Tag Archives: Harry

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Dear Harry

I cannot quite believe that this morning saw me and Daddy take you to school for the first time. It feels like just a few weeks ago that you were placed into my arms after you were born, when I made a promise to protect you and love you forever and now I have to let you go, trust other people to keep you safe from 8.45 - 3.20 five days a week.

You cried last night and this morning, telling us that you did not want to go, that you wanted to stay at home with us. We tried to reassure you that you will be with lots of your friends, you will make new friends, that your new teachers will look after you and that you will still have lots of time to play. You did not seem all that convinced.

Your school uniform (and trousers in particular) drowns you; Daddy says it looks like you are wearing clown trousers without the bright colours as they are so big on you even though they are the smallest size we could find. Whilst I was able to take them up at the legs, there is little I can do about the waist and a belt adds to the bagginess around the bum although at least it keeps the trousers up!

When we got to the end of our road on the walk, you were delighted to see one of your friends and you did what you always did to and from nursery; ran with him while he rode his scooter. For a short time I thought you might be OK but as we got closer to school, you kept nearer to me and Daddy. As we turned the corner and your school came into view, you refused to continue walking, pleading with Daddy to carry you. And carry you he did.

You played for a short while in your new playground with your friends and reluctantly came back when the bell rang. You gripped both mine and Daddy's hands and I wondered if you were ever going to let us go. We tried to read and write with you, something we are to do every morning but you seemed overwhelmed by your new surroundings and the amount of people there were in one room. I am not surprised; I found it rather daunting myself. ūüėČ

Then it was time for me and Daddy to leave you. I thought you were going to cry, you desperately wanted to either come home or if you had to stay you wanted to play with the train set you had spied. But it wasn't play time any more, it was time to practice writing with your key-worker and small group. When your key-worker said you could play with the train set before PE you warmed slightly but your arms remained firmly around my neck. And then, just as I was sure the tears would come, you spied that three of your friends are in the same small group as you and a further five or six in the same class. With the promise of a beef burger for lunch, a chance to play on the train set and us bringing your scooter for pick up, you let us go.

I am so proud of you. You handled it all a lot better than I thought you would, I was so sure you would cry and that I'd have to promise to get you at lunch time. Knowing that you have so many friends in your class (I think all of them bar two actually) makes me feel a lot more confident that you will enjoy Reception just as much as Nursery. And you will have lunch and play time with the other two friends as well; the old crew back together again.

I really hope your first day in Reception goes as well as your first day at Nursery did.

Lots of love

Mummy xxx

P.S. I am still cross you wouldn't let me take a photograph of you this morning.

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Way back in March, Harry's nursery teacher told us she felt that he would benefit from a Speech and Language Therapy assessment (SLT). She asked our permission to refer him to which we agreed. Whilst we know what he says, she said that sometimes the staff struggle to understand what he is saying.

In all honesty, it came as a bit of a surprise to hear that they felt he needed it and we were told that it was more of a "just in case" measure, that it may well turn out that a SLT specialist would feel that there would be no need for intervention. Like most parents, we only want the best for our son, to feel that he is supported and so we agreed.

The teacher went on maternity leave and I was assured that there had been a smooth transition and open communication, having been present at a handover meeting involving both the outgoing teacher and incoming one. Months passed. Every few weeks one or the other of us checked in and an update was given, mainly that NHS resources in SLT are stretched, as they are across the service.

After chatting with Rachel from Confessions of a SAHM and hearing her experience of SLT, we decided to have a private assessment. Harry starts Reception in September and we wanted to be in a place to support him if needed. We felt frustrated that we were no further forward with regards to the school assessment.

After a bit of research, I contacted Child Speech. Within 24 hours I received an initial phone call and was advised that it sounded like Harry would benefit from an assessment at the very least. An appointment was made for the following week, which was yesterday.

Kate arrived promptly and immediately put all three of us at ease. She had a warm, friendly manner and we were quite impressed that Harry was not in the least bit shy as he has a tendency to take some time to warm to people usually. The assessment consisted of her showing Harry a series of pictures and asking him to tell her what was happening. As is usual for him, he adored being the centre of attention and every now and again deliberately said the wrong word to get a laugh out of us.

