Wednesday 10 September 2014

Budlington Begins Nursery

So, last Wednesday the day finally arrived for Rosie to begin nursery school. It's a day that, three years ago, we could only dream about as we were two weeks away from signing the medical forms that gave consent to the surgeons at Alder Hey to perform open heart surgery on Rosie. This mean't her heart would be stopped for approximately 45 mins during the 7 1/2 hour operation and she would be kept alive by machinery. I spend a lot of time thinking about that chapter in her life and it's always my first thought each time she achieves a big life moment. It was always so difficult to see beyond it at the time – it felt as if daring to do so would be tempting fate somehow. Anyway I digress...

So here we are almost three years on and Rosie is starting nursery at the same mainstream school her older brothers attend/attended.

I wanted to shout out to everyone, "LOOK! My baby's starting nursery today!"

The first drop off was really exciting. As we walked to the school, I was beaming with pride. I wanted to shout out to everyone, "LOOK! My baby's starting nursery today!" I just couldn't stop smiling. When we reached the gate, Rosie's one-to-one Lorraine was there to greet us. I could see the excitement in her face also and it made me feel all the more reassured that everything would be okay.

We've known Lorraine since the boys started at the school. She became a great support to us in the early days of finding out that we were having a baby with Down's syndrome (DS) as she herself had a beautiful son, Christopher, who also had DS. When it was announced to us that Lorraine would be Rosie's one-to-one Karen and I were both over the moon as we knew our Bud would be in the best possible hands.

As we arrived, the excitement in her teacher, Mrs Carr, was also plain to see and I became a bit overwhelmed by the work and effort that had clearly gone in by everyone to make the transition as smooth as possible. Flash cards were made of the different areas in the classroom as well as adjustments to play equipment to accommodate Rosie's petite size – many other ideas were also discussed for the coming days.

We all walked into the classroom but I stood back in the entrance area not wanting to over crowd Rosie. As I stood and watched Rosie sit down with Lorraine and Karen, I couldn't help but well-up with a whole heap of emotions being responsible. I was so proud of Rosie, so happy she was excited and so very grateful to the school for making her so welcome.

I left them all to it and Karen stayed with her for an hour to aid the transition. Rosie clearly had a lot of fun on her first day and was full of smiles when Karen returned to pick her up.

The next day we both stayed with her for about 10 minutes or so and when the time came to leave, Rosie just turned and said, "Bye bye" then carried on with her jigsaw. It really couldn't have gone any better and we both felt thrilled and proud as punch!

A short while later....

Karen was just about to sit down and enjoy her first real peaceful cup of tea in years when the phone rang. Yes, it was the nursery! Lorraine rang to say that Rosie had been crying out, "Mummy!" and getting a bit distressed – to be fair it was all going a little bit too perfectly!

It was agreed that picking her up early would be the best option before she started to associate Nursery with something stressful. We've also decided that staggering the settling in period over alternate mornings will allow Rosie time to adjust and get used to spending a few hours a day away from her Mummy.

So that is where we are up to right now. She clearly loves being there, which is great, but it's going to take a bit of time getting her fully accustomed to the change. The promising thing is that although she may struggle being away from Karen after an hour or so, she remains happy to go in each morning.


  1. She will get there but it is hard to see our children struggle in the transitions of growing up. Sounds like she has a good school with great support system. Clearly she has a loving family to help her do what comes next. Here's to many more relaxing cups of tea for mum and dad!

  2. I love reading about Rosie, she is so adorable! I have a 10 yr. old niece with DS and see the work my sister and brother in law put into helping her adjust to school and life in general. I will continue reading about Rosie, and wish all of you the best.

  3. I have 3 children and my youngest has DS...she is 5 months old and is the first person I have ever really been around with DS. She is the light of my life and I can't wait to see her life unfold...scary as some of it may be. Thank you for taking the time to write about your gorgeous little one! God bless.

  4. Oh what gorgeous photos! Such a special day for you all. Go Rosie!! :)

  5. Oh Tom, she's doing so well. It's really early days and the nursery sound really clued up. Just look at her in her uniform, I can't believe where the time has gone!

  6. My daughter is called rosie also has ds she is had work but shes worth it every smile counts

  7. Hi Rosie, here's your no 1 fans, Hollie and Kate Pierpoint... Missing you already! Have a great week and see you very soon poppet xxx