This week has been a special one for Little 3, at almost two and a half years old he has gone to nursery for the first time.
He has been going to the childminder each morning for a few hours since I went back to work in February so it is not the first time he has been left. His childminders are lovely, a husband and wife team and they only have 3/4 toddlers in their care while he is there so he is used to lots of attention, a home environment and his lovely little friends there.
This year he is old enough to join the nursery unit at the school the girls go to and so he will go just two afternoons a week while I am doing my studies and remain at the childminder on the two mornings that I am working currently. We will still have plenty of time at home together while the girls are at school.
He settled in just fine at the childminders just before he turned two with no tears at all so I was hoping that he would be okay in this new environment too. The nursery is great with tiny wooden tables and chairs, a play kitchen and even a little slide indoors among other things and plenty to do outside too. It is the kind of nursery where you send them in their older clothes knowing that he will come home with sand in his pockets, playdough on his sleeves and paint in his hair having had a wonderful afternoon getting stuck into the things he likes to do best.
The only thing that worried me about this new environment was if other children were upset that it would upset him. He is a cuddly little boy and likes his reassurance but is not in the slightest bit clingy and loves to explore. He was fine at the childminders and settled immediately but I worry that if other children were upset or crying and he didn't have a secure base to go to for a cuddle he might be upset himself.
He has had two settling in sessions now and so far so good, he has walked in happily and come running out with a big smile on his face. He has been asking for more cuddles at home so I have made sure I have been giving him lots of attention and playing his favourite games.
It won't be long before he has settled right in and the good thing about it being the school nursery is he will move up to pre-school next September with many of the same children and hopefully go through school with the same friends he made in nursery.
There were supposed to be cute photos of him in his little uniform walking to nursery wearing his Thomas backpack which is almost as big as him however it was pouring with rain on both days this week and I opted for a dry toddler in the pushchair and when I asked him for a 'first day at nursery' picture he wanted to pose on the sofa instead!!
My boy is growing up.