I often get asked how James is getting on at playgroup, so I thought I would write a blog giving an update…
I think playgroup could possibly be James’ favourite place. As soon as I undo his car seat straps, he runs over to the entrance all excitedly, and actually patiently waits for them to open the door to let us in. This can sometimes be a few minutes so James usually entertains himself by counting the numbers on the hygiene rating sticker, reading the KEEP CLEAR letters on the floor or generally running around. There was one incident where he was running around and fell over and bumped his head on the concrete before they had even opened the doors, he soon stopped crying when he went inside and seemed to make a miraculous recovery. That was the first accident form I had to fill in.
Once the doors are open he completely forgets about me and runs towards whatever toys they have out. I hang his coat and bag on his peg and get his drink out, which I know he doesn’t drink because he won’t drink out of a 360 cup unless the top is taken off, but it’s there for the show and he is only there for 2 hours. It would be nice if he would trust drinking out of some other cups other than the 360 or a doidy cup so I could get him a handy drinks bottle. I’ve even tried to get him to drink out of my drinks bottle but he is having none of it. I then walk out of playgroup without even saying bye to him, he is happy playing and I don’t want to disturb him.
I also get asked what I do while James is at playgroup, but as it is only 2 hours I don’t really do much. On a Wednesday I usually pop to the shops, or write my blog and on Thursday I finish cleaning the house, so nothing very exciting. The 2 hours flies by and to be honest I should probably walk the 15 minutes it would take to walk there, but that would take up the precious free time I get to myself.
The feedback I am getting from playgroup about James has been really positive and I often get comments like he has been excellent today, or he actually sat on the mat a couple of times, or they are really proud of his progress. On one occasion I went to pick him up and was told they had been playing with bubbles but James decided to take it to the next level. He had a change of trousers on and was wearing a spare pair of wellies, as it was typically the day when I forgot to take his wellies in. The playgroup leader showed me a photo of James standing in a bowl of water in his shoes stamping his feet, and apparently he kept shouting splash splash. She said he was having so much fun she didn’t want to pull him away. It was lovely hearing about how he had enjoyed himself.
For Fathers Day they invited families to come 15 minutes early to pick up so they could join in with some singing, have some cake and look at their child’s learning journal. James seemed very happy to see us and spent most of his time excitedly running around with a big grin on his face while the other children sat nicely with their parents. We could see he felt very comfortable there and was definitely enjoying himself. We always wonder what James actually gets up to at playgroup, so being able to take a look at his learning journal gave us a bit of an insight. We also got the impression that James doesn’t necessarily show off his full potential as comments like James climbed up the slide with help, made us laugh because we know he is more than capable of climbing up slides without help.
Another time the playgroup leader told me he had an explosion of language naming items in a tea set and how his speech was really clear. She said they were all one word still but she was really impressed. I then often wonder what they make of me when I inform them that he can actually say two and three words together. To us it is clear that James is more capable than what he lets on, and I actually think he has always been like that and still is at home. For example pretending he can’t spoon feed himself, when he is perfectly capable of doing it. He definitely has no problem in accepting help from people, and seems to like to make his life as easy as possible.
I enjoy my time off from James but I do enjoy going to pick him up, although the first few times I dreaded it because I didn’t know what to expect with how he may have been. I like to make sure I am one of the first through the doors to see James, and when I walk in he is usually being restrained or carried by one of the key workers to stop him from running around. All of the other children are sat patiently waiting on the carpet, but not my child. The lovely thing is as soon as they say to him “There’s Mummy” he comes running over and gives me a massive hug and jumps into my arms so I can pick him up. He is happy to leave me but always happy to see me again. He is usually in a great mood after playgroup, which shows me he has had a good time. The downfall comes at tea and bath time when he really starts to struggle with the lack of nap. We have started putting him to bed slightly earlier on these days, which seems to help a bit.
Playgroup has worked really well for us. James is slowly learning new rules and boundaries. He is having to communicate with new people and interact with other children. To us it is obvious he is enjoying his new routine of playgroup, which is a relief and so lovely to see.