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  1. No, you are not being paranoid or over protective, you are going with your finely, Finley tuned Mama antenni.At 3 he is still a baby, as any sane person would admit and some school outings are perhaps not as well organised as they might lead us to believe, however well intentioned. Go with your instincts!

  2. I can sympathise with you completely! I have a little girl who is also 3 and I panicked at the idea of her going with pre-school to the local dentist about 5 miles away with 8 mums in tow and only 16 children…(I'm 9 months pregnant so couldnt really go)! They are just so precious aren't they? Blackpool would be way too scary for me to even consider (but we do live in a tiny village on the edge of Dartmoor)! Could you not drive there seperately with Finn and be a part of it that way? It could just be a coincidence that you end up there on the same day as them!?! xxx

  3. Oh no, I wouldn't let my baby go alone. I let my girls aged 12 and 10 on their first daily trip this year. If that makes you more comfortable with "paranoid"!
    I think he has all the time to enjoy school trips alone. You may take him though on an outing to a special place he loves. That way he'll have something impotant to say to the other fellows, like he is not missing out.
    My Best!

  4. My 3 children all went on playschool and school trips with no mishaps,my grandchildren the same.We are overprotecting our children now,they need to have all the different experiences that will make them adequate adults.

  5. Weigh the two risks–
    Risk One: That something awful happens to your babba.
    Risk Two: That he begins to feel dependent only on you, isolated from classmates, smothered as he grows older from experiencing new things, or worse, like me, afraid of so much, just because it is the unknown.
    It truly is something only you can weigh, as you know your precious Finley, his personality, and your instincts. But I would venture to say the risk of limiting his experiences is the greater risk.
    (Disclaimer: I am not a parent. So I have no right to give any advice at all, but I am a child, trying to overcome my own self-imposed limitations that are a direct stem from the strict limitations my mum and dad put on me for 22 years. I do think of you as a dear friend though, even though we've never met, and I know you'll make the right decision, whichever it may be. We're all rooting for you, as you have the toughest job of all, and from all I can tell reading your brilliant writings, you're doing the job swimmingly!)

  6. No you are not paranoid, 3 years old, without Mummy, is very young for an independent outing. I would not have been happy for any of my four children to go on an outing without me at that age.

  7. Alison; I am a nursery teacher and a mother of three lively children, youngest boy aged three.
    I fail to find any reason why a nursery needs to take children so far away, on a bus (up the M1 or M6?? Cant locate you exactly). You know that a trip to the fish counter at Sainsburys can be fulfilling. If you want Finn to experience the aquarium, take him yourself and enjoy a special Mommy/Finn day out. He has all the time in the world to "grow up" and be independent. "When I was three I was hardly me" AA Milne.
    Sometimes it just isnt possible in a nursery environment to remember the big picture…which is each individual childs developmental needs, as opposed to the desire to give the whole class an overall experience to enable further curriculum development…
    Good for you to query this. Think of Finns needs as a person, and how much more pleasure he might have from an outing with you either to the aquarium or another suitable destination, perhaps nearer to home. Dare I suggest a train journey to the seaside??? Gill.

  8. I would keep him at home. I think 3 years old is too young to go on a trip so far from home. Who will supervise his eating? I don't think you are being over protective. I think you are being sensible.

  9. I went along as a volunteer mummy last month to Blue Planet with a class of 4-5 year olds.Everything was great and very well organised.Saying that though there were 6 teachers and about 6 parents to just under 60 children.We each had no more than 4 children who we were responsible for.That included toilet trips and lunchtimes.I would say that aslong as the child adult ratio is no greater than that Finley should be okay.You may find that their decision to resrict parents is monetary based as most places subsidise the parents places so maybe you could suggest making your own way and paying for yourself? It would be a shame if he had to miss out on the experience if there is a way around it.

