As I mentioned in a blog a couple a weeks ago, we made the decision recently that Alexandra was more than ready for nursery and it would be beneficial for everybody if she started going a couple of mornings a week. Last Thursday we went to have a look around one, we were fairly certain before going that unless we found anything majorly terrible while looking round that it was the best choice for us – Ofsted outstanding, a four-minute drive from our house, we know a lot about it etc etc, basically it ticked all the boxes.
As soon as we got there, Alex wanted to play with all the other children – even giving one girl a kiss within about five seconds! In fact, she got a little bit upset when it was time to go home. So she decided it for us really, we took home the enrolment forms and dropped them back off the next day. Then it was time to sort out her settling in sessions – the first just involved both of us popping along for about an hour, I sat and filled in some forms while she happily played. That was fine.
Then yesterday, it was time to leave her. They said I could stay for up to 30-minutes and then leave her for the same amount of time, but the more I looked at her, the more I didn’t want to leave so I thought I’d just bite the bullet and get going. As I walked away, she waved and smiled at me and it was all fine, then as soon as I shut the door and started back to the car, I just wanted to run back and shout NO SHE’S MY BABY, ON’T TAKE HER,SHE NEEDS TO BE WITH ME. It was horrendous.
I held it together for the drive home and then had a little cry when I was on my own. Pathetic I know. She was four minutes away, safe with people trained to look after her (I didn’t get trained before I was left on my own with her?!) and lots of toys and other babies and toddlers. So I pulled myself together and got a few jobs done, looking at my phone approximately once every three nanoseconds.
I justified leaving 15 minutes before her session was over as I’d struggled to find a parking space on the way there. As it was, there was now one really close by so I ended up being a bit early to pick her up. I knocked on the door and as I did she came up to the safety gate and started crying. It must have been about two seconds before one of the staff picked her up and came and opened the door, but those two seconds felt like about two weeks. They said she’d taken a while to even notice I was gone and then there’d be a few tears but nothing out of the ordinary.
Next week, it’ll be another hour-long session on Tuesday and then she’ll go for her first proper morning on Thursday. I’m absolutely dreading it. Being in a silent house for almost five hours. The only time I’ve been away from her for that long is in the early days when I wasn’t really bonded with her enough to feel the way I do now. I also feel like she understands a bit more know and knows I’m her mom, not just a thing that feeds and changes her. I want to keep apologising to her even though I know it’s for her benefit!
I think it’ll definitely be a case of tissues at the ready next week, and cramming as much work as possible into the time she’s away from me to try and distract myself.
Harriet and Alexandra x