This morning as I dropped the little lady off to nursery, I couldn’t help but smile knowingly at one of the other mums looking flustered coming up the stairs with her son in one arm, and his bag, jacket and other toddler paraphernalia in the other as I overheard her saying to him “Come on, you’re going to be ok. Look there’s everybody!!”. I wasn’t sure whether her forced enthusiasm was for her benefit or his. He looked as cool as a cucumber. If anything she was the one that was looking slightly distressed by their morning experience. However, any parent will know that looks can be deceiving and for all I know he could have been about to have a major meltdown (incident 3) the moment they stepped in that classroom door. I didn’t stick around to see. I managed to drop off my little person this morning without any clingy koala bear moments (incident 1) or tears (incident 2) and as any parent with a child in nursery will know, once you’ve dropped them off in their room you don’t look back, you saunter as quickly as you can so that they don’t pick up on any signs of weakness and try to pull an incident 1, 2 or 3 on you.
As I ran down the stairs and towards the door I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself thinking about how similar our experiences as parents are, and of some of the times that the little lady has blindsided me with one of these incidental delights during the morning drop off. So I thought I’d share some forewarning for the parents who have yet to experience one of these, or some laughs for those that have. Here’s typically how they go;
An Incident 1 Scenario AKA The Clingy Koala Bear: You dare to break routine for a lovely family holiday/break/day off (fill in the blank) and attempt to return to said routine like nothing has happened or changed, but your little prince or princess didn’t get the memo. Routine is king to these little people and they may have just assumed that spending all day with mummy and/or daddy was the new routine. Cue one clingy koala bear when you try to drop them off at nursery on day one post your holiday. As you attempt to routinely hand them over to their key worker or the nearest staff member, you find that they are suddenly glued to you like a limpet, firmly refusing to let go and genuinely confused at why you are both there in the first place. After much placating, promises to pick them up after work along with your choice of bribe, the staff manage to finally peel them off of you.
An Incident 2 Scenario AKA The Tears: They usually come out of nowhere, all of a sudden and without warning. One moment everything is fine and the morning routine appears to be going to plan, but the moment you hand them over and attempt to leave they start to cry for no real or apparent reason. Some of us parents attempt to stay and try to calm them down and figure out what is wrong. Others hot foot it leaving the poor bewildered staff to deal with the incident. However in the end the result is the same. Whether you stay or go they will cry until they are ready to stop, or unless you take them home, and that’s not really an option now, is it.
An Incident 3 Scenario AKA The Major Meltdown: Both a parent and key workers worst nightmare. Major meltdown incidents are explosive and uncontrollable and have the power to set off all the other children. Similar to incident 2, they seem to come from nowhere and without warning but with much more ferocity. I have seen other toddlers self destruct all of a sudden like little grenades, with full on, on the supermarket floor type tantrums. They are destructive and distracting and both parents and staff know that these are dangerous moments for all involved. The situation must be handled swiftly and expertly before the others all realise what is going on and join in. I have often watched the little lady assessing the situation, at which point distraction (think high-pitched, over enthusiastic commentary about what a great day she is going to have), handover and a sharp exit are key.
However, im glad to say that by pick up time all seems to be forgotten by all parties. That is, until tomorrow..
If you have any of your own tongue in check drop off or pick up moments then share them here. It’s always reassuring to hear it isn’t just you, and at the same time have a giggle!