  10. What the hell? Who takes a busload (does the bus have carseats because in America, they don't and at the same time it is illegal for us to ferry our three year olds around with no carseats, but perfectly acceptable for buses)of preschoolers 45 minutes away and doesn't allow parental chaperones who volunteer their time??? You are perfectly justified in your paranoia-we should be worried about those parents who are not worried about their children. I have two myself and, sadly, it is almost necessary to be overprotective in today's world. Rest easy, my dear. Do what makes you most comfortable. You will make the best decision in the long run. (And pooh pooh to the granny who calls us overprotective. She raised her children in a different day and age.)

  11. For me 3 to is too young to go alone. My eldest went on a trip with Nursery when she was three but all parents were required to go along with only a few spaces for children whose parents couldn't go.
    The next year at the age of 4 1/2 she went on a trip with school without Mummy. I was concerned but she was OK.
    For me, at the age of three the children need twice as much care and attention as a child of 4…toileting, eating, concentration span, not running off, etc. So for me a trip at age three away from Mummy would only be acceptable if you could guarantee a two children to one adult ratio maximum…I realise that mother's of multiple children cope with more than two children at a time quite happily but if the children aren't your own you are not used to their habits, dietary needs, tendency to run off etc…
    These are my own personal thoughts, I know many mothers who are only too happy to allow their young children on similar trips. As the previous commenter noted, go with your instincts, Finley is your child, you know him best.

  12. I have a 3.5 year old with life threatening food allergies. And even before we knew about the allergies, I was already planning to be one of the 'volunteer mommies' if one of the field trips mentioned in the fliers ever materialized. I'm with you all the way. He can enjoy adventures in a few years when he has a better sense of what foods are safe.

  13. Always go with your gut feeling where your kids are concerned. These trips are unnecessary and inappropiate at this age – more for the 8/9year olds. Better you take him one day just the two of you. I have been on similar trips – they are a real test of endurance for all concerned. Why dont they bring some goldfish in for the little kids to study ?

  14. I agree that you have to go with our instincts. Saying that whenever my children were in 3 year old pre-school, you had to go on an excursion with them. When they were 4 years old it was a four parent per child ratio. Sorry I am not much help!

  15. Although I am a firm believer that our children should have their own experiences, I think that 3 years old is FAR too young for such a long trip. My children did not have those types of trips until they were five years old and in kindergarten. When they went (on a bus) they had a wondeful time and were enriched by the experience. But they were a few years older than Finn. And in my opinion, the difference between a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old is quite large. I can't tell you what to do. But, I know that my children would probably take a trip with Mom to the zoo (or something like that) on that day. Try to listen to your gut feelings. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. 3 years old is too young. Children that age cannot fully appreciate a field trip so far away! I understand why you are worried. You are not being neurotic. Why not organize a field trip this summer with Finley's friends and their parents?

  17. I lurk here often, but don't normally post. I just have to say, and agree with many others, that you have to follow your heart with this one. You obviously feel concern, or you wouldn't have already volunteered. If the primary reason for your not being chosen to go along is because of space on the bus, or of cost, I'm sure there could be no objection from the school of you following along in your own vehicle and paying your own way. Perhaps there is another mother who feels the same way you do, and perhaps you both could follow along, with both of your children, and just join the others at the aquarium. That way your child still gets to participate in the group activities, but you have more control over the situation. Where your children are concerned, you should never be outside of your comfort zone. You'll make the right choice for you and Finn, I'm sure of it. Sometimes, I don't think the school activities are completely well thought out. HUGS to you! You're a great mom!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I would do one of two things:
    Either keep him home for the day and plan a fantastic outing with him, maybe something similar to this field trip. When they children are talking about it the next day he will have had similar experiences.
    OR
    Just get in the car and go to the field trip destination on your own. Smile sweetly and be a huge help to one and all. You can't have too many mommies on a field trip.
    You have every right for concern.

  19. Listen to this! Become independent? Not grow up to be sheltered? HE'S THREE!!!! What a long and horrible day that will be for all concerned. I'd do something scrumptious you never, never thought of before and forget the whole thing. Three! Toddlers don't go on field trips. They… toddle! Give the children back their childhood… Am I ranting? Sorry. I honestly believe you will do the right thing. Love you and little Finn SO much!

