I know, I know. It's been a while. I am a) rubbish and b) currently unable to type very well due to the fact I'm missing almost half of the top of one of my fingers.* This was following a run in with a razor in a wash bag whilst simultaneously trying to juggle two vomiting children ... you get the idea.
Anyway, while all this chaos has been going on I've missed out on updating you on the excitements of New Nursery. For long, tedious reasons I can't be bothered to go into we suddenly found ourselves in urgent need of a new nursery for Beth. Fate smiled down on us, and we were successful in obtaining her a place at an Osted Outstanding nursery just round the back of our house. (For all those of you who are currently musing on why we didn't just put both kids there from the start if we had an Outstanding nursery that close to us ... yes, yes. I know. Pregnancy hormones at the time I was organising a place for Jamie had a lot to answer for.)
Beth's initial reaction was to treat New Nursery with high levels of suspicion. She tolerated the first week, no doubt imagining it as something akin to a holiday, but when it became apparent the second week she was still going to be going there she took no prisoners. I spent the week sewing buttons back onto my coat as she clutched them tightly in her sweaty fist every time I attempted to leave, accompanying the physical pain (seriously, the girl has a quite terrifying strength) with howls of "MUMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" which could be heard several hundred metres up the street. I, with several years' experience of deserting my children under my belt, remained entirely unmoved and once having physically removed myself from her grasp ran with relief towards my car and the relative (ha!) sanity of work.
I started to worry we'd made the wrong decision, but on Day 4 of Week 2 everything changed. This could have been to do with me shamelessly bribing her with cake ("If you manage not to trash my clothing this morning we'll go and buy cake after nursery"), but was more likely down to one of the following:
1) Poppy. Bloody Poppy. Actually, that's unfair - Poppy is lovely. I can see completely where Beth's obsession with her stems from - she is the teenage (arguably early 20s) girl I always wanted to be. Blonde, bubbly, beautiful and does an awesome line in being as besotted with Beth as Beth is with her. "I want Mummy" is a redundant phrase in our house these days. "I want Poppy" is far more like it.
2) Food. Yes, Beth has continued to live up to Neil's description of her as a 'ball of fat with eyes', with an almost terrifying obsession with food. Therefore, when it turned out that not only would she get lunch and tea at nursery, she'd also get breakfast, and snacks, and 'Extra' (it's the box on her daily report which is ALWAYS ticked) ... it's safe to say her feelings towards nursery changed. Dramatically.
These days, on the walk into nursery I have to restrain Beth by the hood of her coat, rather as you would a large and very bouncy dog. As soon as we get through the doors she throws her coat and bag to the door, smashes her way through the safety gate and THROWS herself into the arms of Poppy who will invariably be there ready to catch her. She then hurtles towards the breakfast table and if I'm lucky I might vaguely get a wave in my direction.
So far, so good. But then last night I came to collect her ...
I arrived slightly early, about 5.30pm. Beth clocked me, did a double take, glanced at her nursery workers and then walked tentatively towards me.
"Um ... what?"
"I have no idea what you're saying."
"Oh, the hall." Said one of her nursery workers. (Not Poppy, alas.) "We were planning to go into the hall, so she thinks she's going there."
The hall is a wondrous place. Full of slides, bikes, ball pits and play tunnels. I can see why Beth wanted to go there. Hell, I quite fancied a go in there.
"Beth, come on love. It's time to go home and get Jamie. You can play in the hall another day."
"No. Beth go in hall. BYE BYE MUMMY. See you LATER."
I think it's safe to say she's setttled in.
Any parents wondering how their child will cope if they go back to work and put them in childcare ... worry no more. There's nothing like a welcome like that to make you feel appreciated ...
*Me, exaggerate? Never.