Arthur has started school

The time is here, Arthur has started school.

Arthur has started school

We are so proud of how our little man has got on.

I have taken Arthur in to school to play at get used to it for a while now, but it has only ever been for an hour or so and never on his own.

So I’ve said before but the international school here on Praslin starts in reception 1 (3yrs old) right up to 6th form where they do A-levels (18yrs old).  Reception 1 is essentially nursery.  The school follows the British curriculum so kids are doing as they would be in the UK.

To help get the little ones settled they are allowed to start in Reception 1 in the half term that they turn 3 years old.  So Arthur is starting this last half term of the school year
We agreed with his teacher that Arthur would just come in for the mornings for now.  He will go full time in September.

So, on the 30th May Arthur got his little school uniform on and off we went to school.  I tried to get lots of obligatory first day of school pictures, Arthur was not all that interested in that though!!

Arthur has started school

 

Arthur has started school

It is a moment I’ve been trying to prepare myself for for what feels like ages now.  I won’t lie, I’ve got myself upset many times just thinking about it all!!

arthur has started school

arthur has started school

We walked into school and his teacher met us outside, she took Arthur to the classroom and off he went.  He gave me a kiss and said “bye bye mummy!”  I was so proud at how he took it all in his stride!

I managed to hold back my tears until I got to the car where I allowed myself to have a couple minutes before telling myself to get a grip!!!

We are in the amazing situation that we know everyone at school really well and everyone has known Arthur since he was born so I knew that there were so many people there looking out for him…..including of course Mark, being the headteacher!  I think he found a few extra reasons to pop down and have a little peek in the class for Arthur’s first day!!

I had lots of texts from different people, updating me through the morning letting me know what Arthur was up to which I loved!

Freddie and I had a nice quiet morning together, we had lots of stories and cuddles before his nap.  I then had a couple hours to myself for the first time in AGES!!  I didn’t really know what to do with myself and as a result wasn’t all that productive!!

When I went to pick Arthur up he was really happy to see me and Freddie but didn’t want to go home, a good sign for sure!!  We managed to get him in the car and then we had a lovely quiet and cuddley afternoon at home.

That evening, we got an email with lots of photos from Arthur’s first day by his teacher, it made my day to get a peek into what he had been up to that day!

Arthur has started school

Arthur has started school

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Arthur has started school

After a couple of days we’ve got into the swing of it  now those couple of hours when Freddie is napping flies by as I get as much done as I possibly can – I had visions of being able to spend more time blogging, that REALLY hasn’t happened!!

It’s now been 2 weeks of school for Arthur and he’s absolutely loving it.  He is settling in so well, we really couldn’t be more proud of him.

His teacher tells us that he’s joining in with activities more and more every day which makes me really happy to hear.  Arthur comes home and sings songs he’s learned at school, it amazes us how quickly he’s picked things up!!

Arthur has been napping again in the afternoon most days after school, he comes home so happy but tired.

I know that starting school has been so good for him in so many ways but particularly for getting to socialise with other kids his own age!

For me its really nice to see him coming out of his shell with other people, he has always been quite shy around people he doesn’t know. I can see his confidence growing in even this short time.

I felt really sad at the ‘end of an era’ of having my now not so little guy at home with me every day, but seeing how happy he is and how good it has been for him has really helped me to get over that. We are now celebrating the start of the school era for Arthur!

Arthur is 34 months old

Arthur is now 34 months old.
Arthur is 34 months old

This month has gone by like a flash.
The first half we had Mark home with us as it was school Easter holidays, Arthur always loves it when Daddy is off work!!

Daddy is big favourite to Arthur right now, he must say Daddy at least 100 times a day!

During the Easter holidays We had our amazing trip to Silhouette island where Arthur had an absolute blast.  He still talks about going to “our little house” now which I love!
Arthur is 34 months old. Silhouette island

Arthur is 34 months old. Arthur and Daddy

Arthur had an unplanned couple of hours at school this month as I had to take Freddie to hospital (he’s totally fine but more on that here!)
Mark took him into the class and apparently he was as good as gold and had a great time.  When I went to go and pick him up he was happy to see me but wasn’t ready to go home!!  I took that as a good sign for when he starts in June!

The following couple of days Arthur napped on the sofa at lunchtime!!  I was SO excited at the prospect of nap time returning but it seems it was just a random couple of days!!

