Tag Archives: nursery

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

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Hibernation

2 Oct

I haven’t blogged in a while as I have started my new placement and final year at uni, for those of you that don’t know me personally, I am a student social worker…feel free to start hating me now and booing at me like a pantomime baddie I know I’m as bad as a traffic warden!

I’ve spent the last four weeks, nodding, smiling and pretending I know what I’m doing. This blog is kind of going to be a bit flitty between placement land and Ryan land so bear with me.

Placement starts well and I’m asked to attend a big networking meeting conference type thing.  All’s going well, im sipping the gratis coffee and shoving biscuits down my neck as I am starving.  I feel my phone vibrate in my bag so I casually open my bag and blindly root around all while holding court to a group of people about being a student and a parent and I feel an odd shape.  I can’t work out what it is so i quickly look and to my horror i find the inside music box thing of iggle piggle.  Now  this thing is very sensitive you’ve only got to look at it and it tells you that “yes my name is iggle piggle”….oh heck.  I can’t think straight and i panic, we are asked to take our places so i sit and shove my bag under my seat and out of the way.  I’m still stressing but I’m thinking It will be ok. To the side of me there’s a woman that keeps waving her legs round like a windmill and every time she moves i squeeze my bum cheeks even tighter- whilst being good for my bum muscles it’s not good for my stress factor.  I’m sure I can feel her edging closer and closer to the bag.  The meeting starts with introductions, I’ve planned my name and title and run it through in my head and feel that I sound mildly professional, I’m happy and good to go, windmill legs is getting very fidgety, maybe she’s  excited about telling everybody her name ooookay.  Oh its my turn, the whole rooms looking at me and I’m just about to speak when windmill legs has some sort of spasm and kicks my bag and before I have the chance to speak iggle piggle does it for me.  My bag launches into the theme tune from iggle piggle “yes my name is iggle piggle…”  I leap up and shout “no no no” over the music which makes me look like a loon, to make it worse no one sees the funny side to this except me.  Any funny quips elude me and all I can do is say my name and title as originally planned and sit down.  I’m sure windmill legs did it on purpose I think she was jealous of my top, the bitch.  The rest of the meeting goes iggle piggle free and is mind numbingly boring but it had to be done.

My placement is at a performing arts college for students with learning disabilities and I have to say it is fabulous.  I have had a few hiccups though.  Every Wednesday I take part with the students in a street dancing workshop.  I cannot dance for toffee, I either look like I have a pole up my rear lady garden or I look like I’m having a seizure, but I give it a go.  The instructor has a fantastic sense of humour and is really good she actually treats me like one of the students which is good for me, not so good for the poor students who are meant to be looking up to the staff including me for help and guidance.  At the end of each session we have to do what’s called ‘the circle’ I’ve since re-named this with permission to ‘the circle of doom’.  We are all in a circle bopping along to the street music and we each in turn have to do a dance in the middle in front of the baying circle.  I watch everybody else do their bit and I’m hoping the instructor has over looked me, although she can’t miss me I’m wearing a bright pink hoodie.  She points at me and the students start chanting my name and clapping, in I go.  I have no clue what I’m going to do as the music is something I’ve never heard of.  So I do what every idiot does, I pull my leg up from behind me put my crooked arm behind my head and start hopping manically around the circle, which I hasten to say has now changed from a circle shape to more of a get out of the way shape.  I do this for a few hops before my leg threatens to give way and then I go into some strange arm waving Kate Bush style dancing before retreating back to my space, the students thought it was great and I’m sure I saw a few of them copying it as they left the session and laughing, I’m sure they were laughing at how well they copied it because my dance was hard to copy.  I must see if they want me to teach them properly!

At my placement, there’s a south African man there and over lunch we were having what I thought was a relatively intelligent conversation about his home country.  I didn’t do geography at school and I was quite naughty in lessons and spent a lot of the time entertaining the wall in the corridor outside of the classroom.  So here we are chatting away and I get on to the subject of crocodiles.  I calmly ask him if he checks the trees before he walks under them in case of crocodiles, he looks at me incredulously and asks for confirmation of what I just said, I repeat it and then go on to say does he check the trees in case one of them has climbed up the tree with their little stubby arms to jump out on unsuspecting prey.  After he nearly bursts something laughing he very politely tells me crocs cant climb trees, oops.   I then remember having the same conversation with a lovely friend of mine a few years ago and chastised myself for not remembering.