She was here for a good 1.5 hours and was really thorough. It would seem that Harry has a vast vocabulary and no issues at all with language and understanding, just as we thought but it's always nice to be reassured particularly if issues have been brought up. Whilst he does not say the "p" sound (even in isolation) he can say every other sound and clearly has the ability to say it since he makes similar sounds easily, albeit not always consistently. He also has a tendency to talk quickly, blending sounds together and making himself difficult to understand.

Kate suggested a few things we can do at home with Harry, such as placing items into a bag, pulling one out and getting him to tap out the number of sounds (and say them) in order to slow him down a little, putting sounds into context, picking a sound of the day to practise and a few other things. She is going to send us some resources to help, basically a series of pictures in which every word starts with the same sound. Effectively, it seems that Harry's brain simply needs a little re-training to use the correct sounds in context consistently.

She noted his willingness to learn, his extensive vocabulary and understanding and unusually long concentration span, even suggesting that he is a bright boy who just needs a little help in a small area.

I am so happy that we are currently in a position to be able to afford the assessment and any intervention sessions, had they been appropriate. I liked how we were advised that in Kate's opinion, there is no need for further sessions, although of course she would be happy to help if needed. As a private therapist, I am sure it would have been very easy for her to suggest differently. We will be sent a report early next week, with the school, Health Visitor, SLT team at the hospital and GP all being copied in.

We had such a positive experience and feel much more confident in our ability to support Harry as well as just a bit proud that someone had such nice things to say about him! Hopefully he will be talking as clearly as his peers before we know it!

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Just yesterday I wrote about how we felt somewhat let down by Harry's nursery. We were upset that a referral for speech therapy made in March had not yet happened, that the NHS team seemed to be waiting on information from the school and yet the school had told us they were waiting on the NHS team based at the hospital. We were also somewhat annoyed that Harry's report seemed to suggest he is developmentally delayed and we had not been previously informed. All of this lead to me wondering whether we had made the right choice over school since Harry's nursery is attached to the school he will be attending and operates pretty much as a part of the school community.

Having emailed the Head teacher of the school on Tuesday afternoon, I received an apologetic response yesterday morning. The Head apologised for the confusion caused and had spoken to the SENCO who was trying to sort out what had happened with regards to the Speech and Language Therapy referral. She also said that the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) manager would speak to us with regards to Harry's report.

I was pleased to hear that my concerns were being taken seriously and there was an immediate attempt to resolve the situation. All we wanted was reassurance and we were pleased we seemed to have it although still concerned whether Harry's needs were being met.

As is normal, the husband took Harry to nursery on Wednesday afternoon, he was late coming back, I assumed that he had gone to the shop to get my lunch. It turned out that the EYFS manager spoke to him at drop off. Which would have been fine, if the husband had understood what she had said. He told me it mostly went over his head but it was warm and humid, she seemed flustered and rushed so he didn't want to clarify the things he hadn't understood. Instead I went to collect to Harry at 3.20 pm.

Harry's report was explained to me. The fact they had highlighted the age group 22-36 months and not 30-50 months merely meant that he had met all the criteria within the 22-36 months, that he is working at the 30-50 months level and, as the comments suggested, they have absolutely no concerns. They feel that to highlight the 30-50 months group would mean that his next teacher may not plan the right support, that perhaps he just needs a little more work to bring him up to that level and they did not want that to be missed in hand over to Reception.

Which all makes perfect sense I guess, once it was explained. It just made me wonder why this was not made clear in the report. The EYFS manager recognised that perhaps in future it may be worth explaining to parents and carers and seemed to understand the confusion we had.

We then moved on to the Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) referral. I was reassured that the school had believed that they have done what they should but that SENCO was working with the hospital to try to establish what went wrong, where there had been a failure of communication. As a result, the school have been promised a SLT therapist twice a week from September and Harry is to be prioritised. I was asked when our private speech therapy, assessment which I booked after getting frustrated at the lack of progress with Harry's assessment and after reading Rachel of Confessions of a SAHM post, was booked for and whether it was possible to cancel it. As it was booked for this morning, with less than 24 hours notice we would still have had to pay. The husband and I also decided that knowing where we stand and how we can help Harry was a huge priority to us. More on that another day.

