Aimee Horton

When you have to do the nursery dance…


So.  Nursery.  A controversal subject at the best of times (my grandma in-law informed me I was selfish for sending my children to nursery and going to work).  To me, nursery is great – not just because I’m an awful mother and don’t actually enjoy the whole craft/messy play malarky, but also, I have really seen my children benefit from nursery.  Their social skills, independence, language and development I feel has really come on.  I say “their” Fatso doesn’t really count.

I’m not saying it’s for everybody, for example, my sister is the most amazing mummy, she thrived on having her boys at home (something I’m actually super envious of, I was I was a better mum and missed my children when they are at nursery), and they are both super clever these days.  HOWEVER, for me and the boys – I think it’s the best thing they do.  And given the fact I’ve just made what could potentially be a life changing decision (this will no doubt be blogged about in the future, when the kinks are worked out), means I had to revist the thought of nursery.  I decided I’d rather not drink alcohol then not send my children to nursery.  I’m not going to pretend part of this decision isn’t selfish.  The boys. And Me.  At home – 5 days a week. Sounds like a frickin’ nightmare, however for them, I think it’s an essential part of their lives, so I will work my hardest to keep them there.

Whilst I’m raving about nursery, it also frustrates me that we have to continuously carry out the nursery “dance”.  Not so much right now, but previously.  All nurserys have their faults, ours on a whole is great, in fact, I really rate them (well one of the owners I love, the other one looks like she’s been hit with a spade and has an attitude to say she might have deserved it – but I don’t have much to do with her, and neither do the boys)…HOWEVER there are issues I’ve had to work through.  I’ve complained quite a lot – I think I’m known as a bit of a cow.

The nursery dance consists of a back and forth game where you are competing with nursery to try and keep your child in nursery for a WHOLE DAY without a phone call, a few examples of this dance consist of:

1. The Runny Eyes – Larry went through a stage of having a really bad cold, and it was in his eyes too.  The doctor confirmed that it was NOT conjunctivitis, and that it was infact snot, sometimes rubbed into his eyes, the others just runny eyes.  For a bout two weeks we had to follow the same process of picking him up – if we made it to the end of the day they’d inform us they’d had to wipe his eyes THREE TIMES that day.  The next morning we wipe the sleep out of his eyes and double check in the car as we drop him off, and then inevitably when you have to go and pick him up his eyes are clear (we JUST WIPED them Mrs Horton, HONEST), we get him home, no runny eyes, and the next day it happens again.

2. The REALLY Poorly Child – Then there’s the temperature.  I get a call saying one of the boys has a temperature and really isn’t himself, in fact he’s been quiet and poorly all day, and not touched his lunch.  To begin with I’d go and collect him straight away feeling it was my duty as a mummy.  Now that’s not the case. We used to get home and after a dose of Calpol (I BLOODY LOVE THAT STUFF) he’d be running around the house stuffing his face and pretending to be Buzz Frickin’ Lightyear.  These days I inform them to drug him up and call me in half an hour if he’s no better.  I’ve rarely had that second phone call.

3. The Sicky Fib – Now this is a eep situation.  I don’t want to send a poorly child to nursery, as it’s the other children that suffer from it.  However, you’ve got to work out what’s actual ill and what’s not.  Nursery have a rule that the children aren’t allowed back for 3 days if they’ve been sick.  So when Larry threw up one Saturday night, on the Monday I had to make an executive decision – he only threw up once, and throughout Sunday he was happy (as Larry) and bouncing his fatness about all over the place stuffing his face and playing.  I predicted that he may have just chocked on a bit of dribble (or pie he’d stored away in his cot for a later date).  So I didn’t tell nursery.  Is this wrong?

Now I’m free and easy it’s not as much of an issue, I’ll go and collect them, but picking up/keeping at home, none ill children is difficult for working mums and dads.  Nursery also sometimes tends to forget, that the majority of parents send their kids their because they go out to work.  Two phone calls stick in my mind.

1. I worked over an hour away from nursery – they knew this – and I got a call at 4pm in the snow one year saying “we’re closing in half an hour as it’s snowy, can you come and get the boy”.  er. Not really no.

