Another Early Years conference attended on Friday in London. G and I were amongst the very small handful of males as usual. It was an inspiring day, a great opportunity away from work to reflect on what we do against the backdrop of inspirational and informative presentations. Professor Trevelyn was thought provoking, as usual.
I was particularly struck by the Children’s Society Good Childhood report findings –
how we do it – the good childhood inquiry
which contains such a vast amount of common sense and acts as a challenge to us to do our bit.
I also enjoyed the lady from Hammersmith who obviously enjoys the company of boys, their obsessions with spiderman, monsters and daleks and takes them camping and lets them light fires ! fantastic!!
The afternoon was a bit depressing, reviewing the current uncertainty, talking about what needs to be done and reasons why it probably won’t – mainly financial. But we mustn’t be downhearted. If we are to stand on the shoulders of the giants of the past who formulated child development theories and good practice, we need to keep doing our best for the children and families we currently serve.
Back into nursery tomorrow. I’m looking forward to spending some time with children again.
A new little guy, aged 3, ran up to me this morning, beaming and very enthusiastic. He had something important that he needed to tell me. He “spoke” for several seconds, the “words” tumbling out, his facial expressions very earnest.
Although English is his mother tongue, I could not understand a single thing he said. There were no recognisable words, just a stream of sound which rose and fell in intonation, in an attempt at language and communication.
I tried in vain to decode these sounds and to engage with him but it is difficult when there are no clues and reassurance can only be managed using facial expressions to show him that I was listening to him, but there was no way I could show him that I understood.
Thus his ability to communicate was completely cut off. I could understand how this would be incredibly frustrating.
Sadly, this is not an uncommon situation and it brings home to me how important it is that we continue to work on speech and language to build these skills into these children.
Otherwise, they are effectively cut off from friends, activities, empathy, support and understanding.
So we had an open day and lots of people came. Next Tuesday, we open for real, with real children! How exciting!! There is still plenty of painting to get finished and a kitchen to fit and it will be handy to have some locks on doors and gates etc. but we are getting there.
Our builder hates Ikea kitchen cabinets – none of the doors fit! Mrs W pointed out to him that he had fitted one of them on the wrong side of the sink unit. He was very diplomatic in his response!
I popped into Howard Road today to collect some parcels and popped into Toddlers. They were playing with cars. I expressed an interest in the fire engine, the black saloon and the red sports car. They all drove up my stomach simultaneously – at speed! guided by young hands. Why doesn’t this happen to females?