This term was Sophie’s first session at preschool. She goes for just 2 mornings a week and we had already arranged that we would throw her straight in at the deep end by leaving her there, rather than doing the settling in sessions, to try and get into the routine of what was happening straight away. She insisted on not leaving her favourite toy, Nemo, in the car.
As soon as we arrived she was straight in looking at all the different activities and barely noticed when I left. I however walked away welling up and spent the whole morning wondering what she was up to and how she was getting on. It must have been one of the longest mornings of my life! When I picked her up she shouted ‘mummy’ and came running over and gave me a big hug. I was told she had been a bit upset earlier on, but that had lasted for a few minutes, then she had got on with playing – so far so good! She told me all about her morning and what she had been doing and seemed so excited by it all.
When her second morning came, as soon as she saw me about to leave, she began to cry. The further away I got, the louder the cries of ‘mummy’ came, my heart was sinking and my tummy felt like it was on a spin cycle. I spent a few minutes with her, trying to get her interested in activities, but as soon as I went to leave along came the tears. I left anyway and stood outside the door listening to her screams. After a few minutes they stopped and she got on and enjoyed the rest of the morning. We had the same for the next few sessions, despite her being excited about going and telling me how much she was enjoying it. She was always happy when I picked her up too.
Then all of a sudden things changed. I dropped her off one morning and as I put her bag down, she said ‘bye Mummy, see you soon’ and pushed me to go out of the door! I have no idea what changed in her mind, whether she suddenly realised that I would always come and pick her up, or whether she realised how much fun it actually was – but whatever it was, it was a total turnaround!! I was so relieved that she seemed to settle in so quickly and now I am even starting to enjoy my 2 mornings a week to myself!!
How are all the new school/nursery starters going?