Friday, June 01, 2012

A Much Bigger World

Today our youngest son, Tom, had his final day at the nursery where he has been going every day since he was 9 months old. After a week’s holiday for half term next week he’ll be starting at a brand new nursery to get him ready for starting school in September.

It is not a move Karen and I have undertaken lightly. It is not a move we make with glad hearts or any sense of victory. But it is a necessary move.

Some of you will remember Tom was going off the rails a bit earlier a year. I don’t mean to go through all that again here. Suffice to say we came within a gnat’s hair of changing his nursery back then but the owner of the nursery (who’d recently retired from the day to day running of the place, handing the reins to a newly appointed manageress) stepped back up the plate and promised us the commitment we both wanted to hear to deal with Tom’s “overly-confident” behaviour. Things improved. But then began to slip again a few weeks ago. The new manageress has her own ethos and way of doing things which, as far as Tom is concerned, just exacerbates the problem.

I must point out here that Tom is perfectly controllable at home and elsewhere. It’s just the combination of this particular nursery environment and he lead to explosions. Though Karen and I feel it is the manageress’s approach more than the nursery that cause the problem: we’ve come to the conclusion that the manageress loves problems that can lead her to acquiring extra funding... And that’s all I’m going to say on the matter.

The care workers are all very sad. So I suspect are Tom’s friends. And so will Tom be when the reality of the move sinks in. ‘Cos here’s the thing. Everybody loves Tom. His naughtiness accounts for only about 5% of his behaviour – if that.

But we can’t leave him somewhere where they seem unable to curb his ebullience. He needs to be socialized ready for school in September. So it was a case of move him now or do nothing at all and see the situation slide yet again until the manageress is calling in “experts” and “specialists” – all of which has been well and truly poo-poohed by our family doctor who told us quite stridently that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Tom other than he’s ready for school right now and is probably bored witless. The manageress actually looked disappointed with this diagnosis. It was at that point really that Karen and I decided that we didn’t want her anywhere near our child.

So Tom will have a trial at the new  nursery next week. Thankfully he is excited by it. It is a smaller nursery which Karen and I think will help and they have a superb sensory chill-out room where the kids can go when they need space. All of which we think will really help Tom. And, as callous as it sounds, we also think a little period of being unsettled might help him too; a period of being the new boy. We’re hoping it will stimulate a little empathy within the maelstrom of his emotional development.

It’s going to be a difficult time. And then in September further upheaval as he starts school. Sadly he didn’t get into the school his older brother goes to (Ben himself will leave in July and start at secondary school) so that too will all be new.

This is Tom’s journey. Already it is not the journey that Karen and I had planned out for him but at the end of the day he’s a kid not an Air-fix kit. His journey is organic and constantly improvised and we his parents spend our days running hard to keep up in order to kick as many of the rocks away from beneath his feet as we can before he stumbles on them.

He’s about to realize it’s a much bigger world out there than he’d ever imagined.

But I think his imagination is big enough to cope with it. Let’s hope so.


Share

23 comments:

English Rider said...

This sounds like a well thought out and smart move. It's obvious that you will be there supporting this transitional phase. I expect you're right that your "Big Fish" will acquire some new perspectives and social skills in this new environment.
A concept I recognized later in my various travels was that I got to invent myself anew and decide who I was going to be in each new place where no-one previously knew me.
"Shy, self-conscious teachers pet becomes Disco Mad, teenage horsewoman in Hamburg"etc.
There has to be a toned down variation for younger kids.Good Luck.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

You know what, I bet Tom takes to the new place like a duck to water. Kids are so resillient and far more adaptable then us stubborn old buggers.

Good luck with the move, I'm sure it will all fall into place.

Steve said...

English Rider: thank you. Logically, it was the nly move - things weren't going to change where he was... but it still feels like we are rolling the dice.

Very Bored in Catalunya: the welcome pack has already become essential "reading" for him... he's quite excited about it at the moment.

Löst Jimmy said...

Catalunya is right bairns are hard wired to cope with change, he will be fine and sounds like the type of wee man who interacts well with his peers and with one exception, adults.
No worries.

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: your words make a lot of sense, my friend, I guess the weight of responsibility - in that we have instigated the move - is what weighs the most heavy.

Wanderlust said...

I agree with your other commenters. Kids are so resilient. Mine have gone through a lot of change, schools being only one of them, and they have proved remarkably adaptable. Keep following your instincts and all will be well.

Steve said...

Wanderlust: thank you... your opinion is one I certainly trust.

the fly in the web said...

You gave the nursery a second chance and it did not work, so a move was inevitable unless you were to have a very unhappy little boy which is not the best way to prepare for the big world ahead of him.
With you two behind him he'll be fine.

John Gray said...

what do I know about kids....|? bugger all..... but I suspect with parents like you ( ie self aware, - bright and concerned)
he'll do ok

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Wow, you made that big step. I'm sure you won't regret it. we had to make a similar decision twice though our eldest daughter's schooling - and we haven't regretted the choices we made. Whatever the new nursery school turns out like, you'll all know that the one you've left behind was not right. All the best with the transition.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: I must admit my only real regret is not grasping the nettle sooner... but at least we know we gave the nursery every opportunity.

John: thank you... it's not often I am referred to as "bright"!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden: yes that's it exactly - the old nursery simply wasn't right for him and wasn't working. Leaving him there would have been totally wrong.

vegemitevix said...

Have to agree with all the comments here...kids are remarkably resilient, particularly when they're bright wee souls, like young Tom. This will most likely be the making of him, and I love that the new nursery has a chill-out room. Vix x

Steve said...

Vix: the chill-out room is so cool I want to have one at home!

Trish @ Mums Gone To... said...

This is all very good news. Hope all goes well for Tom and that you and Karen are able to put this all behind you: you have done the right thing.

Steve said...

Trish: time will tell but we certainly hope so.

Being Me said...

Not an easy decision, but that's exactly why the choice you've made is such a positive one. You guys both know you haven't done this lightly. Watch your boy thrive now! Exciting times x

Steve said...

Being Me: I hope so! Thank you.

Katriina said...

Good on you for doing what clearly had to be done. He sounds like a great kid, and it sounds like this new nursery is ready to see that "ebullient" 5% with a healthy sense of perspective, rather than as something that negatives the other excellent 95% of him.

Steve said...

Katriina: they certainly weren't phased by the prospect which can only be a massive plus in their favour!

libby said...

All will be well.....your boys are loved and you give them your best at all times...they are resilient and it will be ok.

Steve said...

Thanks, Libby.

The bike shed said...

A much bigger world - but they generally cope; with care and love at least. Sometimes I think nurseries have way too high expectations - I'll never forget when ours told us that Dan wasn't very good at hopping!

Steve said...

The Bike Shed: hopping? Many a nigh flying career has been blighted by an inability to hop. Can't actually think of one at the moment but I'm sure one will come to me eventually.