Archive | October, 2013

Nursery Times

5 Oct

So,  the youngest of my brood has started nursery….with a bang!  We didn’t plump for the usual paint in your hair and play dough in your poo nursery, no, we went for the one that teaches degree level french before lunch.   With this nursery comes a new level of thoughts and anxieties.  The first one being the lunch box police.  Amongst the millions of policies that we have to wade through, there’s a wonderful document about what we can and cannot put in our little darling’s lunchbox.  The lunch as a whole has to cover every food group, cue a mini search on google and a mega melt down.  I carefully unpack the lunch I have made and say a little prayer.  The sandwich, ok well its good, its on seedy, as in with seeds not dirty old man seedy, bread and its got ham in it that will do, despite the fact she doesn’t really like sandwiches, then there’s the usual yogurt,  stringy cheese- which was evicted from the hello kitty lunchbox, the crisps were taken out and the chocolate bar was removed, oh heck there’s nothing left.  I rummage around in the cupboard and manage to scrape together a box of raisins and a ritz cracker and peel a carrot and a little fairy cake that I skillfully take out of its wrapper roughen it up a little bit and wrap it in foil…homemade.  I’m feeling content as I trot along to nursery and hand over the semi homemade fare, when I overhear a Mother tell the nursery worker that Django or whatever his face is, has his favourite lunch, the nursery staff  perk up as if there’s a notoriety with this child’s lunch,  Tango or whatever he is called is pushed by his mother to spill all and tell EVERYBODY what this fantastic lunch is, I’m still feeling good at this point, Lexi has a balanced lunch, her brain will grow, until Tango face tells everybody he has homemade Sushi for lunch.  I freeze as I’m signing Lexi’s name in the book and somehow scrawl across the page with the pen, Sushi?? who does that?? maybe she has a fancy exotic au pair that makes this stuff, yes that must be it, well I work and don’t have time roll rice in seaweed, that’s my reasons anyway, then the mother pipes up that she makes it all herself and she works. Humph she must roll the sushi with one hand and close business deals with the other, I can do that.

Then another mum comes bustling through the door and informs the staff that Spike’s lunch hasn’t cooled down yet and could they take immediate action to ensure that the food is cooled down, I snigger to myself, well maybe out loud and she looks at me, I had to fake something so I try a cough which sounded more like a shi tzu yapping, didn’t work, I fake a sneeze which makes two children cry and hide behind their mothers, I have to find out whats in this child’s lunch box , I need some ideas.  I’ve done as much signing in as I can and looking in Lexi’s work tray and Lexi said goodbye a while ago, I really  have no excuse to be here, in fact I’ve been there so long, my husband comes looking for me, he wants to know what I’m doing, the Mother’s want to know what I’m doing and the nursery staff want to know what I’m doing they all look at me expectantly like they are expecting a song or a dance.  I still need to know what’s in the lunchbox but there’s no conversation they are all looking at me, the nursery lady asks if she can help me, please god let something intelligent come from my mouth, I blurt out that I’m CRB checked and not a weirdo and then laugh manically, which automatically makes people assume you are a weirdo, everyone is smiling sympathetically and nodding, I’m looking around frantically for some inspiration and I see a poster advertising for parent helpers on the nursery trip, bingo! I point to the poster and say that, the nursery lady falls on me like I’m giving her a kidney or something, I somehow volunteered myself to help at the trip, then I get a round of applause and these mothers tittering and twittering about how they don’t have the time and how wonderful it is, I tell them I work but it falls on deaf ears, so now I’m a parent helper. But it still doesn’t answer the lunch question, until Spock, oops Spike , well to be fair he has got pointy ears, pipes up and begins to wail that he doesn’t like omelette, no way!! Who puts omelette in a kid’s lunchbox, I’m tempted to invite the kid round and ply him with drinks of coke and bowls of haribo, live life boy!  I leave the nursery quickly escorted by my rather embarrassed husband, he’s used to it by now.

A little later I’m queuing up to collect Lexi and am indulging in some earwigging and have to dig my nails into the palm of my hand not to laugh.  Bearing in mind I live in a small but affluent town, I’m a minority as I have no money ha ha, anyway, I’m listening to this woman wailing about something or other.  This woman is dressed head to toe in designer clothes, me, I’ve pitched up in my uni hoodie and jeans.  I hear the woman go round all of the queuing Mothers, apart from me,  and ask how much their “help” is, now I’m thinking she talking about a cleaner maybe.  No, she’s asking about Nannies and general dogsbodies that pick up after these spoilt women and their children.  One woman says that she pays 25k per year, the nanny has her own car, wing of the house and her own help, ok not the help bit but you get the gist, another woman chips in, trying to out do the other, with a 25.5K salary, a mercedes and a gym pass and a separate flat in the garden.  I can see the original asker beginning to twitch and you can see the gold plated calculator totting up amounts, she then announces that she will need, and get, according to her,  a part time job that pays 50k a year, at this point, my nails have almost gouged through my palm I have to resist the urge not to laugh and chip in.  Rather than one of the mothers giving this clearly clueless woman a reality check, they all begin nodding like nodding dogs and tell her that there’s plenty of part time work that pays that amount, silly me yes there are…on cloud cuckoo land.  I’m looking forward to hearing what her job is and seeing if its legal.

