We dropped her off together. I was nervous. We showed them her change of clothes and said there was an extra sweater in her bag in case she got cold. They nodded and politely but firmly took her out of our hands and sent us on our way. I called out a quick “ Have fun sweetie” over my shoulder as we scurried out the door.
I dropped the Frenchman off at the bus stop and I went to a café for breakfast. The same café I often go with Eloise. I read the paper. I ate eggs on toast. I drank two big cups of coffee. I checked my phone no less than 6 times to make sure the nursery hadn’t called me to say there was a problem.
I went to a singing group with a friend with twins. Helping her with one of her daughters who is only two days older than Eloise. I felt like I was cheating on my kid.
I went home, passing the street where her nursery is. I was convinced that I could hear her crying. I kept walking. Pulling my coat closer around me against the cold and wiping a tear from my eye.
I cleaned the house. Vacuumed her room, our room, the bed. I washed her clothes. I did the dishes. Instead of eating lunch I kept on cleaning. Vacuuming the downstairs. I constantly checked my watch and my phone.
I gathered her library books, put my coat on and went out to drop them off at the library. I rushed back to her nursery school. Heart racing as I opened the gate. And then I heard the sound I was dreading. Before I even made it to the door. I could hear my child screaming from within the building. I rang the doorbell.
“She wasn’t like this all day!” They put her in my arms and she quickly stopped crying and instead of burrowing her head against my neck like I expected, she looked around at everyone in the nursery and smiled.
Her face had traces of dried vegetables on it. Her clothes stained. Her face happy. They gave me a sheet detailing her day. When she slept (they got her to nap! Twice!) What she ate (Wheetabix and Roast vegetables – so grown-up!) and at the bottom of the page it said.
Today I enjoyed playing with: Cornflower and Musical Toys.
And despite her tears I felt sure that I had made the right choice.