Right now my little boy is at nursery having his first settling in session. A little while ago I dropped him off, and as I got him out of his car seat I said to him, “Are you going to be a brave boy today?” In hindsight I should probably have actually said to myself – “Are you going to be a brave Mummy today?” (The answer would be inconclusive!)
I’ve not been nervous about this day in the run up to it. Even yesterday I didn’t feel too much thinking about it other than it might be a bit odd. Then this morning has come and I’ve pretty much been a bag of nerves. Driving to nursery I felt as nervous as I did on the morning of my driving test (*ahem* … testS!), or how I used to feel on the day of a big exam, or on the day of exam results. Nervous with a capital N.
It didn’t occur to me until last night that all the things he would need for nursery (change of clothes, milk, etc) would need to be carried in some kind of receptacle. How had I not thought to buy him a special bag for nursery before this?! Bad Mummy. I immediately went online and ordered him a very funky toddler-sized fox-shaped backpack, but until that arrives he is making do with mummy’s big shopper bag. So when I turned up and saw a row of lovely, brightly coloured kids bags hanging up in the baby room (crocodile bags, princess bags, etc) and I was handing over my own big handbag I felt like Disorganised Mummy already – and he’s not even started properly yet. Oh dear.
That is purely superficial though of course, the real concern was how he would be when I handed him over and had to say goodbye. After a brief discussion of a few details like feeds and naps and an introduction to all the girls working in baby room I handed him over to the very lovely lady who I’ll call C. He went to C happily and carried on surveying the new surroundings, before trying to pull off her glasses. (As he always does to me and anybody who wears glasses!) He didn’t cry, and in fact didn’t seem distressed at all. It felt so surreal, I hardly knew what to do with myself. I ended up asking, “Should I go then?” to which C said yes, and encouraged me to go and enjoy a couple of hours to myself. Off I went, leaving my precious little boy in the care of strangers for the first time ever. It’s like leaving a little bit of your heart behind, just the strangest feeling ever. As a good friend said to me when I messaged her to say I had just dropped him off, “It’s always a bigger step for us than it is for them.”
Of course, for all I know he could have started screaming the joint down the second I left. I suspect not, but I suppose I’ll know more when I pick him up again later. As I left they said I should feel free to call and check how he’s getting on anytime I want, but to be honest I don’t want to do that. I want him to grow and enjoy himself and if there’s a problem they will call me so I will try and resist. This is undoubtedly just the first of many times that I’ll have to let him spread his wings and do his own thing, so I will be brave.
I had pre-planned to use these two and half hours wisely; I planned that would go to the gym (which is not too far from nursery) for an hour, then treat myself to a coffee afterwards. In reality though I have skipped the gym and come straight for a coffee, and I’ve gone all out and got myself a cake too. I felt too nervous to contemplate a workout!
There are a group of 4 very pregnant ladies sat on the table next to me in the coffee shop. (On a side note – from the little snippets of conversation I’ve overheard I suspect they may have met through an app like Mush or a pregnancy group or something, rather than just been pre-pregnancy friends. That thought made me smile – they have so much to come and it will be nice for them if they have new mummy friends going through the same thing at the same time.) I stood next to one of them in the queue to order my coffee and I almost found myself blurting out to her what was going on in my little world this morning. I stopped myself, but the urge was there to offload. In some ways it seems like only yesterday I was in their position, waddling round like a duck, struggling with the hot summer weather and thinking, “Get out, get out , get ouuuuut!” Yet somehow here I am now with a 9 month old baby who I have just dropped off at Nursery. How time flies.
The point of this post is little more than an excuse to air my thoughts and calm myself down a little while I sip on my flat white. Although I’ve finished that now so I think I’ll go and order myself a cappuccino too while I kill some more time until baba needs to be collected.