I’ve been a little worried about Arthur’s eating recently.  He is pretty reluctant to eat a full meal most days and just wants to get on with playing (Mark’s mum tells me he was exactly the same!!) he seems happiest with smaller meals and snacks throughout the day.  Obviously I want to make sure he has enough to eat but at the same time I don’t want him to just snack all the time…. It’s pretty frustrating!

We had a couple weeks of at nighttime accidents.  Changing sheets every day grew thin quickly, but things seem to be back on track now.  Not really sure what caused it.  Apparently it’s really common up to 6 years old to not be dry at night so I need to remember just how good Arthur has been doing so far!!

Arthur has always been very shy with strangers and often will hide or pretend they aren’t there!!  We have noticed a little shift in Arthurs shyness this month, he has started to open up to people a little more, showing him the toy he’s playing with or something along those lines.  It’s not all the time and not with everyone but I have been really amazed and proud of him for it.  It may not be a big deal to everyone, but knowing just how painfully shy he can be it is a big deal for him!!

This month we’ve started to see Arthur testing and pushing boundaries quite a bit, doing things he knows he shouldn’t be and trying out new things!  There has been lots of “NO MUMMY” “NO DADDY” and running away if we tell him to stop doing something, or just outright ignoring us!
It’s been tough, but he’s quick to turn it all around with a big “cuggle” a kiss or even just a cheesy grin!

Arthur is 34 months old

Mark and I are definitely noticing that Arthur is becoming a lot braver with his little adventures whether that’s just in the garden, at the beach or anywhere really…he climbs a bit higher, wanders a bit further away, just generally gaining confidence with everything he does, it’s great but scary for us too!
Arthur is 34 months old. Arthur at anse lazioArthur is 34 months old. Splashing at anse lazio

He’s been a proper little parrot this month, I think he’s taking in lots of new words (so we’ve really had to watch what we say!!).  His speech continues to develop all the time and some of the things he comes out with really amazes me, and often makes us all laugh too!

I have had days where I have found it really tough to keep him entertained all day, for me it’s final confirmation that he really is ready to be in school!!   It’s really not long until he will be there now, so on those days that are tough I’ve been trying to remind myself to make the most of it all!

Expat family guilt

Expat life can be AMAZING, but there are times, when expat life can be tough.  I think adding children into that mix can make the highs and lows even more extreme.
 

Expat family guilt

Without doubt we are really happy with our choice to have and live with our boys abroad; if you’re a regular reader of my blog I think that’s pretty obvious to see.  We love the life that we have here.

Expat Family guilt

We are lucky that we don’t really get external guilt put on to us by our families, its just the guilt we put on ourselves!  I know that some people’s families don’t hide their displeasure or disapproval at the expat life!

But the days when it is hard, it really is hard.  Well often it’s not even days, but moments, when the expat family guilt kicks in.

Moments where the difference in timezones mean I can’t just pick up the call for a chat.

Moments where our restricted internet means I can’t just video call if the boys are doing something fun!

Times where I’d love to send the boys off for an afternoon to spend time with their grandparents (and give me an afternoon off!!)

Times when I feel truly awful for how much our family is missing out on with the boys growing up so fast.

This month I’ve been feeling some serious expat guilt.  I think it comes from Arthur getting older and being able to communicate more.  I’m pretty sure that our upcoming trip to the UK this summer is  having an impact on it too.

It hit me really badly the other day when after a Skype chat with my Mum.  Arthur got really upset and said “see nana please mama.”  I can’t express how awful I felt.  I would have loved more than anything at that moment to be able to pop round to visit her so Arthur could see his Nana.

Arthur really likes planes and so I tell him whenever we send something to the UK or someone has sent something to us how it has been put on a plane.

I think he’s starting to comprehend that our family doesn’t live close by.  That we can’t just go and see them whenever we want.  When he asked to “see nana” the other day, it made me realise that his understanding is more than I had given him credit for.

The moments may be fleeting, often they are just thoughts that are coming to the forefront of my mind.  But it’s undeniable.  Expat family guilt is real.  The best way I have found to deal with it is to take advantage of something that you couldn’t do at ‘home’.  For us that can be something as simple as getting out in the garden and enjoying some sun for instant gratification, or take a walk to the beach or the pool.  Even just looking at some pictures of the boys and appreciating what opportunities they get here that they wouldn’t get elsewhere.

How do you do deal with your expat family guilt?

Seychelles Mama