Last week was a very big week for Nipper. Not only did he have his first ever haircut (photos below) but he also started at nursery.
He was due to start at nursery shortly after his 2nd birthday. None of our near friends have any children and although we go to a toddler group Nipper doesn't really get much chance to be with other kids. Since we have another baby on the way I wanted to start him at nursery in good time so that he doesn't feel pushed out when the baby arrives.
We had found a fairly local Montessori nursery and were happy with it following our initial visit. Unfortunately my view changed once we had been for a few drop-in sessions. I'm quite happy with the Montessori ethos and thought it would be good for Nipper given that he's still quite young. This nursery was quite small and so they had all of the children in one room, rather than being split by age. And this is where the problem arose for me. The teeny 2 years olds were being pushed around by the older children who, of course, were much more boisterous. We went for 3 sessions and each time we had problems and witnessed accidents caused by, in my view, inadequate supervision. Nipper was deliberately pushed over (flat on his face) and pestered by a much older child. Despite me very nicely telling the child that Nipper didn't like the 'attention' the child wouldn't leave him alone and this culminated in the child nearly throttling Nipper with a rubber snake! At no point did any staff do anything about it and I had to sort it out myself.
When I asked the manager about 'supervision' she said that Nipper would 'soon get used to it' and that following a 2 week period of personal supervision he would have to 'learn to fit in'. I was rather concerned about this so Mr Earplugs got on the phone for a chat. The manager wanted him to speak to the owner (who also worked in the nursery with the children). She turned out to be a nightmare and unsuited to work in childcare as far as I'm concerned. Mr Earplugs is pretty laid back and so for him to have issues with the woman was quite something. He didn't tell me much (I would have have gone bonkers!) but said that she had denied that anything had happened to Nipper during his visits (even though she had been in the room at the time) and suggested that we were accusing her of allowing bullying - we weren't, but if the cap fits....!! Needless to say Nipper didn't go to this nursery and I had a big dent in my faith in myself since the nursery had seemed ok initially. I've since discovered that 2 other parents have had a 'run-in' with the owner resulting in one of them withdrawing their child.
So Nipper was stuck with me (I don't know how people home-school, I really admire them!) We started looking for a nursery about a month ago and this time didn't bother with 'ethos', we just went straight to Ofsted and looked for anything reasonable near with an 'outstanding' report (the Montessori nursery had been 'outstanding' but had changed hands between the report being published and Nipper starting). We were lucky to find that the only one we 'qualified' for (the others were tied to colleges/offices) was within easy driving distance. Nipper hasn't had any problems with the other children and he's in a room with his own age group. We do have a bit of an issue when I leave him though as he clings onto me for dear life! Hopefully this will ease soon and it won't still be happening by the time he goes to school - lol!
As Nipper was starting nursery I thought it was perhaps time for a haircut. Just about everyone we come across thinks that Nipper is a girl because of his hair - even though he's dressed like a boy! He wasn't too keen when the barber came at him with a pair of clippers but was quite fascinated when the scissors appeared. Here he is before:
And here he is after:
He looks so different. I spent most of Saturday just 'gawping' at him because I couldn't belive that it was him. He's gone from baby to little boy and he looks just gorgeous! I don't think anyone will think he's a girl now - though he does have very long eyelashes so you never know.
I was able to have another scan at the end of last week and this time I could clearly see a baby and a heart-beat (I had to take the doctors word for it last time). The baby was also doing that 'jumping bean' thing they do at this age so that was very reassuring. My doctors are in the fortunate position of having an ultrasound machine on site. This is a good thing since there seems to be confusion regarding when you can have a scan on the nhs. Both my doctor and midwife told me to ring the hospital and book an early scan. When I tried to do this a very officious woman told me I couldn't have one and I'd have to go to the emergency clinic. Apparantly I wasn't allowed to go there either as I wasn't having a threatened miscarriage. I thought most big hospitals had an epu but maybe not.
Next week we have the 'serious' scan where we will find out if everything really is ok. I had booked this at a private clinic as the doctor said I couldn't have it on the nhs. However, the midwife told me that I can have it on the nhs after all! We have decided to stick with the private clinic. If we go via the nhs then the blood samples and scan info have to be sent away for analysis and results take about 5 days. If there is a problem you then have to wait to see a consultant, then have a diagnostic test, and wait for the results again. We are lucky enough to live within reasonable travelling distance of the Fetal Medicine Centre in London. Here we can have the scan and blood tests analysed at our visit and have a diagnostic test too if it's felt necessary. Even better, on the day that we visit the testing is done by a world renowned specialist in fetal medicine so we couldn't be in safer hands.