When Raffie began his new pre-school, I dreamt of him coming home, wearing a winning smile and clutching a shiny new bag full of drawings.
When Raffie actually came home from his new pre-school, he was wearing one of their T-shirts and carrying a new passion in his heart.
We all love Raffie’s new pre-school, for lots of different reasons. But for Raffie, there’s one reason in particular he can’t wait to get there.
“Mud pies Mummy, I made mud pies! I went collecting all kinds of things to put in them and I made an amazing mud pie!”
And there we have it. Forget phonics, forget singing, mud is where it’s at. In his bag is the T-shirt he left the house in, now covered in it. And this weekend he taught me how to make the first mud pie of my own.
Singing his new autumn song, he bounds off into the garden at home with more enthusiasm than ever. This week when the heavy rain finally stopped around 4pm, he raced into the garden waving his hands in the air to seize the last hour or so of daylight. “Don’t worry Mummy,” he gushed, “you just need to put your raincoat on and you’ll be fine!”
So as the days get shorter we are spending longer outdoors until there isn’t enough light for him to do his sweeping, his digging or clean his playhouse. While some are quite rightly in the warm and dry, we are outside keeping warm with hard work and shifting mud around the garden.
His new pre-school have an emphasis on practical skills, perfect for a boy like Raffie. He spends a lot of time practising moving tiny things with tweezers, and learning how to make factories from cardboard, and he loves it.
But what he loves the most is that no matter what the weather they will take him outside in his wellies-a hardy lesson I can definitely do with learning from. And when he comes home, he loves nothing more than teaching me a thing or two about making my own mud pies.