With just over a week to go until Sara returns to work (albeit part time), the day is also approaching when we’ll have to leave Freddie at nursery for the first time. Not only that, but it’ll also be the first time Robert has gone full-time at pre-school – so nerves are definitely running high in our house at the moment, to say the least.
Whilst I’m definitely worried about all three of these changes, I’m well aware that we’re very lucky to only be experiencing most of these for the first time now, almost 4 years in to our time as parents. Sure, Sara went back to work after Robert too (and last time it was full-time).
But last time we were extremely lucky in that we had a relative who was able to do the child-minding for us – something which isn’t possible this time round. Robert spent Sara’s work hours with his aunt Katy, who very kindly looked after him along with his cousins who are around the same age.
This time round, we’ll be placing our trust in (almost) complete strangers, which is a lot more nerve-wracking. Sure, they’re highly qualified and they’re being paid to do a good job, but that doesn’t stop it being just as scary for all of us.
Robert I’m not quite so worried about – staying a few more hours at his current pre-school will undoubtedly be good for him, and the rate at which he’s absorbing information at the moment, I’m pretty sure it’ll do his education no end of good. The trickiest part for him is probably going to be the transition he’ll have to make with his peers. Quite a few of the children he currently plays with are (like he is currently) only doing half days, so he’ll meet a whole new set of children in the afternoon sessions. But the way I see it, it’s just an opportunity for him to make even MORE friends – though the prospect of twice as many birthday party invites is quite a scary one…!
Freddie will doubtless be fine as well – Sara is naturally quite nervous about leaving him for a number of reasons (the fact that he is not yet weened-off ‘the boob’ being just one) but I’m sure deep-down we both know that he’ll be fine. But it doesn’t stop the whole thing from being a very worrisome affair. One of the factors that makes it quite a tricky prospect is his current immobility. Aside from some very competent bum-shuffling, Freddie still hasn’t made any great efforts to move – so he’s some what reliant on being able to find stuff to play with that’s within his reach. Once he’s able to get around a bit more, he’ll probably find it a much more enjoyable experience.
Before you start wondering whether I’m being overly paranoid about an experience Freddie has yet to have, I should point out that Sara has been taking him for “taster” sessions at the nursery this week. Today’s was the first which involved her and Robert leaving Freddie alone for a short period, and he definitely seemed a little scared by the whole experience. But that is most likely due to separation anxiety rather than any particular issue with the nursery, right? That’s what I’m sticking to, anyway.
The thing that’s getting me through all this is the knowledge that pretty much every child has to go through it at some stage in their life, most of them at a similar sort of age as ours. We were probably extremely lucky that we never had to leave Robert with a non-relative until he was at least 3, so I’m very grateful for that. But I’m definitely going to make sure I make the most of the upcoming Easter long weekend, and load both children up with as many hugs and kisses as I can while I’m with them!
Happy Easter, everyone.