It’s the end of the world as we know it

Heather's first day of nursery, and last week

I’ve been writing a lot recently about changes, and today one of those changes actually happened: it was Heather’s last ever day at nursery. Sadly we weren’t there for this momentous occasion, but both Gem and I were able to attend yesterday’s summer show yesterday. Working full time, I’ve not made it to as many of the nursery events as Gem has, but I’m so glad I got to this one because it was absolutely fantastic.

The show consisted of a series of songs that the kids have learned through the year, each led by a different group of five or six kids dressed to suit that song. Heather’s group were dressed as flower fairies, and sang a song about sticks, something that linked into the art project they’ve been involved in all year. She was a busy girl, though, because as well as singing that, she also had a line in the short drama (also linked to the art project) and even bought a currant bun from the baker’s shop during another group’s song.

The highlight, though, was the finale, which was introduced as a song the kids had been practising all year especially for Mr Reid, the retiring headmaster. After one round of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, the kids all yelled “KIDDING!” at the top of their voices… and started dancing to Gangnam Style! Hilarious, and a perfect counterpoint to the slideshow we were shown afterwards, once the kids had taken their bows and gone to get changed, which was a series of photos taken throughout the year.

I think someone must have been chopping onions in the school kitchen, because there weren’t many dry eyes in the house. And yes, there was a wee tear in my eyes too!

There were more tears when I got in from work today, and asked Heather how it felt to no longer be a nursery girl. When she burst into floods of tears I was quite taken aback – she’s been really excited about going to school after the summer, but I guess it never occurred to her that this would also mean no more nursery. I felt a bit bad, but how was I to know?

So that’s the story of the last couple of days. Maybe not the end of the world, but definitely the end of an era. And I’m sure we’ll all be fine.

Especially Heather.

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

Everything changes

Megan and Heather

The Usual Suspects

It doesn’t feel like almost four weeks since we took the side off of Megan’s cot, and yet it totally is – doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun! Not that it’s been all fun of course, but I’m pleased to report that things are still going well with the transition. So well, in fact, that the next (and final!) stage in the transition will be occurring tomorrow: the big girl bed!

We’ve bought her a Barbie pink (not my description, it’s what’s on the side of all 3 boxes it came in) metal bed frame, which I’ve got to build tomorrow, and then that will be it – no more cot. What a strange feeling!

Even more strange, in the midst of changing her sleeping arrangements, Megan has stopped wearing nappies during the day, and is doing remarkably well – in two weeks, I think I could count on one hand the number of accidents we’ve had, which is incredible. Especially when you consider that most of the accidents we’ve had have been bottom burps with follow through rather than not knowing something was coming at all.

The final stage, of course, will be going nappyless overnight, which we’re going to leave until a) she’s settled in her new bed, and b) we’re consistently getting bone dry nappies in the morning. I don’t expect it to take more than a couple of weeks though, that was certainly our experience with Heather, and if there’s one thing we know about our girls it’s that Megan wants to do whatever her sister does.

Speaking of Heather, she’s going through big changes of her own just now, having just a week and a half of nursery to go! Gem has already started buying bits of school uniform, and I have to say, the sight of Heather in her school blazer made the whole thing seem so much more real. How on earth have we got to this point already???

Heather’s more than ready for school though, in exactly the same way as she was more than ready for nursery when she started 18 months ago. And having visited the school, and had an overview of how primary 1 works (totally different to my day!) I’m confident it will live up to her expectations. What’s more, from the glowing report we got from nursery (which is passed on to the school as part of her transition) I’m sure she’ll live up to theirs.

Of course, the changes aren’t limited to the girls. I’m still planning my new commute, and as for Gem… I’m not sure I’m allowed to share what she’s up to yet, but suffice to say things are going well there too.

So everything’s good, although some more sun over the summer would be nice. I guess some things never change!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!

A whole new world

After yesterday’s Megan catch up, it only seems fair that Heather gets the same treatment. After all, one day they might be reading these words themselves, and I don’t want to be accused of favoritism, do I?

So, where to begin? Well, I guess the biggest change in Heather’s life since turning 3 has been starting nursery, which she’s taken to like a duck to water. Just like we knew she would. And not before time either – she desperately needed that extra bit of stimulation that she just couldn’t get at home, especially with a new(ish) baby requiring so much attention that previously had been exclusively hers. It wasn’t so much a question of her being ready for nursery, more would nursery be ready for Heather?

She loves it, though, and would happily go for more than the 2 hours a day, 5 days a week that she does. From what she tells me, she spends a lot of time playing with the sand and water table – water has been something that’s always fascinated her, but the sand is a new thing, not because she’s never seen it but because she’s always hated getting her hands dirty. Not any more, apparently! Other than that I think her time is a mix of stories, arts/crafts and general play, which sounds like fun to me.

Of course, nursery hasn’t just meant change for Heather, it’s been change for all of us. It’s strange to think that she spends so much time now, with people we barely know. I think that’s affected Gem more than me, because I’ve always seen less of the girls than she has, but it’s something we’re both going to have to get used to as she continues to grow.

Which she is, all the time!

Working full-time, on the other side of the city, means I only see the girls briefly in the morning and at night. I get to spend more time with all my girls at the weekend, though, and it’s amazing the difference I can see in Heather (and Megan) from week to week, in her speech, her powers of recall and in her ability to understand the world around her.

Stars and planets are a particular fascination – I installed a planetarium app on the iPad so we could tell what was what in the night sky, and she loves playing with that and learning names of the planets. Visiting museums is another thing Heather loves (I often wonder how much Peppa Pig has to do with that) and Kelvingrove in a particular favourite – and rightly so, because it’s great, and since its refurb a few years ago there are tons of things aimed squarely at kids. Heather’s favourite things to visit are the bees (which Gem hasn’t actually seen yet), the stuffed animals and the Mini Museum, which Megan also had a lot of fun with last time we were there.

Music is something that me and Gemma both get a lot of pleasure from, so it’s hardly surprising that Heather would too, and she’s really starting to develop her own taste. Disney songs are a particular favourite (although, hilariously, she asked me to skip the Hannah Montana song because it’s “not a Disney song”), but she’s also fond of the Beatles, Singin’ in the Rain and even a bit of Glee. And we had a great time dancing in the hall a few weeks ago, at an impromptu 90’s indie disco. Megan joined in with that one too!

I think my favourite Heather moment of the last six months has to be a few weeks ago when we were visiting Gem’s mum. Heather burst into our room about 7am, and announced, wide-eyed and without pause for breath, that she’d just seen an animal in her bedroom. “It looked like a hedgehog, but it wasn’t… and it had a red thing on its head… and it was small… and I wasn’t dreaming, and I wasn’t asleep but I wasn’t awake, and it came in under the door and then it went away and I think it was a Cock-a-doo because that’s the noise it made”.

It was all Gem and I could do to keep straight faces and humour her!

This autumn I'm running/cycling in a 30km duathlon and a half marathon, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign. You can read more about my challenge here or support me here. All donations, however big or small, gratefully received!