  20. I went through the same thing with my son when he was that age…he's 17 now! I just kept him home for the day and we went on our own special "mystery trip". It's best to trust your instincts when ever these situations arise.

  21. I have to agree with the majority of commenters – if he were 5 and in primary school, that would be a bit over-protective. But he's only 3. And the complicating factor is that he does have a health issue that is critically important to be watched and the past has proven that the school is not as protective as they claim, risk assessment or not.
    If it makes you uncomfortable – keep him home. If it was just over reacting protection – there will be another day to take him to the aquarium and years of field trips in his future.

  22. Hey Alison! Read your blog all the time and love it! I have to de-lurk for the sake of your precious babba. You are not being too protective…he's only three! My son had a seizure disorder he eventually grew out of…I was extremely concerned and protective of him. A mother never goes wrong when she follows her maternal instincts!

  23. Alison, like most people who have posted I think you should go with your gut feeling. I personally think that 3 years is very young to go such a long way, especially given all the other factors. I think I would feel exactly the same given a similar situation. I'm sure you have a shed load of scrumptious alternative plans!

  24. You asked for an opinion, so here's mine for what it's worth. Three years old is too young to be away from Mummy for any reason. We're sending our children off to "school" far too young. (I'm in America, so I'm speaking of what I see here). With Finn needing special food, yeah, I would be sick about it all, too. I'd like to see more Mums be okay with being poor and having their children at home longer. If there is any way for you to just keep him home and you take him to the acquairium on a day with just you and him and maybe other family and friends, do it! If it makes the school angry at you, remember, Finn is yours, not theirs.

  25. Ali, keep him at home if you cant go love, I wouldnt let either of mine go such a long distance at that age, Lucy is off to an aquarium trip tommorow actually, fairly local, but i am even worried about that and she is eight! you are not being unreasonable, the nursery is.

  26. I can sympathize. My husband, who works from home, volunteers for all field trips and our boys are 12 and 13. He usually gets chosen because they like to have fathers involved around here. One of our boys has a vision problem and the other is asthmatic, so I have these fears that one will get lost and the other will have an asthma attack he can't control. I would hate it if one of us weren't there, but at this age, I'd have to get over it.
    Finn is little though. Keep him home if you can't go and don't regret it for a second.

  27. A very loud NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
    Whats wrong with you people……
    of course,without a shadow of a doubt DO let Finley go, let him climb trees, get a motorbike when he comes of age and if he wants to fight tigers in Timbuktoo buy him a plane ticket.
    Life is for living and this is the first little step. Your little babba is really a little man let him be one.
    You have to trust Finley (nearly four) and a very experienced nursery to get it right….you have to trust both.
    Let the boy become a man.

  28. I agree with most of these letters and would not let a 3 years old go on a trip like this. You are being a very wonderful Mother. I am sure you can come up with a fantastic alternative yourself (if you think you need to). Three years old! Whatever next.

  29. DON'T DO IT! Unless you can go to, even if you follow in your own car. It is a long way and a long time for 3 years. My 4yr went on her first bus trip, 30 mins away for a 1 hour show. I went and by the time the school got back ALL children were over excited and over tired and there was not food involved! Put your foot down, your child and you pay the fee's for school. This is the start of many years of batting for your child in the school system. Start as you mean to go on.!
    Enough said! But adore you blog! Take Care. Rachaelx

  30. Allison, as a former preschool teacher, mother of 4 & grandmother of 11 I would say to follow your instincts. Doubt usually means don't! There will be plenty of time for adventures of this sort at a more appropriate age but they are only little & only "yours" for a short time.

