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We made it. We have officially broken up for half term, which means we have survived the first weeks of nursery – and relatively intact too.

It’s been an interesting time. In most respects it has gone far better than I thought it would but there have been some unexpected downsides.

On the plus side she has settled in remarkably well. We still get the occasional “I don’t want to go to school” the night before but she usually skips into class without a backward glance when we arrive and seems happy enough while she’s there (I’ve stopped checking my phone, in case she needs picking up, every minute too).

Mark and I are also constantly amazed by the new things she comes out with. At first we also found it a bit disconcerting to discover that she knew stuff that we (or YouTube) hadn’t taught her.

For example, we were singing a rousing rendition of “Five Little Men In A Flying Saucer” (if that is, in fact, its official title) the other night.

Just in case you’re not familiar it goes:

“Five little me in a flying saucer flew round the world one day.

They looked left and right but didn’t like the sight so one man flew away.

Whoosh!”

When we get to the last man we normally just say he flew off too but Freya suddenly launched into:

“One little man in a flying saucer flew round the world one day.

He looked left and right, found a village that he liked and de-ci-ded to stay.

Hooray!”

Um.

And then there was the time one of her drawings fell off the shelf.

“Why did that fall down?” she asked.

“I don’t know, maybe the wind blew it,” I suggested.

“It was probably gravity,” she said.

Right, ok.

But there have been some cons too.

She is far more clingy now than before – and I know that’s probably normal and to be expected but it feels like a step backwards. The other day she was so distraught she had to sit at the bathroom door while I showered because she couldn’t be away from me.

At the time I felt quite down about it, assuming this was my fault because I clearly hadn’t given her enough love/security/confidence in me. Since then I’ve had a chat with another mum who was saying her daughter, who is also attending nursery for the first time, is just the same.

Her confidence also seems to have taken a hit. We went to a creative play place that she loves (and has been asking to go to for a couple of weeks) last Friday and instead of rushing off as she usually does, she insisted on holding my hand and making me go everywhere with her. Obviously I don’t mind but it’s just so different to her previous gung-ho spirit.

And then there is the attitude. My goodness. I don’t know if it’s school or the fact she’s a threenager but sometimes she’s like a massive ball of rage and NOTHING can calm her down. She even got in trouble one day, after a particularly bad night of sleep it has to be said, for shouting in the other children’s faces.

“She was this far away,” her teacher said, indicating about an inch with her fingers. “From the other child’s face.”

Wonderful. While she used to have some aggressive behaviour at home, hitting and such like, despite us being very much of the “gentle hands” mentality, I’ve never known her act like that towards other children.

My friends, who are more experienced parents, tell me she is just finding her feet and will settle down again. I hope so. I miss the gentle Freya.

Is it terrible that I feel quite relieved she has a week off?

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