Theo will be three in November. Three. Already. I have no idea where the days have gone, how the time has passed so quickly and the character that has grown inside my pint-sized progeny. He asks me daily when will he be going to school, whether there are other 'big boys' there and if he can play with his 'friends'. As a result I decided it was to time to check out a pre-school/nursery. 
I've never been too sure about them, if I'm honest. I feel like they start their educational journey way too early as it is, never mind adding another two years on but it worries me that on his first day he'll be pushed into the throws of 'proper' school with little preparation. I don't want to be responsible for fear or uncertainty when I could have done something to support him. 

Today I went to a local nursery less than 2 miles from our house and I've fallen in love. They believe in all the same ideologies as I do. They learn through real-life play, practical learning. moving pieces of pasta from one bowl to another, baking, painting, washing up their dishes, laundering their own towels, they have mats for each child to place their chosen activity on as a signpost to other children that they must ask to join in and not to snatch. 'I want the green car'; well there isn't one to want. All the toys are simple and neutral and encourage 'quiet' learning and individual responsibility. They are accessible at all times so that children can pick what they want to play with when they want to and the doors outside are always open. I guess what I'm trying to say is I just have a great feeling about it. Theo shook the lady's hand, introduced himself and ran straight in. There's no doubt in my mind that he isn't ready but what I am worried about is me. 

He's not stopped asking about school since we got home.
I know what you're thinking. The definition of narcissist right here on this very page. But I worry about all the worrying I'm going to do as he flies the coop. How will he cope if kids don't want to play with him? Or if he gets left out? How will he feel after his first arm nibble from the kid who gets over excited? I remember the first time I got hurt. I was chasing a boy around the play ground, he turned and launched his lunchbox at my face. It hit me dead in my right eye and I was left with a shiner that made the other children jealous. I know, it clearly didn't do any life long damage (I don't think) but I won't be there to pick him up if he has to fight off a tirade of Tupperware flying at his face.

When you first have a baby you are consumed with so much worry it can sometimes take you down a path you could have never imagined, a path where you're consumed by that worry and struggle to imagine ever not worrying. It ends up in this little box that you manage to compartmentalise and use only when there are things to genuinely worry about, but that doesn't change the fact that it is a dark path. Of course, I don't want my child growing up long before his years but I pray that he isn't naive. I hate the thought of someone taking advantage of his kind nature or doing something cruel. I also appreciate that the world is not a whole heap of rainbows and sunshine but I just want his zest for life and curiosity to last as long as possible.

I know I can't keep him wrapped in cotton wool forever but that doesn't mean I don't want to. Life is going to be a mish mash of happiness, tears, blood stained clothes, expectation and disappointment, I just want to make the ride as easy on him as I can. I guess that doesn't make for many exciting memories though does it? I'm really going to have to work on quietening my inner 'demons', telling my internal lioness to 'PIPE DOWN' and letting my son discover the world in his own magical way. 

I'd be so grateful if you well-learned mothers could tell me HOW you do it? Share your wisdom and you might just help this mama-bear get through something I'm finding considerably more difficult than I thought I would.

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