Monday, October 18, 2010

The nursery net

I know, I know. The "n" word seems to feature in a lot of my posts at the moment. (Well, two out of the past three at least, and considering the (ir)regularity with which I seem to blog that's quite a lot.) But I can't help it. I can't stop thinking about it. The nursery. And specifically, the nursery net. So called because I realised through the tears on Friday (mine and his) that we're caught. In the net. He might not like going - an understatement last week when, for the first time, he cried all the way there, both days - but, like a fish on the deck of a trawler, I don't think we can escape.

You see, I'd always consoled myself with the thought that if it all got really bad, there'd be an exit. A childminder, or a nanny. But despite him hitting a new low of late (he moved into the older kids room a few weeks ago and it hasn't gone well), I think I'm going to have to let him tough it out. As the lady who runs it pointed out, if I take him out now (aged 2 years and 4ish months), I'll only wind up trying to make him go again at some point in the not too distant future.

Even if I don't pack him off to pre-school, or whatever the term is for the full five-day affair that seems to be all the rage, the minute he turns three, I guess there's always the lure of those three free hours a day. (Provided the Tories don't get there first, and let's face it: they should, I can afford to pay his way.) And then there's school proper, which seems to begin earlier and earlier. I'd always thought kids were five when they start, but with a June birthday, Louis will barely be four as things stand. I would happily consider "redshirting" him (an American term for holding them back a year before they start school, which you can read about in this NY Times piece) but that seems to be one American fashion yet to cross the Atlantic.

I realise he might end up settling down; a new routine in new surroundings is a big deal when you're only two, plus he only goes two days a week, which I know is harder. But then again he might not. As the nursery lady reminded me, some kids just always cry when dumped. (*Helpfully* with an actual anecdote about a boy who never got used to being dumped by his mum, right up to still crying when he started school.) So for the meantime, I reckon we're stuck in that net. Now, how do I break it to Louis?

8 comments:

Hackney Hackette said...

I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but my son also went through a tough period when he "went up" rooms, but quickly settled in again. I actually did take him out at two years four months because I went on maternity leave with number two and frankly couldn't justify the expense of keeping him in, and yes, he will be going back aged three, for his 15 free hours. I felt guilty about putting him in and guilty about taking him out, you can't win!

Iota said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iota said...

Wow, free nursery sessions just keep getting ramped up and up. It's now 15 hours a week? Wow.

But where are all the jobs for the mothers who are thus freed up for employment? Did the government think about that one?

Mums here are horrified when I tell them that 5 year olds, and 4 year olds, are in full day school in England. I have one friend who has held her girl back ('redshirted' is a new expression on me). She is currently doing half-day Kindergarten at age 6. She will start full-day school at age 7 (August birthday)!

October 19, 2010 4:54 AM

nappy valley girl said...

It's hard, isn't it. Having had experience of both nursery and childminder, I'd go for nursery. But if he really hates it, what about trying another one? Would a change of scene help? Different nurseries can have quite different approaches.

I'm in NY and yes, there is a real tendency to hold back from starting kindergarten if the parent feels their child is not ready. Having said that, there is also an awful lot of preschool going on.

Hot Cross Mum said...

I also experienced this so feel for you. We were stuck in the 'net' for a year with my toddler's care until my eldest started school and geographically it became possible for me to change the toddler's creche. He is so much happier in the new place - I can't put my finger on it, but he's like a different child. I hope he settles down for you and that it gets easier. x

Babies who brunch said...

Thanks so much for all the supportive comments. Really helpful! I wasn't sure whether to write that post but am glad I did now. Am hoping he will settle because they are actually nice people there. Plus, nursery provision being what it is in London, there aren't exactly a lot of other options. Like zero!

I do find the concept of "redshirting" (which has some collegiate sporting derivation initially apparently) odd. What mum ever thinks their child is old enough for anything?! Then again, if starting kids later works for the Scandinavians, I do wonder why we opt to get rid of them so quickly. But therein lies another post.....

northernmum said...

Its a no win situation, my children have been with a childminder up until school age and she took them to their first day at nursery school as I had to work. My advice is do your best and no one can ask no more!

www.northernmum.wordpress.com

Mrs Donnelly said...

I thought my little girl was settled at nursery until she went to a new room. I hadn't even considered that this would be stressful for her as I assumed she was just used to going to nursery. It came as a surprise when we went through weeks of crying and heavy reliance on the dummy for our arrival at the nursery doors! But now she's fine and i can see it's good for her. Hope your little boy settles soon. :-)