Leaving nursery and starting school (tissue anyone?)

Today Beaver is leaving nursery.  After three years.

The cocky me of months ago, ‘Oh we’ll all be fine,’ is suddenly nowhere to be seen.  Departing us when we need her most.

I feel adrift.  As if the rug is being pulled out from under me.  Like Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment when she says goodbye to her children.  OK, maybe not that bad.

To Beaver, the last day of nursery means nothing more than wearing your pink skater dress that you’re NEVER allowed to wear to nursery.  It means fancy clips in your hair.  And sandals that are forbidden by nursery rules.  Because hey, what are they going to do?  Kick us out on our last day?

To me it means transition, a new routine, a temporary lapse of security.  That I am suddenly old enough to have a school-age child (let’s not even go there).  It means having to do breakfast and dinner at home seven days a week.   SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.  I only have two recipes.  Is it nutritionally sound to alternate egg fried rice with Popeye pasta?  Does anyone know?

Beaver has friends at nursery.  Hell, I have friends at nursery.  23 in fact.  That’s how many of us are going to Giraffe tomorrow for a leavers kids’ tea (with Bellinis).  In Blackheath.  In case you want to steer clear.

And now we have to start all over again.  In a stricter environment.  Where toys are not allowed.  And, I imagine, hot pants are frowned upon.

Yes, it is safe to say that Beaver and I might not be cut out for school life.  This week alone I have had to scrabble around on the floor looking for wands whilst calling South Eastern Railway and asking if they’d mind holding the train.  Whilst Snow White finishes accessorising.

Leaving nursery means I will no longer be able to get the lovely 8.17 train.  The one which is fast to Waterloo East and always gives me a seat.  And gets me into work 15 minutes early for coffee and toast.  Instead I will be doing school drop-off.  I say drop-off, it will actually be more like a drive-thru.  Because I will have exactly 8 minutes to see Beaver into school and get my train.  Tight?  Nah.

But most of all it means the end of an era.  The first era.  The official end of Beaver’s babyhood, her toddlerhood, her preschoolhood.  Concluded in one day.  Just like that.

And I know that this is just the beginning of the milestones we have to reach.  That they will get harder as Beaver gets older.  That I’ll have to do them all again with Godivy.  To think that in those early days, I thought I’d ‘done’ motherhood the moment I got them to sleep through the night.  Like that was the biggest milestone of all.  Gina Ford, you’ve conned me.

So to all of you with pre-schoolers-soon-to-be-schoolers, I know how you feel.  Exactly how you feel.  And I wish us all a graceful transition as we embark on this next era.  Failing that, waterproof mascara and a big box of tissues.

Damn it, why can’t leaving nursery just be about wearing a pink skater dress?


Surviving Motherhood Tip#7 – how to survive the transition from nursery to school

  1. Prepare your child for what’s ahead.  It won’t mean anything to them but at least you can say you tried
  2. Prepare yourself for what’s ahead.  You’ll still fall apart but at least you’ll be ready for it
  3. Work out your new ‘school’ routine and start practicing ahead of the first actual day.  Lay out breakfast the night before if it helps.  Hell, eat it the night before if it helps.
  4. Don’t cling to your child’s keyworker’s leg when that last day of nursery looms, begging them to let you stay.  Being escorted off the premises is not how you want to be remembered.


Like/share this post with others

    2 thoughts on “Leaving nursery and starting school (tissue anyone?)

    1. Hannah MacKechnie

      I have just gone through that transition today as my first child started primary school 🙁 I was all prepared for tears and hangings off legs but I was sent on my way with a wave and greeted with a smile at pick up time. No it was my 2nd child who didn’t have a good day at nursery as he didn’t have his older sister as his partner anymore…and the wee one, 19 months old, well she had a ball at home getting to play with all the toys by herself!! We live on a wee scottish island so my school run is sheep and cattle avoidance rather than traffic lights and one way systems but no matter where you live or how your child reacts to starting school, tissues for the parents are compulsory!!

    2. Sarah

      Ah we are doing it this year too. But it’s my fourth time round this particular block so I’m a little over the whole ceremony of it! I can’t believe my little girl is going to school tho but my son is now in his last year of primary school and we are having to look at secondary schools!! It’s freaky how fast the time goes! When he started school it wasn’t that I was too bothered about him going to school it was more the school mum thing. I wasn’t sure how to do it. Bit then you realise it’s the same as playgroups.. Just different issues. You stil
      Have the supper trendy fashionable mummies whose kids are immaculately turned out all the time. Whose kids hve the latest gadget and wouldn’t dream of wearing hand me downs, then there’s the over achiever mums ‘little Johnny is on level 9 reader! Oh isn’t it amazing!’ Yeah those parents gets worse in school! My advice stay away! You just find the ones you like or know already and get their mobile numbers! Because you will need to phone someone at some stage and ask them if it is actually come to school dresses as a animal day as your child is insisting! Hope it goes well for you in September! Oh and my girls wear trousers to school (not hot pants but similar I suppose) and I don’t even know if its part of the school uniform. 🙂 x


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *