I wrote a post last month about some trouble S was having with nursery. She had suddenly begun to cry and cling to me when I dropped her off, which was unusual for her; she’d settled in so well, and always loved nursery before.
I had a chat to her keyworker, who suggested I bring her to nursery a little later in the morning, and she would make sure there were activities ready for her, and that there was something to distract her with.
Normally, even on days when I don’t need to shoot off to a meeting or appointment after dropping her, I would always ensure we were at nursery for 8am. I think this is more to do with my pathological need to be on time for everything. Being told to turn up late was good… but it took a few days of getting used to!
Normally our morning is structured around leaving the house by 8:55. We must be downstairs by 7am; S must have finished her breakfast by 7:30 and so on. Removing that need to leave the house by 8:55 meant we could eat breakfast later, and come downstairs later… which meant getting up later! We didn’t set the alarm any later, just enjoyed lots of fun making duvet sausages and having tickle fights before getting up. It put us in a really great, relaxed mood for the day – starting the day by lazing about in bed for half an hour, reading a book or mucking about, makes it feel like a day off!
For a while, there was still some clinging and crying at drop-off, but S was usually placated by “shall I pick you up, and you can wave goodbye to Mummy through the window…” S loves doing this because she also gets to see the Cathedral through the window! Any tears that started when I left had usually finished by the time I got to the window to wave – except on one quite odd day, when S was playing peekaboo at the window with me, laughing and crying at the same time!
Last week, S looked up at about 7:50 and said “it’s time to go to nursery now!” I worried that arriving earlier might set her off again when she’d been doing so well – but she seemed eager to leave, so we put our shoes and coats on, and off we went. When we arrived S was a little clingy with me, until her keyworker said “shall I pick you up to wave to Mummy…” at which point she said “yes!” and went to her without a problem – I got the distinct impression that this particular morning had been engineered specifically to get the special window-waving treatment!
This week, we have run to nursery more than once. On Monday morning, S was far too busy showing off her new top to care when I left; I got a kiss and a wave, and then she went back to showing off. On Tuesday, she knew it was Little Kickers day, and that they were baking biscuits too. Mummy was of little interest!
She’s still a bit clingy at night, and often wakes more than once in the night to whimper, “mummy, I need a cuddle!” but on the whole, I think we’re doing ok.
I wish I could tell you some clever secret trick I’d used to help her settle back into nursery, but I think the responsibility for that lies firmly with them – they’ve dealt with this sort of thing before, and knew exactly what to do!
The only lasting effect from this is one I really can’t complain about. S has always been happy to see me at pick-up time, but now when I walk through the door there’s running and jumping and shouting “my mummy!” I’m taking that as a massive win!