I’m including this entry from my paper diary so that I can laugh at and deride it later.
Mon 26 August 2013
From the minute she woke up, Mini Minx was champing at the bit to do her first day of nursery. “Is it time? Is it time, yet?” she asked again and again.
Mini insisted on wearing a dress. To nursery. Where there’s paint and glue and mud and snotty noses. And glitter. Shit – glitter… Oh man, I forgot all about the glitter… I suggested trousers. She looked defiant. I tried to sell the advantages of the trousers. She stuck out her bottom lip and glowered at me. She won: black and pink Mickey Mouse dress with mismatched navy tights and shiny purple shoes it is, then!
It went well with the little drawstring bag I made her last night to hold her plimsolls and change of clothes. There was just enough of the blue cupcake fabric left from making her apron and chef’s hat for her birthday to do it. Well, I’d made her sisters little double-layered, velcro’d playpiece napkins* for their first day at school that they actually liked and still use, so I needed to do something for Mini, too.
The drawstring bag!
*Napkins?! Naw, I’m not going poncy: both older girls had specifically asked that I hand-make them something they could take to school on their first day. And I was really fed up with fruit that was too big for plastic pots ending up mushed all over books. So wrap-up napkins it was.
But the poor mite had a long wait, even after I dropped her big sisters off at school; we had a really exciting (!) day ahead. I patiently repeated the plan: go back and put on a washing, do a little cleaning and hoovering, and make lots of phonecalls (2 x estate agents, window cleaners, car service, trying to book Mini’s MMR booster, Midi’s hearing test appointment [if she passes, she’ll finally be discharged from the ENT consultant!]).
Mini had a very serious snack (orange juice carton and orange juice raisins). I say serious because she sat up at the breakfast bar quietly and just got on with eating and drinking till it was all done, and then insisted on getting down herself: “I a big gi’l, Mummy! I can get down myself!” she hotly declared. “I don’ need your help! I a nursery gel!”
She helped me wash my hair at the sink with the big plastic jug and giggled over helping me blow-dry my hair. Baby girl, have you seen your own fluffy cloud of hair recently? Stop laughing at your mother’s bad barnet!
To kill time, I took photos of her all ready to go, with her drawstring back on her back, her little bunches in, and a look of devilment in her eye. She carefully inspected her coat, shoes and plimsolls, pointing out to me where her name was (em, yeah, what a surprise – do you think they just magically appeared there?). She put them on with great, serious pride and pomp and ceremony. We had time to go to the recycling centre (she reminded me that the signs said that children had to stay in the car. “Not like last time, Mummy; I not allowed out”. Yes. Oops) then the pet supply shop for clumping cat litter. That the man carried out to the car for me because it was too heavy. Bless – I probably could have carried him and his bag out, but it was very kind.
Finally, at long, long last, it was time to go to the nursery. When Mrs M opened the door and beckoned us in, Mini marched seriously in, ignoring the nice compliments her teacher made about her dress. I discovered that she wasn’t expected until the next intake, on Friday. But honestly, the letter had said today, in Group 2! They were great about it, and found a little tag for Mini. She decided where she wanted her peg to be, and put the name tag beside it. Luckily, she can recognise her name! And what a contrast to her elder sisters’ arrival at school.
She made a bee-line for the first toys at the door, then drifted from one solitary play activity to another. I kept very much in the background, just seeing that she was happy and content to get on and play. I intervened only when she wanted to paint – Put on an apron! She studiously painted many long lines of thick splodgy paint in the red, yellow, pink and blue available. She artistically mixed a few lines and declared it all done. “I like stripes”, she said. “Lots and lots of stripes”. She got really excited about the wooden food toys. We had a lovely time making a proper ‘Mr Strong’ breakfast with her cooking up wooden boiled eggs and setting them out, then pouring us tea.
Soon she was taken away to wash her hands and have a snack. She chose milk and apple. She entirely forgot to say any pleases or thank yous, which probably showed how uncomfy she felt – she’s normally a very polite child. Even whilst she’s beating up her sisters. I think she felt quite cowed by these older, adult women making a fuss of her. She only really needed me there once or twice, otherwise she was happy to play by herself. We’ll see how she is tomorrow when she’s there all morning on her own!
At home time (2.45pm) she was happy to leave, but happy to know she’d return. She was desperate to tell her sisters all about her time at nursery. Her Grumps rang to find out how today had gone, and Mini was delighted to be able to tell him and Grandma all her news. It was so thoughtful of them to remember, and to care enough to call her!
Another first today: homework for the elder minxes! Maxi’s reading book was the one immediately after the last one she read in June (excellent!), so she polished that off, 2 pages of coin arithmetic and her spelling homework, all in one half-hour.
Midi had been given a reading book that was a whole level above where she’d been. Crikey, I wasn’t looking forward to this… I listened to her read in amazement – where had she learned this fluency?! I’d known that she’d kept up her reading through the summer, but I’d no idea that she’d improved so much! She read with great gusto, infusing the dreary Biff, Chip and Kipper books with life and expression. What a girl! She also did a sheet of simple adding arithmetic and her 4 word spelling homework in one half-hour.
I probably shouldn’t have let them do their week’s homework in one go, and turfed them out in the sunshine (with the eerie ribbon of haar sea fog just the other side of the A90), but they were so keen! They literally begged me to let them do it all. How could I refuse?!
I let them watch the rest of the Cars 2 DVD on the laptop after dinner and stay up a little later than normal, as a treat for being such well-behaved girls this afternoon. Yep, we still haven’t plumbed-in the TV. I’m not missing it at all. And listening to Midi gibbering nonsense she was parrotting from a TV program at her poor Grumps over the phone (he was well and truly Midi’d), I won’t be letting them near CITV or CBBC anytime soon.