A week or so later, it’s nursery trip time and it turns out that a few of the mums have taken time out of their salon schedules to accompany their children.  We have been advised in the extensive letter about the clothing and the dreaded lunch, and this time I’m fully prepared. Or so I thought.  I’m packing Lexi’s lunch according to instructions and I’ve met the food group targets and even thrown in the odd whole tuna to make sushi and a  hen to lay a fresh egg for the omelette, in case I feel the need to make one for Lexi’s lunch.  I look further down the list and see that an ice pack is requested for the lunch, I have two choices, randomly in my freezer, I have a frozen bottle of water in a coke bottle, choice one, or i have a bag of mixed veg which could be decanted into a less conspicuous bag and would not highlight so much the lack of organisation that I have.  The simplest option would be the coke bottle, I could peel the label off and maybe wrap it in some wrapping paper and pretend its from cath kidston or one of those fancy boutique shops that are run by bored wives of bankers, I decide against this and go for the mixed veg option.  I put the mixed veg in a small bag and shove it in the lunchbox and off we go.  We are instructed to meet in the car park of the local farm and Lexi and I pitch up in our banger of a car and park it in between two chelsea tractors and walk towards the group of immaculately dressed mothers and children some in the same outfit as their parent.  I do a quick check, suncream, hat, shoes and lunch, we are there we are in.  We end up waiting in the car park for this one mother who comes with the help in tow and instantly three smart phones come out of three designer bags to call for their help who is probably back at the mansion ensuring the gardener is tending the bush (es) correctly, we wait a further 20 mins for the help to arrive, by this time, I’ve had two invitations thrust in my hand, one for a tea and couture afternoon and the other for a botox party, as I obviously need some help!  Anyhow whilst reeling from the invitations I turn to see my daughter attempting to board a coach that has nothing to do with our trip, she manages the first step and thinks shes on for getting a seat, the driver ushers her off the steps as she is preventing a large rowdy group of children from leaving the coach and she is fuming and attempts to board the coach again.  I try to ignore her and shake my head and tut and hope that as I’m a new parent they wont realise she belongs to me, she then screeches and starts banging the coach door which has had to be shut until the offending child has been removed, I look around for my help and realise that I am the help and have no choice but to help my daughter into the farm.  By now any help that needs to arrive has arrived and we are allowed into the farm, we are shown into a room and given various instructions about hand washing and petting of the animals and we are allowed to start looking at the animals.  The mothers all mill around in their little groups and I manage to tag along in one of them.  I notice a lady has a child called Mungo, instantly I begin humming the “umbungo umbungo they drink it in the jungle”  advert, out loud, but soon stop when the invisible daggers start piercing my lungs, clearly someone has done this before as she knew where to aim the daggers.  We are roaming around and Lexi becomes fixated with a large turkey who isn’t very impressed at being gawped at, I am terrified of birds and try to get Lexi to look at a goat but she’s having none of it, in the end I’m falling further and further behind and have to coax Lexi to the next section with some hidden sweets that I managed to smuggle in.  We get to the cow shed and all of the sudden i hear a high pitched shriek and Mungo’s mother has realised that hes gone missing and  we all begin calling out for him, I forget his name and start calling out Mango at the top of my voice, I go in search of him shouting out mango and I am attracting some rather strange looks, which are warranted, who honestly goes around shouting mango at a children’s farm.  Mango is found and we carry on until lunchtime.  We are shown into a shed and like oil and water, the mothers and their children separate and the au pairs move in.  I begin doling out Lexi’s lunch  and have managed to infiltrate a little mummy’s group and have been included in the conversation, admittedly it’s about private schools, but I can nod and agree like I know what I am nodding about.  The mothers are nibbling like little hamsters at some rivita thins and go on that that’s the only thing they are going to eat for the whole week as they are so fat and their personal trainer has told them so.

The conversation moves on to their children’s healthy eating and Lexi has a reasonably well balanced lunch which I have nicely laid out for her, one mother snorts at an item in Lexi’s lunch and gives her child some seeds and a carrot, undeterred by this, I proceed to say what a lovely diet Lexi has and everything is fresh and organic from the garden just like birdseye, when Lexi grabs her lunchbox from my hand and pulls out the bag of semi frozen mixed veg and it splits, showering the mothers with hard chunks of broccoli and squidgy peas, I have no choice but to act mortified and out loud exclaim how could such a thing get in her lunch box and how we only use that for injuries, I think I got away with it, but they didn’t speak to me for the rest of lunch, I sat back and ate a snickers instead.

We move to the animal handling section and my daughter is not known for her patience, she has to be first and will not take any other place, unfortunately she is fourth in the queue to hold a chick, I hope the thing doesn’t shit, Lexi is getting more and more impatient while other children are looking at the chick and each mother/help is pointing out eyes beak etc and every fricking feather.  Lexi decides enough is enough and launches herself at the bench, forces a space for herself and takes the little mat that the chick sits on and removes the chick from a child’s hand.  The chick is squawking for it’s mother, the farm person is shocked and I’m trying to release the tight grip that Lexi has on the chick.  We manage to get the chick on the mat and Lexi is stroking it and when she is told it is somebody else’s turn she grabs the chick and screeches no, I need to release this chick as I swear I can see it’s eyes bulging and everyone is looking at me and I’m sure it will shit in shock.  I have no choice but to unleash the jelly tots and wave them in front of her, this doesn’t work and the chick is going bug eyed, I get my phone out and throw it at her, she releases the chick and the mat goes on the floor and Lexi is swiftly removed from the tutting parents.  I hide in the portaloo and smoke an imaginary cigarette and drink an imaginary vodka.  The rest of the trip goes well with Lexi not lifting her head from my phone and before she knows it, she is back in the car seat and en route to home.

Funnily enough we were never invited to any of the get togethers that were going ahead through the summer/autumn…..Thank God!

Much Love x