We were quite quiet last week and heres why…..
As first time parents every new experience for Jack is also new to Daddy and I.
Having survived the newborn, weaning, crawling and walking stages and being right at the start of the terrible two’s and potty training we had a few hurdles behind us but this week presented a new one.
As we are on a low income Jack is eligible to 15 hours of free nursery care a week, which I decided to divide into three 5 hour days.
I spent the weekend before researching what I needed to pack, what to expect on his first morning and healthy lunch ideas.
Monday night I was determined that the next morning would go without a hitch, bag packed (with 2 changes of clothes for captain pee, several nappies and wipes), coat and shoes out ready and a lovely healthy lunch made and ready to go.
I wanted to give J the best lunch possible for his first day, a day full of emotion and new experiences. I tried to stick to the main food groups, protein, fruit/veg, carb and dairy, so for J’s first lunch I made a pasta salad of Mattessons smoked sausage, tinned tomatoes, onion, courgette, butternut squash and pasta. I also added a few Ella’s kitchen multigrain snacks, grapes, a box of raisins and huggy bear biccies. I was very impressed by how much of it he ate as he usually picks at his food and some days refuses to eat anything but fruit.
We had taken Jack on two taster sessions and he got stuck in and couldn’t care if we were there or not, unfortunately on Tuesday morning he wasn’t so enthusiastic. Everything was going well until we walked through the nursery doors, then the tears started first from J and then me. Once in the toddler room we tried everything to distract him from “Wow dinosaurs” to staff setting out a colouring activity (his favourite) but as soon as I tried to leave he would cling to my leg like a koala. After about 15 minutes one of the staff took a handful of children out in the garden and as J tagged along Daddy and I were able to slip away, or so I thought. As we closed the door to the toddler room I could hear him hot tailing it from the other end of the nursery and hammering on the door screaming “Mummy!”
It took everything I had to sign him in and leave instead of tearing down the door that stood between me and my hysterical child. It took me a while to settle myself once we were back home and the usual toddler chatter and laughter was replaced by silence. Still at least I got a lot of housework done that morning, with no one under my feet.
As 2pm came round I found myself practically skipping with joy as we climbed in the car ready to collect him. For all his messes, tantrums and refusal to behave some days he is my world and in some ways a rock for my confidence and focus so when he is not around I feel it more than his father.
When we arrived at the door to collect him we were given a run down by the staff about his day and it sounded like a busy one, playing in the garden, dancing to nursery rhymes, playing shop and drawing pictures. He had eaten all of his lunch except for his huggy bear biscuits which he polished off on the journey home.
While we were talking another staff member had gone to collect J from the garden and we could see her point us out to him through the french windows. Once J had caught sight of Daddy and I he excitedly banged on the window then charged down the ramp from the raised garden into the nursery and shouting “Mummy!!!” at the top of his voice, ran into my arms and gave me the biggest hug. For the second time that day I was in tears but this time at the cuteness my boy had just shown.
I was very surprised that Jack refused an afternoon nap once we were home, he doesn’t usually have them but it had been a tiring day. He did however fall asleep at 6pm and when I woke him up for his dinner he said he didn’t want it and went back to sleep until 5am the next morning!
Unsurprisingly he was full of energy and pretty hungry by then so up we got two hours earlier than planned for his second day of nursery. The night before I had packed him a lunchbox full of yummy things such as a dairylea dunkers orange, crackers and a plum mighty four pouch. Jack isnt a big fan of bread so I had bought him some sandwich thins hoping he would prefer them and I even let him choose that days filling, cherry jam he asked sweetly. I cut it into bite size pieces and decorated it with little cucumber stars trying to make it look as appetizing possible but unfortunately when we picked him up he had eaten everything but.
Dropping him off that morning was a little easier but he did take a little coaxing to get stuck in with an activity, giving us time to leave. No tears or hysterics that morning which was a plus and reassured me that I was doing the right thing.
As we arrived to pick him up once again he charged across the room once he saw me and presented me with a picture he had made, his first without my help. It is now in pride of place on his art wall, as silly as it sounds I am very proud of that picture because he made it all by himself by joining in with the other children.
That afternoon Jack had his first afternoon nap in a long time, even if it did take a bit of wriggly toddler wrestling to get him down.
Jack woke up on Thursday morning coughing and sneezing and was hard work that morning, point blank refusing breakfast and having to be held down just to brush his teeth. Dropping him off felt like we were back to square one, because he felt under the weather he just wanted Mummy cuddles but he wasn’t poorly enough to keep home.
30 minutes in and I was still crouched on the floor trying to be overly enthusiastic about the toy trains as Jack sobbed into my shoulder. One of the staff suggested going into the garden, remembering how much J liked the bubbles they were blowing on Tuesday. He soon got stuck in chasing the bubbles and Daddy and I slipped out the back gate and I tried to ignore the hysterics of my screaming child as we walked back round the sign him in.
Again once it was time to go home Jack didn’t want to leave but was just as clingy with me as he had been that morning, a sure sign he was feeling a bit poorly. Foreseeing this I had bought him a new colouring book earlier in the day which distracted him long enough to get him in the car.
Phew, I hope this week is slightly easier.
Have your little ones started school or nursery recently?