The First Day Of Pre-School

It all started off pretty happily. Little Z was very excited to be going to “nursery”, just like his big Cousin A and had been asking and asking and asking for weeks if he could go too.

I think I was the more nervous one. But it was just induction for a couple of hours so it couldn’t be too bad really. Could it?

We arrived at our allocated time and a kind faced girl came to open the door, gave Little Z a big hello and announced to the both of us that she was going to be his keyworker. She was absolutely lovely and I took an instant liking to her. I relaxed even more when I saw how she drew the little kids towards her like little magnets with one in particular showering her with kisses periodically.

Little Z on the other hand decided he felt very dubious about the whole pre-school thing and didn’t relax or take his coat off for about half an hour. Once he looked settled the plan was for me to sneak off and come back after an hour to help him start to get used to it by himself for a short burst.

I failed at the slick exit quite spectacularly as Little Z busted me and instantly bawled for me not to go. I kept telling myself it was only an hour and it would be fine and marched out of the building as fast as I could. In hindsight I probably should have stayed with him the entire time and saved the “leaving test” for the second session.

I have to admit the urge to find a window for spying was pretty strong as was just sitting in my car for an hour and I did half wonder if mums, in time gone by have actually scaled the building looking for a good spot to just watch their child.

The Other Half and I both went to pick him an hour later and he was happily playing on the indoor slide with a couple of other little boys. Apparently he cried for about 20 minutes (which, to me, is long!) but was fine after that although he kept checking his lovely keyworker was still in sight.

He abandoned the slide as soon as he saw us and declared we should “go home now”. His keyworker kept emphasising how well he had done for his first day and we were semi assured that it wasn’t a complete disaster. He jumped into his car seat at lightning speed and announced he was never coming back.

Uh oh.

So, if I’m honest it didn’t feel much like a magic moment. As he’s only going twice a week it feels like the whole settling in phase is going to take a long time. I know in time I’ll look back on his first day as a sweet moment and a big milestone but right now it all feels a bit meh!

Hopefully this week might be a little better.

Post Comment Love


  1. Sarah MumofThree World March 3, 2014 / 6:25 am

    I hope this week goes a bit better. Settling in can be tough for some children. All of my kids did two full days at nursery from six months. Until the day he left, my eldest cried on drop-off, but he was fine all day. The other two were fine with nursery, but my daughter couldn’t settle at playgroup and I had to stay with her for the first three or four sessions.
    But they all grow to love it in the end – they get a real sense of belonging and independence – and they make some lovely friends.
    Good luck, it will be fine!
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  2. Kellit1085 March 3, 2014 / 9:10 am

    My daughter was the same at her first session and had a few tears but was happy to play.

    The next time I took her she did say in the car not to leave her again and to stay and play. With a bit of reassurance from me & explaining i had “busy jobs” to do so pre-school would be more fun for her she was fine.

    He will settle in eventually hun keep telling him what a big boy he is engage him in telling you what he’s been uo too & be overly exited. He will learn to love it. Madison runs in now without a second look at me & sometimes no goodbye kiss πŸ™

  3. jollyjillys March 3, 2014 / 9:34 am

    Ah I do remember what that feels like letting your baby go off for the first time. Its been awhile for me but it does get better really lol. Before you know it you will be so used to it and everyone will settle down. I have done the pre school, off to university , getting married the empty nest lol the lot and I am still going .
    Hope it all goes well keep smiling
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  4. Leanne Rain March 3, 2014 / 10:13 am

    Awww the 1st day is the hardest.. but overtime he will love it. I had the opposite with my youngest son, he was so excited to go to school just like his big brother, he hopped skipped and jumped into nursery without a bye, a kiss nothing!!! I was stood there feeling rather deflated lol πŸ™‚ x #magicmoments
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  5. shahnaz March 3, 2014 / 10:18 am

    Sounds like he did really well x it can take sometime to settle, its such an emotional time for you both x hope it all continues to go well xxx #magicmoments
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  6. March 3, 2014 / 12:32 pm

    If it will help…our eldest cried ALL day for 9 weeks when he first started nursery…and 20 mins is just enough for Little Z to discover that there is loads of fun. Am sure he will have a great time there #MagicMoments recently posted…Double Trouble – it was her!My Profile

