Gning started nursery in May 2014. I placed him in a private (paid for) nursery for a few reasons – Mainly because he was too young; but because I worked a full day, and the hubby was starting full-time work, other nurseries didn’t suit our requirements.
It all started brilliantly. Over the first few weeks, he had come a long way. His speech was improving, and the attempts at potty training were speeding up. Within two months, he was out of nappies, and almost always getting to the toilet on time.
September 2014 came, and because he was turning 3, he had to move out of the baby room, and across the road to the “big kids” room. At first everything went well. He was happy as a few of the other kiddies had moved across with him, however it didn’t take long before I noticed little changes.
Gning had started to cry of a morning. He didn’t want to go in to school. He never gave a reason. I also noticed that he was coming home covered in paint and / or pen marks – not just on his hands, but on his face, in his hair, on his clothes, on his back… I started to worry, and I did bring it up with the nursery. They always seemed to have a reason, and at the time it was annoying, but acceptable.
Things started to improve a little. He was happy when I went to pick him up, and he was ‘cleaner’ (as a three year old boy could be).
About a month later, I noticed it again… I was mid-pregnant with Donut now, and the fact that my little guy was so upset was really starting to get to me.
Gning was hysterical of a morning. Sometimes I had to drag him out of bed, and then to the gates of the nursery. He’d sob and cling on to me when we went in to the room. I hated leaving him. He’d also started coming home dirty, and covered in paint and allsorts.
In April, hubby went to pick Gning up, and I stayed at home. When he walked through the door, to the front room where I was sitting, I smiled, and asked if he had had a good day… But then I noticed it. A red mark, and scratches on his forehead. I asked if I could take a closer look, and I noticed that it was actually ‘bumping’.
I immediately brought it to the attention of the hubby, asking if he had fallen or bumped his head on the way home. He replied with a “no…” I immediately phoned the nursery, and I asked what had happened. The response was unacceptable. “Oh, I didn’t see anything. I’ll ask around”. We kept our eyes on him for the rest of the day, and overnight. Gning had said that he had a “little headache”, but he seemed ok.
The following day, the bump was in full effect – bruising too – so I had to ask the nursery again if they knew what had happened. They shown no concern, and this infuriated me. It was that incident that had literally added the final straw. I tried to remain calm, but as soon as I got home, I snapped.
I need to point out by this time I was heavily pregnant. My hormones were everywhere, and I was really struggling with my emotions.
I relayed the response to the hubby, and he was annoyed too. I thought “enough is enough”, and I started to compose an email to the manager of the nursery. I can only remember a few parts of what the email contained… I expressed my concerns of the state that Gning was being sent home in. I explained that I always sent him in with his backpack with spare clothes (in case of any accidents, dirt, etc.). I explained about the cuts, bruises, scrapes and bumps. I explained about the lack of concern when I brought up the incident with his head. I also pointed out that I thought the nursery was a ‘joke’ by literally saying “the sessions seem to be an over-elaborate play group, with little to no structure, and minimal supervision – if at all. If there would be any supervision, they would have noticed my sons’ latest injury“.
I don’t think they appreciated it, as I started getting phone calls… Which I ignored the first few. Eventually I told hubby to answer it. It was the manager of the nursery, and they wanted to talk to me. I refused to talk to them, so hubby organised a meeting – without me. I didn’t want to go. Either I would lose my temper in there, or I would sit there crying the whole time.
Anyway, it was the same day of the phone call that I called my local primary school. I asked how I could register Gning for their nursery (as he was now old enough, and I had just left work for maternity leave). They simply replied with “just pop on down to the school and complete a registration form. We’ll then assess to see if there is any space in the nursery for the May intake”.
It was as simple as that. I went to the school within the hour. The form was completed, and as I handed it in, I asked when we were likely to find out. The receptionist replied “we’re undergoing the intake assessments at the moment, so hopefully you’ll find out next week”.
That was all I needed. When I got home, I decided that regardless of Gning being offered a place or not, I was going to pull him out of the private nursery. I couldn’t face the heart-ache any more.
A couple of days passed, and hubby went for the meeting with the manager of the private nursery without me. When we spoke afterwards, he said that the manageress seemed to have an answer for everything. It seemed rehearsed, and very defensive. It was like she couldn’t take any criticism, and she wasn’t prepared to listen to what he had to say. Apparently, she seemed more concerned over my attitude. Meh.
The following week came and went, and Gning continued to go to the private nursery. I refused to go in to the hall, leaving him immediately when they opened the security door.
It was on the Tuesday – two weeks after I had applied for the place in the schools’ nursery – that I mentioned to hubby that I hadn’t heard from the school, so I phoned them. They apologised for not contacting me, but announced that they would be pleased to have Gning from that Thursday!
He took to his new school like a duck to water. He loved it. He made lots of friends, and even had five ‘girlfriends’ at one point! His attitude started to improve again, and he started to learn to recognise numbers, and to write his name.
Today is the 7th September 2015.
Even though Gning has been attending nursery for quite some time, I feel today is a big step. It’s his first day (back) at school (nursery), but this time he enters it for the full school year. No doubt the friends that he makes this school year will be the friends he will have when he moves up to the reception class next year. Who knows? He may even meet his “friend for life” in this school year.
I am so proud of my little man, and all that he has accomplished throughout the past 18 months (no – his whole life). I love him to pieces, but they grow up too fast…