Last year, I struggled a lot as my firstborn child, my 4 year old daughter, ran into her classroom on her first day of school. I knew I wouldn’t cope well, but my younger daughter helped. She was with me, to hold my hand with her little fingers, she was there to make me laugh endlessly and she was there for all the extra cuddles and kisses I needed. At the end of this week, it will be her turn to attend nursery for the first time.
In the UK, there is a home visit and settling in period when children start school or nursery. This puts both children and parents at ease, it helps to know each child better and to create an understanding, comforting and strong relationship between staff, parents and children. It also enables staff members to see the environment in which a child lives, which certainly affects their well-being. I believe everyone would benefit immensely if we had this practice in Kurdistan too. As a nation we deeply love and cherish children, especially in modern days, we encourage education and equality for both girls and boys. Therefore, processes like settling in periods and home visits should be emulated in order for a smooth transition and communication.
Although I now also have a 3 month old baby, I feel as though I am losing a huge part of the laughter and joy in my days. I have known this day will come for a while now, but I feel mentally and emotionally unprepared.
As a baby, she went through major separation anxiety for a few months; I couldn’t even leave a room without her crying her heart out. On her first day at nursery, I will be the one to experience that separation anxiety; I might even take a comforter with me, in the form of a piece of cake and packet of tissues haha! For she lights up my days, my sleepy mornings and my tired evenings. She has flourished into a superb, hilarious, considerate and adventurous awesome individual!
Although she still seems to be stuck by my side all the time, and she will argue with everyone in the family who dares to sit closer to me than she may be, I’m certain she will love and light up the nursery with her presence and her wonderful character. While I lose a great friend for some hours every day, the nursery staff and her peers will gain the most incredible, funny and affectionate little friend they could ever have!
Some days, she pushes me to the very edge when she refuses to acknowledge me as I talk to her, when she knowingly does something she isn’t allowed to whilst laughing to herself and when she eats my food every time I dare to leave the room. Yet, I will miss it all, I will miss her sweet little face, that spark in her eyes, her rosy cheeks, her warm and soft little hands that always slip into mine as we walk, her proud stompy walk and the sweet yet demanding voice she uses to ask for treats!
I know she will always be there to comfort her friends, I know she will be singing throughout every activity and I know she will probably come home muddy and messy. But what I know most of all, is that I am already missing her and I envision her running into my arms when I pick her up, wrapping her little arms around me, pouting and saying ‘I mishhhed [miss] you mummy’.
I always use my father’s wisdom to get through challenging stages such as this one. He always tells me, “There is goodness in every phase of life. When your days are busy and loud, enjoy it. When they are quiet, enjoy it also. When you work enjoy being productive, when you don’t work, enjoy all you do in your time.”
So I will enjoy some of the silence, warm cups of tea and cosy cuddles with my newborn baby, before everyone is home again; bombarding me with all their news of the day and all the glorious art work/ notes they will bring me home. That’s when I know I did cross their minds, they actually missed me too, and all will be well in the world again.
I wish everyone smooth transitions as your children settle into nursery. We are sending incredible little human beings out to discover and put their marks on the world, so congratulations to us all in this new phase in our lives!