It is safe to say that both the husband and I feel satisfied that the school are meeting Harry's needs. Yes, it is frustrating that there has been a loss of communication somewhere but I am happy that this has been (or at least is being) resolved. I am not often one who will speak up but I have discovered that where my son's education is concerned, I bounce into Mamma Bear mode, determined that he will get the best possible.

I have been impressed with how promptly the school addressed our concerns, particularly at what must be a busy time of year for them and feel confident over our choice of school once more. I also have no doubt that this will not be the last time I will need to discuss something that we are unhappy with but at least now I am confident that I can do it!

It's Saturday again already and time for another Saturday Caption and I am showing you another picture from a recent trip to Harry's favourite park. I have found that I have had to look through these pictures recently, as a reminder of the fun times we have as a family when Harry gets angry, or demanding or just plain refuses to go to bed. A little reminder of the things that make it all worthwhile.

Can you caption this photo though?

Saturday Caption

Once you've had a go at this one, head over to Keynko for some more!

Keynko

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I really wish I could start this new link from Rachel of Confessions of a SAHM on a positive note. Sadly, my decision to use A for Attitude is not positive.

Harry has developed an attitude of late. One that would not be out-of-place in a teenager. Sure, for the most part he is the happy, cheeky, kind and lovable little guy that everyone loves and adores. Sometimes though, just sometimes, we get a glimpse of what I imagine the future will hold.

The husband and I have discovered that there appears to be a fine line between cheekiness and misbehaviour.

If I am honest, I struggle. I find it is so much easier to handle a child who is happy, plays nicely, interacts well. It IS easy. It's not so easy when the same child throws things, shouts, slams doors, is rude. When he refuses to get out of the bath (I can't lift him out), to get dressed, to brush his teeth.

At four-years-old, Harry knows when he has misbehaved or when he has done something that upsets me or the husband. You can see, in the brief moments before, him mentally planning what to do or what to say. Removing privileges doesn't seem to help; use of an old laptop to play games on, TV, messy play, a trip to the park, sweets. We don't have anywhere to place him for time out; one hall way leads to the kitchen, the other to the bedrooms and bathroom. Today we tried to shut him in his bedroom which just ended up with a trashed bedroom. I don't think a reward chart would work either since it's all a series of little things; answering back, shouting, rudeness, refusing to let us brush his teeth, demanding things. Besides, I am not sure I am comfortable with punishing or rewarding behaviour but they are all things we have tried.

I also don't think it helps that things are different with the husband. I don't know whether Harry behaves better or the husband just handles it all easier. Obviously the husband gets to do more with Harry as well, which may well be a part of it; I join them on trips to the park or to play games in the field when I can but often, I cannot.

All of that said, tomorrow is another day, one which I hope will be better. I have planned a bus trip to the local village where we will have a couple of little things to do, followed by milkshake and cake together. If Harry enjoys it as much as I hope he does, then I will make it a regular a thing, each week for just the two of us.

How do you deal with your child(ren) misbehaving? Have you any words of wisdom to impart on me before I lose my mind?

A to Z of Family

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Harry is a huge fan of bath time, he always has been and it's a bit of a struggle to get him out of the bath! I am often sure that more water ends up on the floor rather than in the bath itself. As it's Saturday, I've chosen this for today's #satcap. Can you caption it? #satcap This week it's Sonya from Rock n Roll Mum turn to host the linky!

The Ramblings of a formerly Rock n Roll Mum

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This isn't the post I had planned for today; I had planned a letter of sorts to Harry as it was his birthday today. Sadly I didn't get round to finishing it, partly due to my procrastination, partly due to not being able to find the words and partly due to being busy! It is now 11 pm  and this is the first chance I have had to blog today so, to meet my target for #BEDM, I am determined to get one out so you have a few snaps from today; a full post will of course follow once I have some energy back!

I spent the evening before wrapping his presents and setting the scene. My Auntie had bought some balloons and various party bits from a local shop for us before coming to drop his presents off. Usually we would see the family around Harry's birthday but with it falling on the bank holiday weekend, they were away.

The first gift Harry opened, was the Kidizoom camera from my Auntie and Uncle. I had actually left it on his bed the night before to open when he woke up, hoping to bide a little extra sleep in the morning. Sadly he still came bounding in at 5.15 am, the present still wrapped. He wanted to wait until the husband and I were awake, which I thought both very restraint for a four-year-old and sweet.

