8 months & 1 week into Daddyhood

Jo said she “didn’t want to be one of those typical parents” – i.e. getting all upset at leaving her daughter for her first whole day at nursery. I imagined I probably would be a blubbery fool. It turns out we both were. Blubbery fools, that is. Inwardly, at least.

I was “elected” to be the one who dropped her off. The reason for this was that I had booked the day off work, in order to assist with the preparations for Talise’s christening, which was to be on the Sunday following the Friday in question (that being Mother’s Day), and so, since normally I would get to be Nice Parent Who Picked Her Up From Nursery, it was only fair that on this occasion I should be Mean Parent Who Dropped Her Off At Nursery. So that was the reasoning.

So we drove to the nursery, parked in the adjacent street, I took Talise to the nursery and dropped her off.

That is to say, I handed her over to the-very-nice-lady in the big playroom downstairs, who smiled, sat her down and started her playing with some toys. And Talise smiled. And a couple of older girls came over and started playing with her. And I proceeded to stand there and try and remember her instructions (i.e. some stuff about when she’s due for feeds, naps, etc). And not make a very good job of it. And then, after five minutes or so, I thought, well I suppose I’d better go. And so I did. And that was that. Well…

Kind of.

I got to the car and my InwardlyBlubberyFoolness threatened to be become not so Inwardly. I was struck by the import of what I had just done. For the first time in Talise’s life, I had left her in the charge of someone else – someone other than her mother, that is (which obviously I do every day when I go to work). And not just for 20-30 minutesfor a whole day!

I mean… blimey! This is major! I felt myself getting all irrational and paranoid (and, of course, Blubbery Fool-like)… wondering if Talise was going to be some kind of terror – impossible to get to sleep for her daytime naps, not taking her milk/missing her daytime booby too much (we had only previously practiced a couple of times giving her Formula), not eating, just generally missing her Mummy and Daddy too much… and checking both our phones were on and receiving a signal at, erm… regular… points in the day, in case they needed to call us for anything (to tell us we’d forgotten to tell them anything or give them anything terribly important or whatever) or to say, “Come and pick up your Demon Child now!”…

But…

(of course)

I can’t remember the precise words of the nursery staff when I went in to collect her, but it boiled down to something like…

“She was absolutely fine.”

She was (they said) a bit sick after her chocolate whip (which they felt immensely guilty about), she didn’t like going to sleep and she didn’t like to be changed – but otherwise…

She was absolutely fine.

Now I’ve spoken before about absolutely fine and the uppy-downy emotions it makes me feel… but on this occasion I have to say that the primary emotion was relief. Relief that Talise’s first day at nursery seemed to go without any major hitch. That we weren’t (at least on this occasion) shown to be awful, neglectful parents, for one reason or another. That Talise, by all accounts, actually seemed to enjoy herself. That so far our choice of nursery, and our decision to put her in a nursery, seems to be being vindicated. And that, at the end of the day (a day which was admittedly spent rushing around like proverbial insects of cerulean posteriors, engaged in christening day preparations, which did provide a useful level of distraction), we didn’t feel totally awful for not seeing our daughter for eight-and-a-half hours and for leaving her in the hands of virtual strangers (albeit “suitably qualified” virtual strangers). So all I can really say at the end of all that is…

Phew! 🙂

Advertisements