So, after a settling in period at the end of last week, Ava has officially started nursery. Her life has changed tremendously in the space of a few days – and so has mine.
Settling in went like this:
Day 1: Attend for one hour with mummy (and Ruby).
Day 2: Attend for one hour while mummy and Ruby go to the bank (it was the most tedious thing I could think of that Ava would not have been remotely interested in joining in with).
Day 3: Attend for five hours without mummy or Ruby... and see how you get on.
On Day Two, Ava barely noticed I had gone. Day Three was not without a few tears at the start but, apparently, hour two of day three saw Ava crossly shusshing some adults because they were being noisy – a most positive sign, I feel, that she is getting into her stride.
Thankfully she has forgotten (so far) about day trips into space, and has instead been busy making volcanoes, playing, painting, singing and learning phonics. And while I can tell Ava is a little apprehensive about being left, my heart bursts when I see her take a deep breath, wave me off, and pile in anyway. I know it's good for her but, more importantly, it seems that she does too.
Ruby is another story. She was somewhat incensed that she was not staying at nursery to play too and, in Ava's absence, the house is strangely quiet. Now as we read, noises from outside – for example, lorries passing, or wheelie bins being dragged around neighbours' gardens – are audible. And each one is being met with a little gasp, a little hand to a little ear, and: "Wossat noy? Iss Ava?!"
It is a big change for us all but undoubtedly one for the good – I can already see Ava blossoming from the experience, and becoming more grown up. After her first full day on Monday, I told her how much I had missed her, and how very proud I was of her for being brave.
She squeezed my face and replied: "I am sooooo proud you too, mummy."
"Because you didn't cry EVEN a bit did you, even though you miss me?"
And as I hugged her, and said "no, darling!" I made a mental note to add the moment to a column, which is already more like an essay, which will no doubt one day be a novel, entitled The White Lies We Tell Our Children.
Did you find leaving your child at nursery a big wrench?
Did the whole tempo of your day change?