  31. I would address your concerns ( and the reasons why..) to the nursery school first and let them know that you would love for him to go but just can't be sure that "they" will catch his allergy the same way you would. In public school here in the states kids with special medical needs parents are always given the option of chaperoning. Don't ostracize your son by not letting him go, just ask if there aren't enough bus seats could you drive independently with possibly some other "overflow" parents. We have done many trips this way. Besides that I would question how many children per chaperone, I have never met a school that wasn't grateful for an extra pair of hands; especially with the wee ones who need constant attention. Good luck, but don't be afraid to let your baby bird out of nest!
    Brave heart Mama! all the best!
    Bramblerose

  32. Without offering any specific advice, my own experience with my 6 children who have attended preschool so far has been that they go on those sorts of field trips, even that far away, and all have lived to tell the tale. They also *do* remember the experience, even the oldest who is now in high school, and it is a fond memory for them.
    That being said, still, make your own decision. I don't know about the celiac issue, since my kids *didn't* have to deal with that.

  33. Hi Alison
    Here's my opinion: Trust nobody with your babba!!! My children went to school for a while. Then we took them out of school. I am a celiac maniac, too. Let me tell you ~ a lot of chefs who are paid to cook for us are still, to this day, unsure about food content.
    Hey, it's not even about the gluten. It's your three year old babba going so far away. Sure, they live. But… if you have that gut feeling NOW, listen to it. God put that gut feeling in mammas for a reason. Listen to it until the day you die.
    With love,
    Cherished

  34. Oops! Sorry, forgot to add a post script.
    I don't care what risk assessment anybody has done. Each babba on earth is an individual. Until England has got the hammer and sickel flying on their flag, and communism reigns, the babba is yours. You make the decisions. Don't be bullied or 'put in your place' by 'people of the public service'.
    Viva la moxie!
    Love,
    Cherished

  35. Oh my goodness-keep him at home! He's only 3-a baby. My youngest child is deaf and at this same age I said "no"!!to a field trip on a city bus to a shopping mall to see Santa Claus!! I'm sure I was called the overprotective mother or worse-but I never have regretted not sending her and still feel I could very easily have regretted sending her forever!(she never knew she missed it)
    Keep your babies close especially when special needs are involved.
    From: Blackberries in The Grove, Ohio

  36. Just want to chime in…When my son was 4 last year I too had a panic attack about him attending field trips. I did keep him home once, but most of his school's field trips were local and less than 5 miles away. I did eventually let him go—although I worried constantly he had enjoyed them.
    3 is a bit young and if I were in your shoes I'd feel the same way. Don't worry about it and keep him home. Maybe take him to that aquarium on a weekend if you think he'll be missing out.

  37. Hi
    i think you should keep a 3 year old home, I don't understand why they feel the need to take young kids on such trips I go with my daughters class and they are 7 and are still exhausted and really play up after an hour of being confined on the bus. Your child will have more opportunities when he is bigger. But also the idea of meeting them there may work take him in your car.

  38. My parents were occasionally "over-protective" in this manner – not always, but definitely when I was 3/4 (they definitely relaxed this as I got older) and if they considered the trip not to be worth the hassle or anxiety. They knew I could, and did, socialise elsewhere, and that the educational value of any trip could be duplicated by them or with friends' parents. I remember nothing of it and I am now a happy, fully-functioning 29-year-old! ; ) No scars in the slightest! Seriously, as with most things – if your instincts tell you no, don't do it.
    X

  39. It's just a 45-minute ride, supervised by more adults than are usually present in the classroom, and the celiac problem sounds like it's always there, even on a regular school day. It seems like everyone has cell phones now, which are really handy for calling parents or emergency services if there's a problem.
    On a regular school day, you're away from him for hours, and I assume you don't spend that whole time hovering outside the preschool window to monitor every morsel that gets close to his mouth. So, whether at school or on a field trip, he's "absent" from your life for a short part of the day and is always on the verge of exposure to wheat. What's the difference, then? How do you normally get through the day when he's at school? Maybe because I've had several kids and have gotten a bit laissez-faire about things, I think this little trip is getting blown way out of proportion.
    Just do whatever you very well please. Be an adult and make the silly decision yourself. It's not like you're packing him off to Iraq with a little flack jacket on. And if the celiac issue is such a problem, why are you sending him to preschool in the first place? If you're having to snatch food away from other children who are making friendly offers to him and constantly reminding the teachers not to feed him this or that, it would seem that =every= school day you're putting him in harm's way. Why not just keep him at home until =you= can handle his absences; between Finn, the school, other parents, and you, it sounds like you're the only one with a problem.

