I am suspicious that my toddler is not massively happy at his new nursery. The wailing, sobbing and gnashing of teeth that resulted from dropping him off this morning was a fairly large clue. Yesterday, when Daddy asked him what he did at school, he said ‘I cried’. ‘Why’, asked my husband. My little one’s response? ‘Because Mommy wasn’t there’. That’s enough to derail me completely.
I asked him about the crying incident and he said that he’d cried because he’d lost me. Lost me? Does he think that when I leave him at nursery, that he’s lost me. It’s gut-wrenching to imagine him embarking on a futile search of the nursery trying to find his lost Mommy. Just as gut-wrenching as it was peeling the clingy mess off me this morning and hearing the howling behind me as I marched stoically back to my car. I made the mistake of looking back and seeing the tear-flooded eyes filled with pain and desperation, his hands frantically shoved into his mouth in an attempt to find calm. Naked separation anxiety, for both of us. It’s a killer.
And all of this while I’m grappling with going back to work in less than a month. Sucks really.
Given my eldest child is only two, I’m pretty new to the whole school thing. I’ve managed drop-offs and pick-ups and so far the foul-mouthed toddler has not dropped me in it (as discussed at length in a previous post). I’ve managed to learn other toddlers’ names and have sometimes even asked a fellow parent about the wellbeing of the correct child (not always but sometimes – give me a break, I’m not getting much sleep). So it was all going brilliantly until my little one brought home a book of tickets with an attached note suggesting that parents should sell them. Actually I think the exact words were ‘parents are REQUIRED to sell ten tickets each’. Required? Really?
Of course my husband’s initial reaction was to tell the school to get knotted. My son has only been attending for a nanosecond and is enrolled on a temporary basis. I was tempted to return the book with an attached note simply saying ‘um, no!’ but then fretted about the little pumpkin being ostracised on account of his unco-operative mother. My problem with the concept is that I resent being forced to hit up friends and family for money. I’m not a fan of being pestered for money and can’t bring myself to do it to others. In this instance it’s for a worthy cause so I’m shelving the rebellious streak and buying the book of tickets myself. At least this way I can feel sanctimonious and smug about my charitable donation.
This was all a frightening insight into my future. I’m guessing this is not the last time one of my little lovelies will return home with something I am ‘required’ to sell. If I am to stick to my guns about not annoying my loved ones, in future I may be forced to randomly approach strangers in the street for donations – otherwise this could get expensive.
I am loving watching my toddler learn to speak – it’s nothing short of miraculous. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly get my head around how these tiny cooing and crying beings develop the ability to communicate. I watch in awe as he uses new words every day and despite the fact that most of the human race has acquired this skill, I am immensely proud.
He is a talented mimic. Yay us that he says ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ regularly and often even at appropriate times. Not so yay us that a number of unmentionables have been repeated. I’ve recently enrolled him at the local nursery school (which happens to be run by a church) for a couple of mornings a week. All is going swimmingly – he loves it, they love him – but I live in fear of some of his more colourful vocabulary being used at drop off or pick up. I’m guessing his current favourite expression of frustration would not be appreciated.”Oh God!” my two-year old will announce. Stunned silence and aghast faces from Teacher and other (presumably non-blaspheming) mommies will follow while I cast around desperately trying to work out how to pin this on my hubby.
More terrifying is the fact that he has been known to repeat the F word – I am no potty mouth and I very seldom swear in front of him, but when I forget myself and that word slips out, you can be sure my son will hold onto it for days. My current tactic is to immediately start chanting “truck, truck, Mommy said truck” but a friend correctly pointed out that this will fool no-one when he says “oh for truck’s sake!” This exact phrase was used by a good friend’s toddler on the way into nursery school recently – embarrassing at a secular nursery school but surely grounds for expulsion at mine. Poor pudding will have his stationery ice cream container under one arm, random bits of art under another and a confused expression on his face while Teacher gently suggests that he might be more comfortable elsewhere.
Heavens knows what he says while I’m not there but hey, ignorance is bliss.