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Baby Steps

My almost 11 month old has just started nursery before I go back to work to ease her (and me) into the new routine. Feeling sick, looking pale with a hint of green I solemnly push my little lady down the road with my sister-in-law (Aunty Hel) happily skipping bedside me telling me everything is going to be ok. On arrival at nursery there are tears and quivering lips (that’s just me) but Aunty Hel is the best at giving reassuring hugs so with a final teary, hiccupy goodbye I leave LL crying her eyes out and go to a local coffee shop to count down the minutes until I go to collect her. We queue up at the counter, me in somewhat of a daze as Aunty Hel exclaims I need some sugar, reaching past me to grab a brownie. I tell her I don’t like brownies and she says that’s fine but the brownie is for her, she was simply pointing out that I needed some sugar. Smiling I feel some of the anxiety lift as we sit down and I stir in 6 sugars to my tea. As the minutes tick by I think it’s surely been well over an hour by now. It’s been 20 minutes.

We get to sneak in and spy on LL before we collect her. She’s fine. Sitting on the play mat happily playing with toys and she even had her hand on one of the other babies shoulders! Ok, I admit it, my tears were uncalled for, she’s happy, I didn’t need to worry and she’s spotted me! Her eyes meet mine, I wait for the big smile – she screams. And cries – a lot. Apparently this is normal nursery etiquette. She soon cheers up when I hold her and she nestles into my shoulder.

This was just a trial visit, when I took her for her first ‘real’ day I did much better. I didn’t cry, even when she did. I left her looking forlorn and traipsed out, hanging her bag and coat on her little peg and walked home wondering what I was going to do with all my free time. I got home and cleaned! Proper cleaning, the sort you can’t do with a baby ramming into you with their ‘car’ walker. I washed my hair without having to wait for my husband to get in, or sneaking off when LL is particularly enthralled in an episode of night garden! I had a hot cup of tea and watched an entire episode of a TV programme without having to constantly hit pause!

It’s only been a couple of days and so far LL seems to be enjoying nursery, although she is refusing food and milk but I’m hoping it’s just a phase and she’ll soon realise that she’s hungry and it does no good to go on some sort of baby hunger strike! I read somewhere about when the best time to send your child to nursery was and the answer was when they’ll get more out of going to nursery than staying at home. LL is at the age now where she loves interacting and learning new things, she’ll get to play more and make baby friends and hopefully it will help develop her. So, for now I’m going to stop feeling bad about sending her and try to relax and enjoy some ‘me time’, my house will never have been so clean!

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