  40. Alison,
    As he is your first born, only child, with special health needs and just 3 years of age — I say go with what YOU think is best for YOUR child. Don't just take the word of the school. You know what is the best. He is your flesh and blood. If you should decide to keep him home with Momma there will always be more field trips to attend later. What is the worst that will happen if a 3 year old doesn't go to 1 field trip??? I do believe the sun will still rise tomorrow!!
    Amy ( Mother to 3 )

  41. I wouldn't have let any of mine go at 3 and that's without food allergies! Think I even veetoed Farmer Ted's at four! You can't be over protective at age 3!!
    Blackpool. a hell hole?!?! Fabulous place (but not at 3 years old without mummy.)

  42. Just one more thought – (I have five grown sons and six grandsons and three granddaughters) my children went to nursery school in England and I found that the staff are sometimes overwhelmed with there own importance – longtime mothers themselves they rather pooh-pooh new mothers concerns – human nature – but this trip sounds like it is on their agenda rather than the kids.
    The lady "Nancy" may be laissez faire but that is not necessarily something to boast about

  43. I say 3 is too young to go that far away, especially when there's health issues. My youngest is 4 with some mild health issues and I wouldn't send him. Besides, it's not as if he's missing his chemistry final. =) Blessings…

  44. I have a 3 yr old and I would feel the same as you….3 is awful young to be going on any sort of field trip that involves a commute! I would just keep him home, plan a special day. You will have peace…that motherly intuition is a gift, when I ignore I usually regret it.

  45. Hey again..I didn't read all the comments but boy o boy was that Nancy lady not a nice person! If none of us mommas could ask one another for advice (which due to those kind of comments we often do not) then what is the point of ever sharing anything or allowing others to influence us in a positive way? The very fact that you are unsure and asking others what they would do shows that you are not an out-of-control-overly protective-insane mother. The crazy ones never stop to ask.
    Your little boy will have many field trips in his future and plenty of opportunities to cut those apron strings, but at 3 yrs old he is still allowed to be your babba and to miss out on a field trip he will never remember.
    Good moms question these sort of things. Good luck with your decision ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. If I were you I'd keep him home. He's 3, he'd probably much prefer to be with his mother.
    Personally, I fail to see why they would even take 3 year olds on a trip like that.
    Good luck with your choice.

  47. The way you are feeling is normal but still I think you have to let him go.The fact that it is 40 miles away doesn't really make that much difference – there are the same concerns whether it is 4 minutes or 4 miles away. It is very very hard given his coealiacs but why not request to pack a lunch for him and give it to the teacher? He may only be 3 but he will be 4 soon and will be very aware that his condition can make him different to other children. Not letting him go on this trip will be isoltaing him further. He will be fine and he will have a fine old time. It will be a long day for you but when he comes home, perfectly well and chattering excitedly (and incessantly as Finn has a tendency to!!!) about everything he's done you will be glad you made the decision.
    Go with your instinct is right – but sometimes as mommies we have to step outside of our comfort zone a little and let our children go out there and do what they have to do. It's very very hard but helps them to grow up to be confident and independant human beings.
    You a good mommy and you will make the right decision.
    Your little sister
    xxx
    PS – And dear, dear Nancy… If you think it is a decision Alison should make alone why oh why bother giving your opinion at all? It has added little of value to this thread and has just made you look silly and angry.

