Today was just as chilly as yesterday and the long sleeve tops are still out so I let Roran pick one of his new ones to wear. He choose the Piccalilly Fox Top, yet another of my favourites from this year. I love the fact that the the foxes monocle and whiskers are actually embroidery rather than just print. This helps the top feel more grown up but still not to old for almost 5 year old. The colour is great as it is bright enough for me to spot in a crowd, if needed but not to bright for autumn time. Also the mock layer sleeves again adds to that older boy feel.
Size: 5 to 6 Years
Towards the end of the summer holiday’s we were told, by Roran’s swimming teacher, that he was ready to move from the stage 3 ‘yellow hats’group into the stage 4 ‘green hats’. Roran was really excited, but we then had the mission of finding a space in a class that would suit. Most green hat classes are after school and we knew he would be too tired to join one of those. Not to mention the nightmare of controlling the little two whilst we tried to sit and watch! We managed to get a space in an early morning class on Saturday, and better still it was with one of his two favourite teachers.
His first lesson arrived and excitedly we waited at the side, green hat and goggles on and ready to go. The big difference between his yellow and green hat class was that the teacher taught from the side, not in the pool. He would also be going side to side rather than up and down. We soon realised it wasn’t his teacher, which worried Roran but he got in the pool confidently. Being the smallest in the class and youngest, I had hoped the teacher would had paid attention to him on his first lesson but he was distracted with another child and it took him at least 10 minutes to see Roran struggling.
Roran being keen had got into the deepest part of the pool and could not touch the floor. Confident he could do it, he had headed off trying to keep up with the older children and struggled. It was hard to watch and I had to stop myself getting up and taking him out the pool or shouting at the teacher, who was now busy talking to another teacher. Eventually he offered him a float and brought him to the shallower end.
When he got out I told myself I wouldn’t tell him how good he did and how well he had tried. However the first thing he said to me was ‘it was hard, I want to be a yellow hat’. I was heartbroken to see my water confident boy so down. I knew he could do it, but he lost his confidence. Next week we had to convince him to go, whereas normally he is excited about his lessons. Daddy took him to see if it helped. No he sat and cried.
We talked it through and decided to try another week, and I would talk to his normal teacher. So before his lesson, as he clung to my arm, I spoke to her about how the first lesson had gone and raised my concerns. She knew Roran from teaching him before and knew he was capable of the class. She also mentioned that not being able to touch the floor was a disadvantage. She gave him a float to start and helped for the first few things. Without him noticing she took the float away and was joining in with the class. Afterwards he got out all smiles and told me ‘it was easy’, not really but he had his confidence back and if he say’s it easy then that’s fine.
He has now been in the class for about 6 weeks and his attitude has changed completely, he is happy to go and confident to get in. His teacher has made a huge difference just by giving him some time and believing he can do it. She has actually been away for two of the classes and let him join her in the Sunday class instead so that he has had the continuity needed. We have our confident water baby back, and now enjoy watching his lessons again.
Well it has seemed like it has been a long time coming but today Roran finally started school. Being an October baby, he watched a large majority of his friends head off to school last September, and has been counting the months down since then.
So after a summer break of buying, trying on and returning school uniforms, a trip to the local shoe factory to buy a pair of expensive, but hopefully long lasting school shoes and endless evenings of sewing in name labels, this morning we were ready. Our school doesn’t
do home visits or transition days, we had an hour stay and play in July and another hour yesterday, then today he went by himself for the whole morning.
Now I knew he would be fine, he’s a very confident little boy, who easily makes friends but there is always that thought in the back of your mind. We arrived on time and bumped into a friend from pre-school. All the parents waited for the doors to open and when they did, it was like a mass migration. I was pleased to see Roran had waited for me, only for it to be short lived by the realisation that he actually just wanted me to hold his book bag!
First thing we had to do was obviously go for a wee, he always needs to check the facilities. We hung his jumper and coat on his peg and into his classroom he went. He then came back to take his book-bag in and put it in his tray. I said a hopeful goodbye, but he was gone.
While part of me was pleased we went in with no fuss or tears, part of me felt a little sad. He doesn’t need me all the time and has grown in to a confident independent little schoolboy. Let the next chapter begin…