A Nursery Update

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to update you with what Alexandra does at nursery every single week! I imagine that could get a little repetitive. But I thought now she’s done two whole sessions that it would finish off my previous posts about deciding she should go to nursery and her settling in sessions.

So last Tuesday, she had her second settling in session where I left her for an hour. On the whole she was fine but I was still a little worried about her first full session on the Thursday (8am to 12.45pm). That morning she woke up way earlier than usual at 6am and she was not a happy bunny – I don’t know if it’s because Dylan was away overnight working in London so she hadn’t seen him since the Tuesday evening, whether her teeth were bothering her or whether she just wasn’t in a good mood. She cried non-stop for ages, I managed to get her to calm down a bit while we both got dressed and then she had an utter meltdown when I started defrosting the car – even though I’d left the front door open and I was about five metres away from her.

All the way to nursery, she cried. It’s only a four-minute drive but it felt a lot longer! When we got there, she still wasn’t happy. They very kindly let me stay while they sat her down ready for breakfast then as soon as she was eating (and thus much calmer) I made my retreat. At about 9.30am I thought I’d call and see how she was – the answer was she was absolutely fine and sat in a circle with the other kids singing and reading books.

When I went to pick her up, she’d just finished eating her lunch and she was super happy. They said she’d got a little tearful because she was tired just before lunch but they’d decided to let her eat rather than try and make her nap. The advantage of not having napped was she fell asleep the instant she got into the car and by the time we were home, I was able to get her shoes off and take her upstairs to bed without even so much as a murmur – and she slept for two hours. A miracle!

Today, she had her second session and it was daddy’s turn to take her. He popped back briefly before going to work and told me she’d been a bit clingy but as soon as breakfast had been mentioned, she’d practically pushed him out of the door. When I went to pick her up, they said there’d been a couple of tears but she’d had a nap, done some painting and enjoyed her lunch. She didn’t notice me for a while so I just watched her getting cleaned up after her food and she looked absolutely fine.

I’m definitely reassured by her first two sessions, she seems to like the interaction with all the new people and when I hear about her doing little activities like painting which we rarely (if ever) find the time to do at home, I know they’re offering her something that I can’t. Also I’m managing to get back into a routine of doing a bit more work – and last week I ate my lunch without a small child begging for scraps like a puppy!

I know a friend whose little one has been in nursery for a while is having problems with drop-off meltdowns at the moment, so I’m not complacent enough to think she will always be happy to go! But we’re just taking it week by week and seeing how we go.

Harriet and Alexandra x

Settling In

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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