Unlike many of her nursery friends, Miss H didn't know anyone at her new school. She was entering a whole new environment, not knowing either her peers or her teachers let alone the place she would be spending her days within. As an adult this would phase me, let alone a four year old, and yet she took it in her stride. We talked to her beforehand about how much fun it would be and all the things she would do and on that first day she skipped happily in, put her coat on a peg and head outside to have a look at the activities that had been set up. Within a few minutes she was content enough to leave and I was so pleased to see she seemed quite happy, making me feel more at ease leaving her.
For the first week she only did half days, and so knew I would be collecting her before lunch. I didn't think it would be that big a deal as she previously attended nursery for three full days a week, so I was surprised how tired just three hours made her. When it came to full days I was a little apprehensive what mood my highly strung daughter would be in, knowing how grumpy she can be when she's tired. So far she has been up and down, some days more willing to chat than others, some days totally wiped out. By the end of the week she's usually done in and that's when the blow ups tend to happen.
Within the first day my little lady made a friend, and they have remained friends since, holding hands as they walk out of the school gate and excitedly running to each other on a morning. I have to say that has also helped me step into my new place outside the school gates, giving me a reason to chat to one mum which then stretched to a few more and we now have a little group who say hello and swap tales of our mornings and weekends. I am certainly not the loudest in a group but I am enjoying these five minute chats at the end of each day, providing me with a glimpse of a world outside toys and Nick Jr.
As I said, it's not only the children who are affected, it's a big change for us parents too. The morning routine has completely stepped up a gear - no longer do we roll out of bed, get dressed and bundle off to nursery. Now it's up, have breakfast (which in itself can take half an hour) get dressed, brush teeth, do hair, grab coat and shoes, make sure school bag's got everything it needs and get out of door in time to make the school bell. By the time H is at school and I've dropped Little J at nursery I'm exhausted! It takes me back to when my mum used to scream and shout at my sister and I to get out of bed every morning and definitely makes you step back and see things from a different perspective. No wonder the school run was her worst time of the day!
Yesterday we had our first morning meltdown. Miss H has had her moments, don't get me wrong - refusing to get dressed, put on a skirt and wanting me to stay that extra minute in class before I go. However yesterday saw a full on kicking and screaming tantrum. The teacher had to pry her off me, almost yanking my coat off with her, and I heard an almighty bellow as I walked down the road. The teacher, however, reassured me she was fine and within a few minutes was back to herself. I have to admit though, my heart sank, as it does make you question how happy they are when you can't be there to check on them. On a couple of occasions she's asked to go back to nursery and it is hard taking her away from a place I know she felt safe and settled. But like all of us, these little beings have to grow up and take those first steps towards independence, no matter how much we want to keep them close.
All in all, though, these couple of weeks have passed pretty well. And when she came home on Friday with a special badge which she had to stand up in assembly to receive I couldn't have been prouder.
I know my little lady is strong and confident and will only blossom in this new environment. But there are definitely moments when I would love to turn back the clock and cradle her in my arms once again, the days when she only needed me and we just had each other. When those times come I hold those memories tight and then look to the future and all the new experiences we are yet to have. Now that is pretty exciting.