2. I was in a meeting, in Leeds, and Matt was in Scotland.  The meeting was quite important.  When they called to say “come and get Larry he has a sticky eye” I had to inform them that my meeting didn’t finish for another hour then I was a couple of hours away.  They actually said “oh just leave the meeting he has a sticky eye”.  Er. Not that simple.  I know it SOUNDS simple, but in life sometimes it’s not that easy.

Reading back – I realise I give the impression that I don’t want to spend time with my children.  I have a feeling this will be another post.  And with that – I’m off to get the children.  They’ve made an entire day.  I’m shocked.

When it’s birthday party time…


SO.  One thing that crossed my mind when I left my job is that I can at least organise a birthday bash for The Beast.  HOW exciting.  He’s big enough to understand birthdays now – well to a fashion, it’s been his birthday for the last week, and it’s been daddy’s birthday every day since Sunday (when it was actually Daddy’s birthday!).

Therefore this week was mission birthday party.  I MAY have put a teeensyweeenssyy bit of pressure on myself.  Just a tad.  This birthday we haven’t just invited friends and family, we’ve gone that one step further and invited friends from “school”.  I asked Nursery to provide me with a list of Theo’s top 5 friends and from that I sent out invitations.  All the mummies appear lovely, however I have this little bit that I NEED TO BE THE BEST.  Especially as I look a bit wobbly and slummy since I’ve been back at home.

We’re having a picnic at the local park “near the swings”, it’s very exciting, all the kids are excited and the parents seem up for it.  Although I’m slightly worried about one thing.  This year is a year when I can’t oversee the gifts.  Usually without fail, the outlaws cause me pain.  They go off and use their “initiative” and buy gifts that go against what I want in my house.  Last year, when I was highly strung, hormonal and pregnant, they thought it was a good idea to buy some “surprises” .  One of those surprises happened to be a Xylophone.  I’ve specifically said all along that I don’t want musical instruments in the house – not being mean (much) but he plays with them at nursery and I like him to have different toys (that wont result in me getting violent).  This fell into the same selective hearing option that most things I say to Theo and Matt go.  The xylophone hasn’t been used as a musical instrument since the day they demonstrated it to the boy, it was used as a skate board, and often as a “booby trap” by this I mean he would skate and then get bored, leave it behind me for me to trip over.  In fat pregnant rage about a month after his birthday I stood on the “skateboard” and skidded across the kitchen catching my arm on the breakfast bar, that was the end of that, I picked it up, and stuffed it with perhaps more force then necessary under the sofa in the day room (I think I may have then spent about 5 minutes swearing as I tried to stand up again), it remained there until February this year when Matt and his Mum found it when they were wallpapering.  Oops.

ANYWAY, I digress (sorry Ju – I was a bit pregnant, BUT IT WASN’T ON THE LIST!!), so I’m scared about what we will get this year.  The parents have all actually asked, but in trying to be “breezy” I want them to think I take everything in my stride, so I’ve chosen the “oohhh no, just don’t go to any trouble!” approach.  This is causing me sleepless nights – I will update you.

The party bags have been packed, the picnic has been planned the most AMAZING Buzz Lightyear balloon has been purchased (it cost a fortune but Matt things it cost £2.50) and I had the cake all planned. Every year I make the cake, and every year I fail.  This year was going to be DIFFERENT.

I’m typing this as I sit in our kitchen/dayroom, netbook at the dining table, and I’m surrounded by multiple colours of ready to roll icing.  I went to a special shop (recommended by twitter) to get the perfect purple, greens and blues.  I baked the perfect cake (and it does taste good), and I designed everything.  Things went wrong with the actual decoration, I took a photo (I wont be showing you) called my mum at home and had a flap then called Matt at work.  No amount of reassurance has calmed me down.  It looked SHIT.  I mean.  There’s shit, and then there’s “oh did you let Theo decorate it himself what a clever idea!” shit.  I may have not helped matters by in a tantrum when another bit of icing fell apart I pulled all the icing off and make the cake fell apart.

So now I’m on panic stations.  Do I go to Sainsbogs and buy a cake and have a go at faffing it around so I can pretend it’s mine?  Do I bake well into the night and end up with something I will inevitably not be happy with?  Who knows.  Oh – and I wont be telling you as when you see photos of the party I want you to think it’s my art work and I was over exaggerating 😉