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Why do you do this to me? - A letter to my boy

By 16:57:00 ,

First day at nursery

To my dear son

It's been a few weeks now since you started going to nursery and I hope that you are enjoying it. Whenever I pick you up you are happy and are either running around in the garden, playing with the other children and the toys. The staff always tell me that you've been good as gold and although you are the youngest in the group it certainly doesn't prevent you from doing anything the others do.

You always finish your packed lunch, drink most of your drink and eat your snack - surely if you were unhappy at nursery you wouldn't do that, and I know you are not trading food with the other children and you are not feeding it to the dog like you would at home so you must be eating it.

But despite your apparent happiness when I pick you up, you always get so upset when either of us drop you off at nursery. When I took you in last week you were crying as soon as we pulled into the car park. You normally take your seatbelt off after I undo the buckle but I had to do it this time and when I put you down on the floor you hugged my leg and wanted to be carried.

I sign you in, hang up your coat and bags but you still clung to me sobbing quietly. You know what is coming, you know you are going to nursery for the morning, that you will be staying here without me or Daddy and you don't want me to leave you. I take you into the classroom and try to get you to join in with other children sitting at one of the tables but you don't want to and you really start to cry.

One of the teachers takes you from me against your will and you go to a quiet room with her. She sits and reads to you and I make a swift exit. I hear you crying your eyes out and as always it takes every ounce of strength in me not to run back to you and try to comfort you, but I don't give in to you as I know that will make things worse.

'He'll be ok' another of the teachers reassures me on my way out and I nod in agreement. I hear the words and repeat them to myself but some small part of me still worries about him, even though I know when I return he will be happy and running around with the other children.

I go home and try to enjoy the new freedom I have, a few hours without you where I can catch up on chores, answer my emails or go shopping without you in tow but I feel like a part of me is missing and it feels strange when you are not with me.

When I finally go back to collect you, you are happy as a lark running around, it takes you a few minutes to even notice that I have come back for you and even then you seem a bit reluctant to leave. The staff tell me you cried for only a few minutes and once I was gone you calmed down and went off to play as if nothing had ever happened.

So my question to you is this - why do you do this to me? Why do you get upset when I am there dropping you off even though you know you will have fun and you know that I will come back for you as I always do. Why do you get upset everytime? You rarely get upset when I drop you off with either of your grandmothers and you are with them for much longer and they have fewer toys for you to play with.

Is it the children? Is this some sort of nursery initiation rite of passage that you have to fulfil as set out by them? Are you just copying other children in the room? Perhaps you are testing me, testing the boundaries I've set, perhaps you are attempting to manipulate me, trying to make me feel guilty for leaving you.

Whatever the reason I hope this all ends very soon. I want to see you go running in with a big smile on your face, I want to see you playing with the other children the minute you step inside the room, I want you to run off without giving me a second look and not look so happy to see me when I come back, but most of all I want you to be happy. That's all I care about.

With love

Mum x

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  1. This is both sad and so relateable. I hope it gets easier for both of you.
    Naomi xxx

  2. I have felt like asking this exact question so many times. My eldest has been at nursery for a while now, he settled in quite easily but every now and then, for seemingly no reason, he will have a week or two of this kind of upsetting behaviour, then he will go back to normal, running through the door without even looking back at me! Kids have their own perception of the world, I'm not sure i'll ever understand!xx #sharingthebloglove

  3. I remember asking this so many times after awful drop offs. But then one day it just stopped. He's going through a bit of a tough phase with this again at pick ups, as he's been having settling in sessions for his move to a new room next week. I feel if he's this unsettled before even moving I'm dreading what next week will be like. But I know that he'll settle back down after a bit, and I also know he's so happy there most of the time, we just need to get over this little hump. But it's so tough when you're there in the thick of it. I really hope it gets better for you very soon. Thanks for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

  4. It must be really hard to have to go through this every time. I was really lucky that Alice never cried once when she started at preschool. But I would see lots of parents peeling their child of them and handing them over and it was heartbreaking. To be honest it was mainly boys, they do seem to find it harder than girls. I hope it improves soon for you. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove x

  5. Well... I thought kids wanting to go to preschool depended on the preschool, but now I wonder if it's just the personality of the kids?

    Mine seemed happy to get away. This kind of hurts now that I think about it.....But they were thrilled to see me again when I picked them up.

    It's probably just his way of showing you how much he loves you.