as much as I do. 

But his teachers are brilliant and are handling it so well. They use a mix of sign language and Finnish with all the kids, but since he's been so stressed they've also been using lots of English to make him feel more comfortable. They have no qualms with cuddling him, picking him up, spending time on their knees talking to him, even pretending to sit on the toilet to show him it's ok.

He's been allowed to bring a toy from home, a special white tiger his Daddy got him after his first rough day, so that when they have to leave the toys to go to another activity he still has one with him.

He still cries every day when I drop him off and sometimes at transitions, but he does enjoy being there. He'll probably only attend 4 days for the next month as his OT appointments are at an awkward time and he will miss lunch and arrive in the middle of sleep time. I've managed to change his appointment times, but not until October. 

We'll get there. Hopefully next week will be better. Haven't really done much with Bump though, feel a bit bad, but I'm so stressed by the time I drop Foo off that I can't focus on anything and keep waiting for the phone to ring and the school to ask me to pick him up, though I know they never will. We have been singing in her microphone, playing with Playdough, reading stories, having lots of cuddles, so it's not all bad. 

Next week we'll be able to attend our Gymi club, so I know she'll be excited about that, but I won't be able to do our expat playgroup until Foo changes his OT appointment as they clash. I also need to get into a routine for me with cleaning and exercise as well as this has all fallen by the wayside with the holiday and back to school. 

So here's my gorgeous school boys. 

And here's Foo having survived his first day where he cried the whole time. Happy enough to go back. 

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