Oliver has been going to playgroup for two weeks now and I can talk about it a little more easily now. We had a few settling-in sessions together where I played along beside him for the first couple, and then I would go into a different room so he couldn’t see me – he didn’t even look for me once!
Of course as a parent you want your child to not be upset, I would hate for Oliver to be inconsolable when I drop him off in the morning’s; even if they calm down five minutes after the parent leaves. But he didn’t look for me ONCE! Joking aside, I am so, so proud of him. I hope he carries this confidence throughout his nursery, school and working, general life.
The playgroup itself was the only one that was a short enough distance to make it worth our while using, as Oliver attends two mornings a week from 9-11.45am. But as soon as I stepped inside and spoke with the staff and seen the other children interacting with them and giggling; I knew this was the place. Of course, if I didn’t get good feeling about the playgroup – he would not be going.
I know some people will think I’m crazy getting upset about Oliver being away from me for under 6 hours a week, but it really is a massive thing for me. He’s been by my side for his entire life so far, just about every single day, so it is a bit of a shock to the system. It’s also a massive change for Oliver being away from familiar family faces and socialising with strangers, lots of new faces and trying to build trust and relationships, and finding his “safe person” whilst he’s there.
Today I witnessed Oliver going up to his key worker and showing her the trains he wanted to play with and laughing with her and it completely melt my heart. I hope he builds a strong relationship with her and feels safe in her company.
His first day on his own went so well, I had a midwife appointment that morning so luckily Scott had taken the morning off to watch Oliver as we didn’t know when his first day would be. So, mum and dad got to see him off to playgroup. He did cry a little when he seen us leave, which did make me unbelievably guilty but by the time we got to the car the manager had knocked on the window and gave us a thumbs up to say he was completely fine – only 30 seconds later! When I picked him up he was grinning from ear to ear and sitting eating a snack with his little buddies and I was told he was non-stop all day. He’s taken a real liking to the house area, he’s known as the “cutlery thief” and makes lots of tea and chocolate cake (pine cones!).
I know deep down that this will benefit him in so many ways, development, confidence and social skills. I hope he meets a few friends – he’s growing up and it’s bloody scary!