  48. I think you should go with your instincts. Mummy instincts are our greatest safety tool. He's three years old, you're allowed to mother him, it's your job to mother him. If you think a trip to Blackpool (it's like a nastier Vegas, American readers)is inappropriate for a 3 year old with ceoliac then stick to your guns, dearie…btw I have a seriously asthmatic daughter who was told by the head teacher, who was taking her PE lesson, to "sit and rest" rather than bother to get her inhaler from the school office. Teachers think they know everything, believe me because I'm a teacher!

  49. Oh dear! I just had to post a comment mainly so you would know that NASTY Nancy comment was NOT mine! I have commented here before and just wanted to be sure you realized THAT one is not me. Jeez, she is giving my name a bad name! What a mommy snob!
    As for the trip, not sure if it has happened but I would be one of the moms who refrained. I think three is awfully young for a trip without mommy. I vote for going on your own and joining them if you are not able to ride with him. Otherwise, plan a fun picnic or outing with him and maybe a playmate or two.
    {{hugs!}}
    Nice Nancy ๐Ÿ˜€

  50. Some of your readers just need to cut the apron strings.
    Anyway, if your son's teachers are such a bunch of incompetent boobs, why are you putting him in their care at all? It's irresponsible of them to not watch his diet, and even more irresponsible of you to repeatedly put him in that situation. Are you really feeling conflicted about the field trip in particular, or about having sent your child to school at such a young age?

  51. Going separately in your own car is a great idea – I never thought of that. However, you'd probably need to discuss that in detail with the teacher, concerning possible insurance/liability issues since it's a school-sponsored trip.
    And if the teacher says yes, be sure to clarify that you're going so you can supervise Finn *only,* otherwise you may end up with a job you didn't intend.
    My only thought is that if Finn doesn't go, it won't scar him for life, but you will probably have to manage some disappointment from him for a while, since his schoolmates will talk about the trip, it will be tied into coming classroom activities, and he may feel it quite unfair that all of his classmates got to do something fun while he is being singled out.
    I don't know how reasonable he usually is about such things, so maybe use his normal response as a measure of how he is likely to react. I have a very large family, and even the preschoolers usually go on field trips. We've denied a few trips because of the cost, and have had to deal with the disappointment I just described, but of course the world didn't come to an end. I did feel a bit guilty, though, when the child would recall the missed trip even a year or two or three later.

  52. I would NEVER let my 3 year old
    go on any kind of trip without me. Please don't let anybody lay
    guilt on you for knowing what is best for your own child.

  53. I would NEVER let my 3 year old
    go on any kind of trip without me. Please don't let anybody lay
    guilt on you for knowing what is best for your own child.

  54. I completely agree with Gayla. 3 year-olds do not need to be independent! They're not supposed to be! He's little and will not remember not being able to go. Do something wonderful with him that day if you're not comfortable sending him. Remember the only person qualified and/or entitled to do a "risk assessment" for your dear son is YOU, his mama.
    And, at the risk of being judgemental and rude, my personal opinion is that Nancy is mean-spirited. If she's not interested in your life, why read your blog?

  55. Ladies,
    I have read Alison's blog since the beginning when the main focus was about house keeping and puttery treats. I have watched its slow and subtle change to the main emphasis being about Alison's trials and tribulations, laughter and tears and I love every instalment.
    One thing, however that I do not like is the abusive tone in peoples responses to opinions that Alison has either directly or indirectly asked for. She wouldn't have a comments facility if she did not wish to encourage debate. One persons opinion is just as valid as anothers even if we do not agree. Why do some of us feel it necessary to directly attack others opinions and when it comes down to it, call each other silly, nasty or plain hurtful names.
    The debate about the field trip is just one of many topics that has elicited strong opinions. None of which are either wrong or right. Alison asked for an opinion and whether we agree or not with opinions offered, there is no need to levy personal/nasty/abusive remarks to those with whom we don't agree.
    We all have several things in common, we love reading Alison's blog, we share an interest in her life and we all want to be good homemakers. Lets not fight Ladies.

