Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Preschool Gratitude

It has almost been a week since Aoife had her last preschool session; in September she will be starting her school nursery and I can honestly say that I don't know how we are already at this point.
She has been attending preschool three times a week since last September and it really has been the making of her. Whilst she has attended a private nursery one day a week since she was five months old, her preschool has done a lot more for her.

We were very lucky to be eligible to receive free childcare for 12.5 hours a week the term after Aoife turned three. My nerves kicked in for her starting as she hadn't adjusted well to her sisters arrival in August and was about to be introduced to a brand new environment with unfamiliar faces.

My nerves ended up being proven right and she hated going to preschool - her world had just been turned upside down with her new baby sister making an appearance and now she was being thrust into a new place. Despite this, I cannot thank her preschool workers enough. They truly went above and beyond for Aoife; they took her under their wings and within a few weeks she was no longer putting up a fight and would happily run through the doors laughing with all of her new friends.

I can safely say that this came at the right time for the both of us; I was struggling to bond with my youngest and no longer had all the time in the world to focus on Aoife. Her preschool helped with this so much - she was able to craft to her hearts content, run about like a three year old should without worrying about running into a new baby or being quiet whilst her sister napped. At preschool she could sing out loud to all the songs she wanted to without a care in the world. She could be a crazy, boisterous three year old.

Over the space of a few months I watched her blossom from that shy, nervous little girl on her first day, to a bubbly, confident little leader, one who was always the first at drop off to shout out her friends names when she saw them and run inside without so much as a glance back at me.

Yesterday whilst on the way to the private nursery she attends whilst I am at work, she piped up with "I don't want to go to big nursery, I want to go to my little nursery". Whilst I had already explained to her the week before that she was having her last day, a part of me had sensed that she didn't quite know what I had meant. Having to then tell her that there was "no more little nursery" and watch her break her heart and crying out for the preschool workers between sobs, truly devastated me.

She attended preschool for less than a year, but the impact on her has been profound. It has prepared her for school nursery and changed her in such a positive way. I will forever be thankful for the preschool staff; their patience, kindness and joyfulness towards Aoife have truly brought out the best in her. Grateful is something that I will always be and I am truly hoping that her sister gets the same experience.

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