First day at nursery

I knew this day was approaching but as it grew nearer the feeling of apprehension grew stronger and stronger. The first day of nursery, I just knew deep down that it  wasn’t something I was going to handle well. I knew I would be upset at leaving my little boy in the arms of a stranger. What would I do if he started to cry? How would I be able to bring myself to just walk away at that moment?

For my little man this wasn’t a new experience. He had been going to his nursery for a couple of weeks for some orientation time. It started off with an hour with his mum, then 2 hours with his carer until he spent close to a full day there yesterday. All this time however it was his mum who was taking him. I for my part have been anxious and wondering how he is doing but for the large part my day had not changed, I went to work like I normally did.

I know that he has been enjoying it and all of the reports his mum brings back about his carer and everything he is doing in a day is all positive. I have been to see the nursery myself and it looks great, big rooms, lots to do and even a huge play area with ball pools and Jungle Jim type activities.

All of this however, just would not appease my mind that only wanted to focus on the fact that today, I was going to be taking him and leaving him at nursery and it was going to be all day. I was up early, ready far too early and had the little man ready 25 minutes before I had to leave. For anyone that knows me that is a minor miracle but it also made it a bit harder as I was now sat waiting and thinking.

When it was time to leave we gave his mum a kiss goodbye and I put him in his car seat. I looked back to the house where the door was still open, his mum with tears rolling down her cheeks. This wasn’t an easy time for either of us. For her it was truly the end of a big part of her life and the start of something new for our son. It took me a further attempt after lots of hugs with his mum before I managed to get in the car and get on my way. Our son thankfully oblivious to the emotional wrecks this was making of his parents.

Five minutes later we arrived at nursery. The people there really are lovely and for anyone reading this do take some time in finding the right nursery for you and your children, despite all of this it does make a world of difference. By the time I got to his room I had been greeted by 4 members of staff all bouncy, cheerful and taking great delight at saying good morning to my little man. I passed him over to his carer and instantly he burst into tears, my heart sank. I knew I had to go, I really didn’t want to. Leaving my sobbing boy in the arms of someone I had met once is honestly the hardest thing I have ever done. Outside it was my turn to burst into tears which isn’t me to be so open with my feelings. It took every ounce of will power to refrain from peering in the windows or worse still running back in to give him a big hug.

To say it has been a long day would be an understatement. I did manage to keep busy and I did resist the urge to be ringing nursery every 5 minutes to ensure he was OK, I have to trust in them. I collected him at 5.30 and he burst into tears again as soon as he saw me, but came scampering over to me non the less. He was fine, I was relieved and so happy to see him. His carer gave me a quick run down on his day, told me how well he settling in and how great his laugh is, which was nice to hear as it does mean he is enjoying it and laughing.

Getting home it took a little while for him to warm up, almost felt like he was ignoring us or giving us a cold shoulder for leaving him. He did warm and what happened next blew me away. He likes to stand but always holding on to something. His free-standing is what you would expect of a 10 month old. Tonight however, something had changed. He stood there all on his own, for what felt like an eternity. Then out of the blue a tiny miracle as he took that one first solitary step. It was amazing to see, made me so proud as his dad to see my little boy take his first step.

It has been a difficult and emotional day but to see his first step at the end of it made it so special as well. Going to nursery tomorrow will still be hard but made all the easier by knowing that it his helping him develop, he enjoys it and well it’s day number two and it has to get easier with time…. I hope.

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Is taking part all that matters?

We are well into the Olympics and have seen some monumental performances form some of our sports men and women. Bradley Wiggins epitomizes what a winning mentality can bring you. Fresh off the back of winning the world’s toughest bike race the Tour de France, he put in a hard shift in the mens road race and then blitzed to victory in the mens time trial.

For every great performance with 10 medals at the time of writing there does seem to be an equal number of athletes who’s aims are much lower. Athletes who seem content with getting to a final and are not disappointed, even to the point of being pleased about finishing 7th or 8th in that final.

So I ask the question is the taking part in the Olympics all that matters? Is this the lesson we should be teaching our children?

Our rowers leave everything on the water. Blood, sweat and tears, you can see at the end there is nothing left to give, everything is put into winning a medal or in some cases striving for the ultimate gold medal. The men’s lightweight four were disappointed with Silver, they wanted gold. Likewise our mens eight felt bronze wasn’t enough for them. Bradley Wiggins stated in interview that he came for gold and that any other colour didn’t matter to him. Is it in the coaching, are our cyclists and rowers taught to win and that is what is most important, but in other sports such as swimming, just being in the olympics is achievement enough?

I personally want to win or be the best at everything I do. Second best is not something I have ever aspired to be. Whilst in adult life I have learnt to at least accept second as long as I know I have given 100%,  it is still not something I am ever proud of. In my teens I represented my county at cross-country, my town in football and had county trials in cricket yet it’s only the wins I ever really remember. Some may suggest reaching county level is a great achievement and in some respects they are right, but to me, in reality, it means I wasn’t good enough to reach the top.

My son is only 10 months old but as he grows and develops both me and his mum will guide him in what we expect of him and what he should expect of himself. We both take a view that he should strive to be the very best at what he does. I would rather see him take the Bradley Wiggins, or our rowers approach and aim for gold. By aiming high we have seen all of these perform to a level they should be proud of because they know, they have given absolutely everything to try to achieve their goals. If my son can say that in everything he does, then I know he will be a success in what ever it is he hopes to accomplish in life.

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