  7. TheBoyandMe March 3, 2014 / 1:37 pm

    The Boy only went twice a week as well and it did make the settling in process a bit longer, but it’s a necessary evil for both you and him. Before you know it he will be looking forward to going and playing with his friends in nursery. I can’t believe The Boy is halfway through his first year in school!
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  8. Susan Mann March 3, 2014 / 1:54 pm

    Bless his wee cotton socks. It’s so difficult for us to see them so upset. I’m hoping things go better for this week. Hugs x
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  9. Donna March 3, 2014 / 2:32 pm

    Oh LP starts preschool in September. I am dreading the settling in sessions and then her starting – I’m sure she’ll love it though! x
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  10. Iona@Redpeffer March 3, 2014 / 7:45 pm

    It’s all such an incredible balancing act isn’t it. Trying to judge when to stay, whether to stay etc. My mum tells me the story of when she was a teacher and every day this little girl would sob when her mum dropped her off. One day my mum said to the girl’s mother to wait and take a peek in the classroom window once the class were settled. Because my mum knew that within a few minutes the girl was settled and fine, every day, despite the sobbing first thing x
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  11. 3yearsandhome March 3, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    Oh gosh, you poor, poor thing. I hope it gets better. It’s such a heartbreaking time. I still don’t enjoy dropping CK off and the moment he coughs, I have been known to ask him if he wants to stay home (a bonus of working from home). Fingers crossed it’s better next time for you both xx
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  12. LauraCYMFT March 3, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    Oh bless him and you. I didn’t have any trouble with my Z going but I had a hard time with C. She only went 2 days a week for her first year at nursery. She would get upset when I’d leave her but she did eventually settle when she made some friends. I hope it doesn’t take him too long to get settled in. It’s not a nice feeling thinking they are missing you or not having fun.
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  13. Mummy's to do list March 3, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    Ah, I’m sure he’ll settle in in no time. Our little one moved up from the baby room to the toddler one at nursery today and she was a little bit unsure first thing but fine by the end of the day, although she has been there a year so less of a shock. It’s still hard to leave though when you know they’re upset. Good luck for this week. #magicmoments
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  14. Sam March 3, 2014 / 9:05 pm

    JJ’s nursery (when he was two) actually had full length glass windows to the corridor (but kind of obscured from the inside) so I was able to see that, even though he cried when I left, he stopped almost immediately after I walked out of the door! I honestly think they just do it to make us feel guilty!
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  15. Lou's Lake Views March 3, 2014 / 9:31 pm

    Aww it’s so hard when they cry isn’t it and you fell so blooming guilty for leaving them but it is such a great experience for them and they learn so much that it is worth it. Trust me, before you know it he’ll be running in to play so quick you’ll be upset that you didn’t get proper goodbye hug!
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  16. Tarana March 3, 2014 / 9:31 pm

    Uh oh, indeed! Schooling is my biggest worry too, and I hope your little guy changes his mind next time!
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  17. brinabird and son March 3, 2014 / 10:16 pm

    The first time is always difficult for the both of you with so many mixed emotions to manage. The wee man has been at nursery since he was 9 months and still ranges between days where he is happy to go in to hanging on to my leg and when he rushes up to me for a big cuddle at going home time or shouting for me to go away and he does not want to go home! It will get easier for both of you I imagine and if you were getting positive vibes from the staff that is important as it will probably be a positive learning experience for him.
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  18. Charly Dove March 3, 2014 / 11:16 pm

    Little Z has a slide?! Oh my word. He will LOVE it in no time – even if he doesn’t like the slide! It’s a good sign it wasn’t continuous crying, it could be worse. You have to walk away quickly though when you drop him off, once he’s settled. As soon as he gets used to his keyworker that will be easier to do. Good luck for this week πŸ™‚
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  19. Sara (@mumturnedmom) March 4, 2014 / 4:07 am

    Oh, I do hope this week is better. It’s very easy for me to say it will get better, but it really will. Once my boys were settled at nursery they would sometimes cry at drop off. I would stand outside the door after I left and listen, worried. It generally took about 15 seconds for them to stop..! #MagicMoments
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  20. Expatmammy March 4, 2014 / 11:44 am

    It’s so heartbreaking isn’t it? You poor thing, I hope it starts to get better. LPV took ages to settle in holland but we got there in the end. Hugs
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  21. Mammasaurus March 4, 2014 / 1:21 pm