He was a bit confused with the balance bike (although so were we!) and rather unsure of what to do but, needless to say. he still insisted on bringing it to the park!

A very brief and much needed late morning rest at the park.

Finally for now, the cake picture, minus the cake which you shall see in my main post. I think it's safe to say he was rather pleased with it!

 

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Like every other parent of a three or four-year old due to start primary school this September, we waited in anticipation last Wednesday morning to find out if Harry got a place at one of our chosen schools, despite the fact I'm not ready for school. Surely my little boy is too little?!

Whilst we could select up to three schools in order of preference, we I decided to only opt for two choices. Rightly or wrongly, my mobility was the main factor in school choice for us. The husband would like to return to work at some point in the near future and, with that in mind, it would mean that in all likelihood I would be the person doing the school runs each day. Since I do not drive, our choice was limited to two schools; the one attached to the nursery he currently attends and another school which is roughly the same distance.

We were fairly confident that we would get our first choice.

Then I read on-line reports last Wednesday morning stating that Bristol had the highest number of children not receiving their first choice, or indeed any place after London. Cue more nerves. I am not sure that my e-mail inbox and spam have been refreshed and checked so much in such a short period of time.

On checking my social media channels, I found many people had been notified already and it felt like Bristol was the only area yet to find out where our children would be spending the next seven years, although of course we weren't.

It felt like 10 am was a very long time away indeed.

Then the email landed. Early. At 8.30 am. And I cried.

Tears of relief just streamed from my eyes as I realised we had got our first choice.

It may not be the best school in the area statistically but it is the most convenient for us, a distance that I can manage to walk, even slowly on my worst days. It means we will not have to move Harry yet again.

Harry returned to nursery yesterday and the husband took him in as he does every morning. I did ask him to find out if his best friends had got a place at the same school but of course he didn't. So I did the pick up despite not really feeling up to it and was relieved to find out most, if not all, of his friends will be moving up to the school with him.

There has been a sense of realisation in that my little boy is growing up before my very eyes and in a few short months will start formal education. I have had so much fun with him over the Easter holidays, even though it has been physically and mentally draining I have cherished the time. After all, in little over four months time, he will be at school full-time. And that is a very scary prospect indeed, even if he is ready I am not sure I am!

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So, once more it has been a while since I joined in with this!

This was taken last Sunday when we spent the afternoon with my sister, her boyfriend and his two daughters; Harry simply adores spending time with them and they him. I really love seeing the bond they have built over the last two years since we moved up to Bristol.

But this is SatCap. So, what is Harry up to here? Or thinking? Can you caption it?

#satcap

Once you've had a go here, why not head over to the delightful Mammasaurus and see what some other people have lined up for you to caption.

Mammasaurus

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With the cold weather starting to settle in, my body has started to feel more sore than ever despite the pain relief. With our curtains being fitted this week, the husband has been sanding, filling, sanding, filling and finally painting our bedroom at long last, thus Daddy Daycare has taken somewhat of a back seat and it has been left to me to try to entertain Harry when he is not at pre-school.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day but both my mood and pain got the better of me so we spent a lazy morning and early afternoon reading, playing with puzzles and various activities at home. Spending such a large amount of time with Harry after his two full days at pre-school always seem to be a lot of fun, perhaps I just appreciate it more than the day or two before his pre-school time. When Harry very sweetly, complete with doey eyes, asked if I could take him to the play park, how could I refuse?

Shadows

This was the first time Harry noticed our shadows and he was trying to catch them. Perhaps the low, late afternoon sunshine played a part, maybe in the mind of a 3.5 year old it is somewhat of a novelty to see the long shadows at the park. Fascination with the shadows didn't last long. Soon Harry made the most of the reason for going to the playground, which is of course to play!

play

Tongue out!

Swing

Slide!

Roundabout

We were only there for a short time, maybe 30 minutes as the sun was setting and just watching him have so much fun brought me a lot of fun too and really made the whole weekend for me in fact. Days like that remind me what it is like to see the excitement of the outdoors world through the eyes of a young, ever-growing child. So ordinary to an adult, so magical to a child.

I am linking this post up to three linkies, Magic Moments, Ordinary Moments and Country Kids. Do go and take a look at what some other people are linking up to this week.

theordinarymomentsbadgeCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

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