So last Wednesday the day finally arrived for Rosie to begin nursery school. It’s a day that three years ago we could only dream about. This time in 2011 we were two weeks away from signing the medical forms that gave consent to the surgeons at Alder Hey to perform open heart surgery on Rosie. This mean’t her heart would be stopped and for approximately 45 mins of a 7 1/2 hour operation she would be kept alive by machinery. I spend an awful lot of time thinking about that chapter in her life and it’s always my first thought each time she achieves a big life moment. It was always so difficult to see beyond it at the time – it felt as if daring to do so would be tempting fate somehow. Anyway I digress…So here we are almost three years on and Rosie is starting nursery at the same mainstream school her older brothers attend/attended.I wanted to shout out to everyone, “LOOK! My baby’s starting nursery today!”The first drop off was really exciting. Walking down the road near the school I was beaming with pride. I wanted to shout out to everyone, “LOOK! My baby’s starting nursery today!” I just couldn’t stop smiling. When we reached the gate there was Rosie’s one-to-one, Lorraine to greet us. I could see the excitement in her face also and it made me feel all the more reassured that everything would be okay.We’ve known Lorraine since the boys started at the school. She became a great support to us in the early days of finding out that we were having a baby with Down’s syndrome (DS) as she herself had a beautiful son, Christopher who also had DS. When it was announced to us that Lorraine would be Rosie’s one-to-one Karen and I were both over the moon as we knew our Bud would be in the best possible hands.As we arrived, the excitement in her teacher Mrs Carr was also plain to see and I became a bit overwhelmed by the work and effort that had clearly gone in by everyone to make the transition as smooth as possible. Flash cards were made of the different areas in the classroom, as well as adjustments to play equipment to accommodate Rosie’s petit size – many other ideas were also discussed for the coming days.We all walked into the classroom but I stood back in the entrance area not wanting to over crowd Rosie. As I stood and watched Rosie sit down with Lorraine and Karen I couldn’t help but well-up with a whole heap of emotions being responsible. I was so proud of Rosie, so happy she was excited and so very grateful to the school for making her so welcome.I left them all to it and Karen stayed with her for an hour or so to aid the transition. Rosie had clearly had a lot of fun and was full of smiles when Karen returned to pick her up.The next day we both stayed with her for about 15 minutes or so and when the time came to leave Rosie just turned and said, “Bye bye” then carried on with her jigsaw. It really couldn’t have gone any better and we both felt thrilled and proud as punch!A short while later….Karen was just about to sit down and embark on her first real peaceful cup of tea in years when the phone went. Yes, it was the nursery to say that Rosie had been crying out, “Mummy!” and getting a bit distressed – to be fair it was all going a little bit too perfectly!It was agreed that picking her up early would be the best option before she started to associate Nursery with something stressful. It’s also been decided that we should stagger the settling in period over alternative mornings, allowing Rosie time to adjust and get used to spending a few hours a day away from her Mummy.So that is where we are up to right now, she clearly loves being there which is great but it’s going to take a bit of time getting her fully accustomed to the change. The promising thing is that although she may struggle being away from Karen after an hour or so she still remains happy to go in each morning.


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The Future's Rosie

I'm Tom, a thirty something father to three beautiful children and husband to my soulmate Karen. I started this blog as a means to talk about stuff, get things out in the open, a bit like an online therapy I guess and to celebrate the progress of my beautiful daughter Rosie who was born in March 2011 with Down's Syndrome (DS) and a Complete Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD). Maybe the experiences shared on here will help others too, hopefully help illustrate the bright futures our children with DS will have if we can break down common misconceptions. When I first found out Rosie would be born with DS I found reading literature with open and honest feelings on the subject, extremely helpful. This is not intended to be a written masterpiece and I can promise you it won’t be. I don’t pretend to have a large vocabulary and to be honest the further behind me my school days become the more my grammar has deteriorated!... however, you will find what is written on these pages comes from the heart.

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