  56. Ladies,
    I have read Alison's blog since the beginning when the main focus was about house keeping and puttery treats. I have watched its slow and subtle change to the main emphasis being about Alison's trials and tribulations, laughter and tears and I love every instalment.
    One thing, however that I do not like is the abusive tone in peoples responses to opinions that Alison has either directly or indirectly asked for. She wouldn't have a comments facility if she did not wish to encourage debate. One persons opinion is just as valid as anothers even if we do not agree. Why do some of us feel it necessary to directly attack others opinions and when it comes down to it, call each other silly, nasty or plain hurtful names.
    The debate about the field trip is just one of many topics that has elicited strong opinions. None of which are either wrong or right. Alison asked for an opinion and whether we agree or not with opinions offered, there is no need to levy personal/nasty/abusive remarks to those with whom we don't agree.
    We all have several things in common, we love reading Alison's blog, we share an interest in her life and we all want to be good homemakers. Lets not fight Ladies.

  57. Ask them to sign a paper saying that they are educated in sprue and are willing to accept the liability for his care while on this trip and have made provision for him if anything happens. Or, keep him out that day and the two of you go there at the same time so that he is part of the fun but under your direction.
    If you were the fourth Mom, and Moms were chosen in order, why would they not let you go anyway?

  58. For those who think that being very careful with children who have food allergies is being overprotective: There was an instance in which a child died because the tongs used to lift the french fries from the tray at school had some cheese on them. The school was serving poutine (fries with gravy and cheese) and somehow the fries tong touched the cheese. As careful as schools are to ensure the safety of children, one cannot think of everything.
    On an outing, the environment is less controlled, and the unexpected can pop up. I believe that parents of children who are at risk have the right to accompany their children on field trips.
    As for sending a child to nursery school "too young", I can say this after many years of working with children from primary through senior high. The children who were sent to school at a young age for part of the day were better socialized, better able to function within a structured environment, and far more confident when they started formal school. They were already used to the routines, often had mates from nursery school, and already understood the team concept.

  59. For those who think that being very careful with children who have food allergies is being overprotective: There was an instance in which a child died because the tongs used to lift the french fries from the tray at school had some cheese on them. The school was serving poutine (fries with gravy and cheese) and somehow the fries tong touched the cheese. As careful as schools are to ensure the safety of children, one cannot think of everything.
    On an outing, the environment is less controlled, and the unexpected can pop up. I believe that parents of children who are at risk have the right to accompany their children on field trips.
    As for sending a child to nursery school "too young", I can say this after many years of working with children from primary through senior high. The children who were sent to school at a young age for part of the day were better socialized, better able to function within a structured environment, and far more confident when they started formal school. They were already used to the routines, often had mates from nursery school, and already understood the team concept.

  60. First, I would like to second Clare's thoughts.
    Second, NEITHER Nancy is very nice, IMHO, nor are several other ladies lately. They should take a lesson from the ladies who maintained their elegance and dignity in presenting their views. Name-calling, sarcasm, and character assassinations can be engaged in elsewhere.

  61. I'd like to add that people should watch their p's & q's both with Alison and with *each other.* Allow Alison her opinions, allow other readers their opinions, and if you read something you don't like, whether from Alison or from another commentor, express your ideas in an adult manner, and not like a catty juvenile. Some people still may not understand the difference, so the rest of us ladies need to point out such indiscretions in a ladylike manner and not adopt improper language or tones ourselves.

  62. I think I must be a very bad mother. It wouldn't have occurred to me NOT to send the Minx, who is only two and half.
    But then I do trust her school (which she adores) and she doesn't have food allergies, and she has an adventurous and independent spirit, being the least clingy child I've ever met.
    You know Fin and you know the school, so only you can make this decision.

  63. I think I must be a very bad mother. It wouldn't have occurred to me NOT to send the Minx, who is only two and half.
    But then I do trust her school (which she adores) and she doesn't have food allergies, and she has an adventurous and independent spirit, being the least clingy child I've ever met.
    You know Fin and you know the school, so only you can make this decision.

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