The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 6

The Mummy Diaries: One baby, one threenager – Week 6

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 10, September, 2019

WE HAVE SURVIVED the first week of pre-school. Well, when I say ‘we’, I really mean me! Jamie didn’t even look back and fell into his new routine without so much as a whinge. Me? I got through the emotions of the first day, then did really well organising the packed lunches and clothes the night before – well, for the first couple of days anyway.

It was all going so well. I had the full week planned out and getting jobs done while Jamie was away in the mornings. Nothing quite like having plenty of time to get stuff done in the mornings now – ha!

So, Sunday night. Kids down to sleep at 8am. I filled the dishwasher with the dinner dishes, emptied the clothes out of the tumble dryer, folded and put away. I started making James and Jamie’s packed lunches for the following day. Then I looked out Lily and Jamie’s clothes for the morning. After that, I looked out two changes of clothing for Jamie and packed his bag. In between times, running up and down the stairs to Lily who was unsettled and crying every 20 minutes as she has a couple of teeth coming through. By 10pm, I made a cup of tea and sat down. Sorted! Okay, that was the easy bit. The hard part was going to be getting Jamie through the door of the pre-school tomorrow. Or so I thought.

Monday morning. Jamie was none the wiser as to what was going on. He had his breakfast as usual and then made his way through to the toy box and started playing with Buzz and Woody. I was too nervous to eat anything and was working my way through my second cup of coffee of the day already. I think I must of double checked his bag and the clothes that I had packed previously the night before about three times and also made sure that I had everything in his lunch box – again! I got Lily changed and dressed but I wanted to leave Jamie in his pj’s until the last minute as I knew he would throw a cup of Ribena down himself within seconds of putting his uniform on.

9am and we were ready to leave the house. Lily was strapped into the pushchair and Jamie was stood on his buggy board as proud as punch. The kids were all excited and Jamie was blethering away, without a care in the world. My stomach on the other hand was in knots! Ten minutes up the road and we arrived at a very busy nursery. As we approached the main doors, the queue of anxious looking Mums spilled out into the car park and the noise of chatting, laughing and crying was deafening – and that was just the mummy’s! Jamie, Lily and I made our way to the end of the queue and anxiously waited for the people to start moving. Jamie started singing head, shoulders, knees and toes, totally oblivious as to what was happening. I joined in with him telling myself it was to keep Jamie calm but I think it was more for me!

9.15am on the dot and the main doors opened and the queue started to steadily move into the building. It didn’t take long before we reached the front desk and a lovely lady smiled and started chatting to Jamie, who immediately started blethering back to her so fast, it might as well of been in Japanese! I signed Jamie in and followed the crowd down the corridor until we got to the class room with a sign on the door, ‘The Caterpillar Room’. One of the teachers came out, introduced herself and explained where the bags, jackets and lunch boxes went and the general set up of the room. I looked down at Jamie who was looking around the room with his mouth open and then he just stared up at me.

Oh God, he doesn’t want to go in. He’s frightened. This is different to creche. The teachers are different, the kids are different, it’s noisy, it’s….

Then I looked down and Jamie was looking up at me with his hands up to be lifted. I crouched down to lift him but he went ridged. I let him go and he gave me a cuddle and said, “Bye bye Mummy.” And off he went.

I didn’t know whether to be relieved or raging! I mean like, what?! Not even a shred of panic or a tear??

I stood outside the room and looked through the windows and Jamie made his way around all the tables, having a look at each activity before sitting down at the sand and water pit and started to play.

Keep it together,I was telling myself. At least until I got back out the front door. I started to make my way down the corridor, back out to the reception area where I saw and heard a couple of kids clinging to their mummy’s legs and crying. The mums were doing their best to console the wee ones but I could see the stress and upset on the faces. And then it hit me. I’ve no need to be upset and I am one of the lucky ones. I should be relieved, grateful and happy that Jamie is confident enough to walk away from me and enjoy the new experience.

On the way out of the door, the lady at the desk said, “Please feel free to give us a ring in a wee while if you want to see how he’s doing.”

“Aw, I will, thanks very much.” I replied.

On the walk back home with Lily, I was thinking. I better ring in an hour or so. Jamie might have been fine going in, but after a wee while when the novelty wears off, he will probably look for me and might get upset.

10am. “Hi, sorry to bother you, this is Jamie Hargan’s mum. I was just wondering…”

“Oh hello!” the lady on the phone cuts me off. “I’ve just come from the Caterpillar Room and Jamie has made a wee friend and the two of them are happily playing with the train set.”

“Aw, brilliant.” I replied. “I’ll be up at 12.15 to pick him up, thank you.”

The wee monkey!  And then it dawned on me. Jamie was consoling me before I left, not the other way around!

I spent the next couple of hours busy with housework and watching Lily master her walking skills. 

12.15 and I was frantically waiting to be let into the play school doors. I arrived outside the Caterpillar Room and saw Jamie beaming back up at me with paint down his sweatshirt, flour in his hair and one sleeve rolled up and the other soaking wet. The teacher took Jamie’s hand and led him over to the door where he ran over to me and I got a huge hug. The teacher said, he did fantastic and settled really well. He was painting and baking and getting involved in the group activities.

I couldn’t be prouder. Jamie had done amazing and walked into his new adventure without a second thought.

Me? I was relieved. Tired. Happy. Emotional.

Did someone say this Mummy thing was easy?

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