The time is almost upon us for Olivia to start nursery and it feels like the beginning of a new and exciting stage in her life. But it also feels like the end of an era so feelings of sadness and anxiety are starting to set in.
I’ve been by her side pretty much every day for the past 2 years – holding her, comforting her, playing with her. So when I think about her disappearing into a room of virtual strangers it’s enough to bring me to tears.
What if she cries inconsolably when I leave? How is she going to cope without me? What if the other children are mean? What if the staff forget to feed her or give her a drink? What if she cries and nobody cuddles her?
As I am writing the first part of this post I can feel myself tearing up.
While I imagine these anxieties are completely natural but for those of you reading this who know Olivia will know that she doesn’t deal with new and different things very well, and takes some time to adjust. I forget sometimes how much more resilient children are. In fact, there’s a good chance she’ll cope better with the transition than I will and I’m not giving her enough credit. What I should be thinking is; she will get the chance to socialise, learn and develop in a structured environment which will ready her for school.
Then, of course, there’s the question of her handling it a little too well. What if she doesn’t bat an eyelid when I leave? What if she prefers it there? What if she’s happy all day at nursery but goes for it hell for leather at home?
As is the custom at the moment I thought I would share some of my thoughts and feelings about the subject and share it with you all.
What if she’s inconsolable when I leave?
Up until now, we have only every left Olivia with my parents and the only other children she interacted with are her cousins on both sides of the family. So I honestly don’t know how the first morning will do down. I am fully prepared for her to have a massive melt down when I leave and thus trying to train myself not to over react. This is probably easier said than done because, at the moment, she wonders where I’ve gone if I go into the kitchen to get her a drink (even though she asked me for one), pop outside to put the rubbish out or nip upstairs for my morning poo.
However, I’m pretty sure she will cry because I am leaving and not because she doesn’t want to be at nursery.
What if she cries during the day – and I’m not there?
Emotional moments will surely crop up and I am quietly preparing myself for this. For the moments that are associated with coming up against something or someone she doesn’t know or if another child gets a little too close and she doesn’t like it.
Will they contact me if she’s been cries for a long period of time and can’t be comforted? Will they work with us because they love children and are genuinely concerned if a child is unhappy?
Will she make friends?
Those people reading this who already know Olivia will know that she doesn’t make friends easily. Our many visits to the local soft play haven’t really boosted her confidence either. Maybe because she had a few bad experiences in the early days. Who knows? As I said, the only other children she really has any interaction with are her cousins on both sides of the family, four of whom are older than her.
After watching her play with them, it has become clear that she is far more comfortable around older children than she is with kids her own age. I have been trying to decide the reason for this. It might be because older kids are more predictable. Is it because they play the kind of games she likes playing?
She has an amazing imaginative play, way beyond where she should be for her age and this was highlighted to us in her 27-month review. She completely immerses herself in what ever sense she’s acting out, and I don’t think kids her own age can understand what she’s trying to play.
So will her going to nursery change that? Will her confidence grow? Will she make at least one friend? I guess only time will tell. I hope so because she’s awesome. Or I think she is anyway.
What If the other kids are mean?
What if the other kids in her room are mean to her, and she doesn’t stand up for herself?As I have said previous, she isn’t exactly the most confident of little girls and doesn’t do well with others. I have always been there to comfort her if something upsets her, to give her a hug if someone makes her sad. So to learn to put that trust in someone else to do the best by your child, for me is very hard.
How do I stop the Papa bear in me wanted to march right over to the nursery, grab her/him by the scruff of the neck and tell them that if he kept harassing my kid, they will not live to see their next birthday. (Rest assured, I wouldn’t so such thing), I’ve heard it’s frond upon anyway.
My little girl is going to be starting nursery soon and this scares me to death. Not because I think she won’t be able to cope without me near by, not because I think she’ll cry uncontrollably when I leave, not through fear of her not being able to stand up for herself or her not making friends… but because I won’t be about to handle it.
I am sounding like an over bearing parent yet?