My toddler moved up a room at nursery in September. It had to happen – he’d been in the same room since he started going, over a year ago, and there were definite signs he’d outgrown the toys and activities in the babies’ room. Even so, it was with a heavy heart that we took him to the room next on the first day of September. Most of his friends were moving up with him and his new keyworker seemed lovely but I was still anxious about how he’d react to the older children in there.
The first day was fine – we had an accident form to complete over some grazed knees. The second day, we heard that there had been some issues with sharing. The third day, we were met at the door by his keyworker, who explained that there had been a tussle with an older child over a blanket and the older child had bitten my toddler. Twice. I expected two barely-there marks. I saw two angry red circles – big bite-marks. And it occurred to me that we’d have to fast-track our emphasis on sharing or this might become a more frequent thing.
Don’t get me wrong, my boy is no angel – his heavy-handed behaviour towards our dog had become a source of concern. But he didn’t bite. We’d already been teaching him not to snatch and trying to lead by example (amongst all the other things we were trying to teach) but those things seemed more of a social nicety rather than to prevent him from getting injured by the other nursery children. The biting was a wake-up call that there were more pressing reasons to ensure he knew how to interact with others. So, together with his keyworker, we encouraged him to take turns, to say sorry if he hurt someone and to give them a hug. Thankfully, the biting incident has been a one-off and his treatment of our dog is much better too. He’s also much more willing to take turns and relinquish his hold of toys and books. All of this took two days to accomplish, causing me to realise I’d underestimated his capacity to understand what we were telling him.
We’re now taking the time to explain much more to him and I know he understands more each day. Our dog is very grateful.
Sadly, this is my last Nappy Ever After for Bea. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my baby-fuelled ramblings. Here’s to the next sixteen years!