T moved rooms at nursery last week. I adore his childcare. Despite it not being our first choice, he has grown and thrived in his three days a week there for almost twelve months, and I wouldn't change it for the world. Well, unless I won the lottery of course.
The leap from the oldest room in the Kindergarten unit to the youngest in the pre-school unit has been a great one though. The nursery is split site, with two buildings straddling the entrance to the local park. The drop-off area for parents is outside the Kindergarten unit, and every morning since the change T has raced from my grip and clung to to the gates of his old unit, asking for his favourite keyworkers Nad-Nad (Nadia) and Kelly, before I've prised off his fingers and carried a wriggling parcel of screeching toddler to 'Big Boy Nursery'.
The new unit is wonderful. There's a much larger outside play area, a vegetable garden and even a suite of tiny toilets and wash hand basins, although T doesn't need any help with his obsession with 'wee wees' (more on that later). The activity is more full-on, and he's come home truly knackered every day, full of tales of dancing and with green paint in one ear.
It's hard on days like these, especially when his younger sister is trying to force her toes through my solar plexus in a bid for the outside world, to remember that of course T is still a baby. There remains so much to learn. Although his language has come on in leaps and bounds in the last weeks there are still comical errors.
This afternoon we made a swift trip to the supermarket to buy ingredients to make biscuits for the aforementioned keyworkers. Yes I know 'proper' presents to say thank you are probably in order, but I'm broke and like a project, so vanilla mixture with icing and sprinkles it is.
T didn't want to get in the car. Then he didn't want to get out of the car. Then he didn't want to get into the trolley. Then he didn't want to wear the waist strap unless he could fasten it himself. In a desperate attempt to save my sanity I offered him the contents of my shopping bag in turn ... he was distracted for around 40 seconds by 'holding Mummy's pennies' until he realised he wasn't allowed to throw each of my credit cards on the floor in turn. He was distracted by my phone for the same amount of time, before I refused to let him call his cousin A (currently on holiday in Spain, I'm not that cruel!) In desperation, I handed him the shopping list, a copy of Nigella's recipe to remind me how much butter to buy.
He held the scrap of cardboard in his hand, turning it over and over, studying my scrawl on one side, half a portrait of Tony the Tiger on the other. Then he held it to his ear. He was quiet, and I didn't click for a while that he wanted my attention, although he was trying to catch my eye. In the end, almost bouncing out of the seat in excitement, I asked if he was OK.
'Mummy, mummy, mummy' he said, my list still pressed firmly to his ear like a bad toy mobile, 'I'm list-ing, list-ing ... good boy!'
List, listen. You can see what he did there. How do you explain the vagaries of the English language to a boy who is not yet two, but thinks he is so much more?