Since Patrick turned two, and truthfully the months leading up to his second birthday, I wondered when he'd start nursery again. We took him out in December last year once I began to work from home and it was probably one of the best choices we made, for a dozen reasons, but knowing when to put him back in hasn't been such an easy choice. It's actually a playgroup we're uhming and ahhing over, and it doesn't accept little ones till they turn two, hence the wait - but yet I've found myself almost three months after his second birthday and I still haven't filled in the registration form.

Whilst Pip has always been the wild card of the family, he's the baby and the baby he shall always remain and I guess part of me feels that by waving him off to playgroup twice a week, I'm letting go. Nonsensical and completely neurotic because I know that I'll never have let go of him, but something just keeps making me hang on a few more months. Initially we'd planned for him to start in June - I say planned but these were all thoughts and conversations I had with myself in my head. He'd turn two and he'd begin, but.. then we had a holiday coming up, and it would have been wrong to settle him in and then pull him out, right? Plus a waste of money to pay for a place when he wont be attending. Sure, it's logical to wait till we're back. Rewind to arriving back from holiday and the glaringly obvious fact that the summer holidays was a mere matter of weeks away and again, it seemed cruel to settle him in and then have him home for six weeks whilst it was closed, all to go through the process again. So now we're here, it's September and I'd promised that this was the month he'd begin, yet the forms remain un-penned.

There's no reason now, I don't have an excuse to make and I hadn't got this far in my imaginary plans so I'm at a bit of a loss as to why we've not started to settle him in. Whilst I don't think Patrick really needs playgroup right now, I know only too well the benefits of settling them into a routine early, he'll be a young one for starting school and I think having some stability in a playgroup setting early on will help him thrive. I know it will, but still, here we are.

I need the time, my childcare arrangements aren't always reliable and I really do need to start getting some solid days of work in that I can rely upon and know I've got in the 'work bank' so to speak. But the reminder pops back into my head that he is my baby and once he's settled into something there is no going back. I know Patrick thrived once I removed him from his old setting, it's no real discredit to them, but he was constantly poorly and just needed to be home, he's come on leaps and bounds and whilst I don't really worry history would repeat itself, I am going to miss having him here. He's my shadow, my sidekick and my best friend, so it's sad to imagine something encroaching on that bond, however irrational that thought is, it's definitely one that plays on my mind. Will he miss me when he's gone, will it make him clingy, is this going to be a learning curve or maybe it'll be the making of him - who knows. I certainly wont till we take the step.

It's such a conflict of emotions, wanting the best but not being entirely sure what exactly that is. Noah was seasoned in childcare and has always taken to anything like a duck to water, but Patrick is a whole different kettle of fish and I'm nervous to put my foot in uncharted waters. I haven't really solved anything by writing this post, I'm no wiser in what to do and whilst one half of my head tells me he needs to socialise and this will be good for him, the other side screams 'wait till after Christmas'. What will be will be I'm sure and if we find ourselves here in January writing a similar post, someone remind me that sending him to a playgroup isn't going to take anything away from our bond. 

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