Ryan, my now three-year old pickle has started nursery, something I have been excited about but  scared for the poor teacher.  Ryan and I went in for an hour the day before so he could get a taste of nursery.  All is going well and I’m chatting to another mum and then the teacher and Ryan is settling in very well.  It’s time for the children to play outside and a big thing is made of the children putting on their coats and wellies.  Two things that I haven’t got with me.   I quickly eject Ryan into the garden coat less- I mean it was only spitting with rain what’s the problem he’s gets wetter in the bath.  The teacher booms across the playground to me and asks me where Ryan’s coat is and I have to make up some long-winded story about how we dashes to the car to get here etc etc.   He has to borrow a coat to which he takes great fancy to and assumes that it is now his coat.  The rest of the time goes ok until I have to take the coat from Ryan, we start with a low-level paddy like a dog growling just to warn me that he will bite.   I’m using my gritted teeth parenting style whilst thinking in my head what a little git he is.  I have to shoe horn this coat from him while he is thrashing about on the floor- tantrum status updated from low-level to mount Vesuvius level.  I’m thinking I am going to have to beg or even pay the teacher to have him back into the nursery the next day.  I drag him out of the classroom and straight into the path of the headteacher- who I have to say when we had our tour of the school I didn’t actually realise she was the head, I thought she was a teacher that had been harassed so badly by high school kids that she had gone into supply teaching but only in primary schools!  She makes some bizarre comment about  what a lovely boy Ryan is, this is while he is doing a lovely gymnastic floor display and then sidles off.

My eldest son, the huffer puffer, was being hollered at to get his behind out of the front door quickly a few weeks ago and in the process he whacked his toe.  Yes this hurts and hurts and yes he did complain, but he was still managing to walk to school and do sports and the usual bits so I didn’t think too much of it.  Admittedly he did complain on and off about it hurting.  I do have to point out at this stage that instead of being called Bradley he should have been called Peter as in the boy who cried wolf!  He came out of his youth club thing on Thursday really complaining about his foot, I was in my pyjamas driving him and his mate home and I was literally ready for bed.  He seemed really upset so I looked at the bloody foot, it looked slightly swollen and he revealed to me that he was playing football and had kicked the ball and his foot hurt really badly afterwards.  I decided to take him and told him that there better be something wrong with it otherwise I would make something wrong with it as I was in no mood to sit in casualty for hours.  All of this was said in jest as I would never hurt him purposely….!  We entered the department and as usual there were no seats and the place was heaving.  I’m trying not to let the steam of fury escape from my ears and remind myself that I am a responsible mother.   We get called through and placed into another waiting room like a farmer herding cattle.  after the obligatory two-hour wait we get to the triage stage, at this point even the nurse wasnt convinced of an injury, but we have to wait another hour, the doctor then comes in and she was sure nothing was wrong- this does not help my mood as they now decide Brad/Peter needs an x-ray sorry couldn’t they have x-rayed  at the triage stage?  but that’s too much like common sense.  Just as we are packed off to x-ray so are another family and it was like a race to get to the x-ray department.  Poor Brad/Peter is hobbling along and I’m marching off in front and trying not to let the family get in front of me but I have to let this one go and poor Brad/Peter has lost me and I’ve turned several corners and almost have to turn my phone sat nav on to get back to him.  While we are waiting the mother of the other family tries to engage me in chat and tries to gauge whose child has the worst injury.  She concludes that her son with the hurt thumb is so much more badly injured and will need extensive physio and treatment and my son is a cry wolf-er..we will see.  Was it wrong at this point to want to win this battle?

Brad/Peter has his x-ray and we had barely got back to his cubicle when the doctor appears, I’m waiting for the usual “it’s badly bruised” and “lots of rest” but when she produces a piece of paper to draw the injury you know you’re in shit!  Brad/Peter- ok I will let him off now he can be Brad, has broken his foot!  Oh my goodness me, I’m normally the mother that takes their children to casualty at the slightest thing only to sit there for hours to be told that there’s nothing wrong and the one time I decide to wait it’s actually serious.   After several different opinions on how to proceed treating brad’s injury they decide to send him home but to come back the next day to see the physio.  Long story short we have to wait until Thursday before we get a  final verdict, he is currently on crutches and being a pain!  Ryan thinks the crutches are guns and is shooting things off of shelves, items from the fridge and the sensitive T.V. screen deep joy.

I did see the other mum whom I was in competition with on the way out and her son was being told the badly bruised routine and I have to say she looked sick when she overheard Brad’s diagnosis because I know she was listening because I always do!

Final thought to end this rather long blog, which I hope was worth waiting for, this is actually longer than one of my uni essays,  Would I really be a good social worker or shall I just write blogs for a living? lol

Much love xx