Exciting times! Yesterday was Pudding’s second full day at school. Last week he did two mornings and this week we’ve been alternating so we can ease him (and them!) in gently.
Despite some encouraging transition sessions and oodles of support from school I have been nervous about him starting. Will he run riot? Will the other kids accept him? And so on, and so on. But the experience so far has been almost entirely positive.
Of course I’m not saying he’s behaved like an angel. That would be too much to ask. But he has run in each morning clutching his school bag and with a big grin on his face to greet his TA – superb. He has sat down to eat his lunch most days – amazing! And I get the usual excited ‘Mumm-mee!’ and knock-me-over cuddle when I go to pick him up.
It’s amusing having his big brother and cousins at the same school. So I get the official version of Pudding’s day at hand-over: that he did well on a jigsaw, that he sat down nicely at circle time or has been very enthusiastic with his painting.
Then my informants rush out afterwards and tell me the more usual Pudding stuff:
‘He ran away at dinnertime and Mrs F had to chase him down.’
‘He was hitting his lunchtime lady with a plastic bottle.’
‘He was lying down in the corridor and wouldn’t get up until I said hello to him.’
What do the other kids make of him? As in playgroup, many have simply accepted him for what he is and don’t seem to bother that he can’t talk to them. Others are interested and want to learn more – one little girl was very proud to be able to show her mum the Makaton they did in class. Another boy told me somewhat grumpily that Pudding always messes up his cars, but it was in a tone of complaint that he would use with any other child. I’m sure we’ll come across the whole spectrum, and that’s ok.
He’s certainly making his mark on the whole school community (which is a big one). Many other parents have asked how he is doing. And I’ve been amazed this week by the number of children who’ve said hello to him during school run; not just friends of Twiglet, Niece or Nephew – it’s been those in other years too.
There are so many stories of cruelty and intolerance out there, and of course those people will always exist. Niece was riled earlier this week by a (notoriously mean) boy laughing at Pudding for still being in nappies. But the acceptance and goodwill that we have seen since Pudding started at school, has been filling up the positive side of the scales to overflowing.
And how am I managing to spend my days? Well yesterday, I went into town to meet a writing friend and spent two hours working on the much-neglected novel. Followed it up with lunch, and some early Christmas shopping then walked back to the bus stop in beautiful sunshine with a grin as wide as my face….