I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks but as usual life sometimes has other ideas. We have had a month of crazy tonsillitis sickness that started with Lucia and Max, then me, then Max again and we are just coming out the other end.
But in between all of that both children had a pretty big day – loads of fun for them and just a tad nerve wrecking for me!
Sensory play day at nursery
Lucia’s nursery held a fantastic sensory play day for the children and their parents – something that had never been done before. The whole classroom was transformed into a world of wonder including a big slime tray full of all sorts of plastic bugs, a water and ice tray with north pole animals, soil with hidden spaghetti worms, trays of shaving foam, dry coloured rice in a pit with spades and sand wheels for pouring the rice through, a sand pit full of treasure, a water tray, a bubble corner and large sheets of paper with trays of paint.
And the best way to really enjoy and truly experience all of the activities on offer was in bare feet and shorts – plus it was going to be very messy so it just made more sense. The nursery teacher had pre-warned me of this and gave me an idea of what would be happening so I could prepare a plan of action for the day that would suit Lucia.
To bare or not to bare?
Obviously Lucia isn’t supposed to walk barefoot or bare legged in case of injury which can lead to infection, so I was trying to think about how to manage this day. I wanted her to have as much fun as everyone else, but safely. I considered giving her some time out of compression but keeping her in a pair of slippers or shoes. I even looked for sandals or jelly shoes she could maybe wear for protection, but of course could find nothing to fit.
So in the end I decided to put her in an old pair of converse that don’t fit well anymore because then I didn’t mind if they got ruined. I had a chat with Lucia and we agreed that both her and I would wear our shoes and leggings for some of the morning and then maybe towards the end we could have a bit of bare leg time.
I also packed a bag of supplies including baby wipes, a clean towel, spare clothes and shoes, savlon antiseptic cream and moisturiser just in case.
Bare, bare, bare
But, of course, as soon as we got there and she saw everyone else in their bare legs and feet she immediately wanted to be the same. I think I managed all of two minutes before I just decided I had to go with it. I had taken a quick walk around nursery to carry out a bit of a risk assessment and after a chat with the nursery teacher we decided the dry rice was the only area really that had the potential to cause any difficulties as it was so hard.
And so the tights and shoes came off, a pair of Max’s shorts went on and we started exploring. It was actually really interesting as Lucia started off very apprehensive about putting her feet into anything – I assume because she so rarely has her feet and legs ‘out’ (except at home in the evenings).
So we walked about for a bit and she watched everyone else before having a go herself. She wanted to try the slime first but decided herself that she didn’t want to put her feet in! But she was happy enough to pick the bugs out with the tongs provided and touch it with her hands. She loved the water play and happily soaked herself (and me!), gave the baby dolls a good wash in the bath and loved popping the bubbles from the bubble machine. She had a quick go at the rice pouring but didn’t like the feel of the hard grains on the soles of her feet so I lifted her away from that area.
We then headed for the paint section where again she held back and watched as the other kids walked up and down making footprints. She wanted a clean bit of paper all for herself so I got that ready and then painted the soles of her feet – and for the first time ever, she made paint footprints! When she had finished I gave her a good clean, but may as well not have bothered as she headed straight for the sand tray and actually climbed into it at one point!
We did it!
So, yes the floor was covered in slime, rice, paint, water, sand and soil, and yes, Lucia walked through it all, but we did it! I was there to keep a close eye and minimise any risk while allowing her to enjoy the morning just like the rest of her classmates.
The fab nursery teacher also kept a separate basin of warm soapy water for us so Lucia didn’t have to share with anyone else – and of course when we got home I put her in the bath for a long soak to make sure we got every little speck of anything off!!
It really was a brilliant morning. When we got home I was so proud that we had done it and also completely mentally exhausted! I don’t think I managed a coherent chat with anyone as my head may have been slightly frantic – but the main thing was Lucia got to be just like everyone else.
The next event!
So after I got over the sensory morning I then had to think about the next event of the day – Max’s first day back to football practice after school since breaking his leg last June! (You can read about it here.)
He had finally been given the go ahead from the surgeon to get back to normality and he was so excited. He helped me pack his Liverpool football kit and couldn’t wait to get stuck in! Lucia and I headed up to school a bit early to see him in action and his wee face was a picture. He was running around the pitch, going for the ball, laughing and shouting and having the time of his life. He even fell at one point but was straight back up and into the game!
Afterwards he was buzzing, so happy to have been back and chatting about the goals he scored. He was so proud of himself and I was so proud of him.
So all in all that was a pretty momentous day and a day that was good for all of us. It was a day of conquering fears and gaining confidence – and we all did pretty well!