In my last entry I mentioned that I was taking Ted to visit my best friend and that when I got back I would be visiting nurseries. Both of those things have now happened and we survived!
The journey to Kent (three hours away) was fine. Ted only got grumpy in the last ten minutes and that was our own fault for taking a wrong turn and delaying our arrival past his bottle time.
He was an absolute dream at his Auntie’s house and didn’t show any signs of stranger anxiety (he hasn’t seen her in seven months as I don’t drive). In fact, he loved her. She kept building towers that he was duty-bound to destroy. What more could a boy want?
The journey home was more difficult. There were a couple of hold-ups, one of which was when he needed feeding and we were ten miles from a service station – an excellent time for a police car to swerve across all three lanes to keep us all back while he located and removed “debris on the road” (a laundry basket).
The worst part was that even though he slept well at his Auntie’s he decided he didn’t need to sleep the night we got home. Luckily BabyDaddy had missed him so much he was happy to run around after him while I collapsed onto the sofa.
Then came the more terrifying prospect of nursery visits.
I popped in to work to speak to one of the Childcare lecturers for advice on what to look for and the kind of questions I needed to ask, then off we went.
I could hardly breathe on the way to the first one but as soon as I got inside I knew I was doing the right thing. Ted sat down and played with the other babies happily while I looked around; the manager told me everything I wanted to know; the questions I asked were answered immediately without any need to pause and think; the facilities were exactly what I wanted. And did I mention that Ted was playing happily?
I was also happy with the fact that the only one of my ex-students working there was one I would trust with my baby even if she was alone with him. Which she never will be, but y’know.
The next nursery I visited – the one I was most expecting to like and which has an excellent reputation – I hated. As soon as I walked in I knew it wasn’t for me. The manager hardly spoke and I had to think about what they’d said in the previous nursery in order to work out questions to ask so I’d seem interested. I didn’t like the baby room, the babies didn’t seem happy and the only one of my ex-students there would not be one I’d leave my baby with if she was alone.
So I’ve decided on the first nursery. I don’t want to look at any more because it felt right and I’m happy. It has an excellent OFSTED report and there was nothing niggling when I’d gone home.
I feel much more positive about Ted going to nursery now. As BabyDaddy is now working at the same college I work at we can apply for family-friendly hours and Ted won’t need to go to nursery for many hours, but now rather than feeling like he has to go I actually want him to. We could probably manage without any childcare at all but I think he’ll be happy.
I’ll cry but it’ll be good for Ted. That’s what matters, after all.