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The One With Nursery

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I've been concerned lately that I don't do enough with the boy. You know, activity wise.

When I was on maternity leave life was a whir of swimming lessons, Jo Jingles, NCT meetings and Baby Bounce. I had classes, clubs and community coming out of my ears.

After a while it all sort of settles down. Now, after 2 and a half years, finding things to entertain the boy is a real struggle and I'm relying too heavily on the TV and DD's which is his charming and affectionate name for DVD's.

For a lot of children nursery or child care provides all the stimulus they need.

The boy hasn't gone to nursery yet. I've been putting it off. I know it will do him good but then being at home with his Mum can't be damaging him for life can it? Children are such a long time at school it seemed a shame to pack him off to someone else if I didn't have to.

But is he missing out?

Lemon Cake Lady mentioned the other day that her boy had started phonics at nursery. For those uninitiated in phonics it it now the standard method for teaching primary school children how to read by sounding out the letters.

Surely this means that children who's mum's don't work, or have childcare kindly provided for them by grandparents or other family members, will be at a disadvantage when they start school?

It's contentious subject. Mums I speak to who send their children to nursery and have done for a while extol its virtues, while some stay at home mums say the best place is with family.

Then of course there's the cost. Hippy Chick was telling me recently that it costs £500 a month for Mini Hippy Chick to go to nursery for 3 days a week. That's a lot of money! But then of course you're paying someone to do a job for you, to provide a service, to look after and entertain your child. So therefore they need paying a wage but this has to be a wage that's less than the wage you're earning otherwise it's robbing Peter to pay Paul as the old saying goes.

Unless of course you qualify for working tax credits or child tax credits. Don't even get me started on the minefield of those! Those forms are a whole other blog.

I've been lucky as Nanny P has had the boy while I worked since just before his first birthday. She currently has him a day and a half but I need to work more hours so the time has come for the boy to venture into the big wide world.

You can debate the whys and wherefore's forever but eventually nursery's gonna get you in the end. You can't avoid it. There are times when I feel like its a social plague that he doesn't go.

"Is he at nursery yet?

"What that boy needs is nursery!"

"Nursery will do him good you know!"

So he's going. Not because I feel he has too, although I'm rapidly realising that in the modern world of childcare yes he has to, to keep up, but because I want him to and I need him to. It'll give me better structure to separate work and time at home and be more "boundaried" as Hippy Chick would say. My focus won't be split between the boy and things on my "to do list". I'll work when he's in childcare and when he's not I'll be a focused mum instead of flitting between crayon and computer.

It also means Nanny P can go down to just one day of the boy a week instead of helping out with a half day for me too.

Much more structured. For me and her as well as for him.

So this afternoon I phoned the nursery and they have a place for Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The form is filled in and the boy and I are going up there in the morning to drop it off and sort out a trial date.

I'm partly sad that this little era has ended where I spent pretty much everyday with him. I'm partly relieved that the decision is made and sorted but mostly I'm nervous. For both of us.

I can feel tears and tantrums coming on. And that's just me!

Expect blogs about the boys adventures at nursery very soon....

Knowing the boy, as I do, it's bound to be eventful......