It’s startling how one phone-call can change the whole shape of your day. Actually, today it’s two phone-calls, but one I won’t really discuss as it’s quite dull (it was just a cancellation at work, which took my day from ridiculously quiet to painfully so). Anyway, the phone-call in question was one I made to The Baby’s nursery.
This morning at half seven, I left a screaming, sobbing, clinging Baby staring at me from the arms of a nursery nurse as I walked out to go to work. I was shaking as I walked back to the car, trying to fight the urge to bundle her up in my arms, take her back home and call in sick, and I cried before I started my journey. I hate this. I hate leaving The Baby at nursery when she doesn’t want to stay there. I hate having to leave her. I hate having to work. I’d like more choice in it all, but this is how it is. I just wish it were different.
So I spent my morning doing very little except for envisioning The Baby with a tomato-red, tear-streaked face, screaming for Mummy and Daddy, needing lots of cuddles from all the staff, and upsetting all those around her. And, indeed, those not around her, as I was 14 miles away. And still upset.
Around two hours after leaving my heart-broken Baby, I called the nursery to see how she was. The nursery nurse I spoke to told me that she had gone on shift to see The Baby eating a bowl of Rice Krispies and waving at everyone around the table. It turns out The Baby’s morning had been spent in a frenzy of showing how well she can now walk and waving at everyone as she passed them, making all the staff laugh, shouting “Mummy” and “Daddy” at the top of her voice, and making friends with a child who she calls Deejay and at whom she repeatedly shouted this name. I have no idea what this child’s actual name is. I have no idea if it’s a boy or a girl. It’s nice she has a friend to shout at though.
The sigh of relief that escaped my lungs was probably audible to my parents who are currently on holiday in Malta, and I sat back and smiled with pride at my daughter the nursery jester.
The phone rang again and I tensed. Was this the nursery to say that despite the great morning, The Baby was to be expelled for biting and hitting all the other children, including the teeny babies, that even though she was dancing around the table at lunch, she would have to go due to other unacceptable social behaviour?
It wasn’t, but I’m still tense…
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