    It does get better – in the meantime there’s always biscuits !
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  22. Jess @ Along Came Cherry March 4, 2014 / 7:27 pm

    It’s the worst leaving them when they are crying. Cherry was fine on her first day but after an incident with a little boy she started crying every time I left her for a couple of weeks. And once her keyworker wasn’t there she got so upset that I ended up taking her home again! She loves it now though, keeps asking to stay for longer. I would love to be able to watch her from a platform though to see what she gets up to! x
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  23. Hurrah For Gin March 4, 2014 / 8:48 pm

    Oh Tas so tough! For what its worth though it all sounds completely normal and he will get used to it and love it in to time i’m sure.
    F can’t wait to ditch me now which in other ways is juts as tough πŸ˜‰ x
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  24. jenny paulin March 5, 2014 / 2:31 pm

    awwww i cant believe Z has had his pre school induction already!!!! eeeeeeek!!
    However, i agree that 20 mins is a long time but had he been there for a whole session it is not that long (if that makes sense?!)
    i know he has declared that he does not want to return but it will be ok…….in the end!!
    good luck x x
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  25. Katie @mummydaddyme March 5, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    I hope it gets better lovely. We struggled with Mads for about 8 weeks but she has just started not crying as I leave. She doesn’t go willingly, she still clings to my leg, but they tell me as soon as I have gone she is as happy as larry. I let her get away with murder so I know she would rather be with me but it does her good being there. LL also gets a bit whiney but she has got lots better too. x
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  26. Honest Mum March 6, 2014 / 9:40 pm

    Things will get better honestly. We spend our lives making our kids feel safe and secure so it’s normal and shows we’ve done a great job that they don’t want to flee from us the moment they get the chance (however wonderful the setting)-Oliver was the same and we found starting off with 2 days a week was better than half days, he settled in quicker and loved it. Alexander hasn’t started nursery yet as my folks help but he will in September (much harder for us than them). Sending hugs!
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  27. Michelle @ Bod for tea March 7, 2014 / 6:51 am

    Oh hun I feel for you! The first day at pre-school is so hard. I sat in a coffee shop across the road on Curly Girl’s first day and felt sick the whole time. Turned out she loved it and there were only a few tears but the staff are used to it and are wizards in distracting them. Once they realise Mummy or Daddy is always coming back they seem to settle really well. I bet you find next time he’s much happier. xx
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  28. Alice @ Mums Make Lists March 7, 2014 / 7:30 am

    Oh definitely so hard those first times …. and they don’t definitely go through phases of not wantint to leave you … but so builds their confidence. Would love for you to share … and any of your fave old posts … at this week’s #EmptyYourArchive link party, Alice x

  29. Mummy Whiskers March 7, 2014 / 8:21 am

    We have all this to look forward to, hope next week goes better x #PoCoLo

  30. Katie Clark March 7, 2014 / 12:03 pm

    Sounds like he did really well. The first time is always difficult but it will get better. #PoCoLO
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  31. @katgrant30 aka Bumps and Grind March 7, 2014 / 3:18 pm

    Aw, a big day for the wee one, and for you!

    I’ve been trying unsuccessfully to leave my little one for just an hour at crΓ¨che and he won’t have any of it- uncontrollable crying, to the point where he struggles to breathe! Hopefully just a phase…

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  32. Christina March 7, 2014 / 10:50 pm

    Ah hun! this is very normal and natural! I’m a nursery teacher and it can take children a few times or even months to settle in but they all do eventually. Don’t be disheartened that it didn’t go as well as expected as each child is individual and will settle in their own time and own pace! Hoping his next visit it easier xxxx

  33. Pippa Ainsworth March 7, 2014 / 11:23 pm

    Ah, bless him. I’m sure he will settle soon. I broke my heart after leaving Bud for the first time at nursery and still have wobbles now, even though he’s been going for seven months! I don’t know how I will cope with Reception!
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  34. Faded Seaside Mama March 9, 2014 / 12:04 pm

    Sorry this didn’t quite go as planned, but I’m sure things will get better and easier for both of you as he gets used to the new people in his life. I was the one crying when I first dropped my daughter off at nursery – she ran in, happy as larry to go and play with the other children and toys! Not sure which is worse! Good luck for the next few sessions. x
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  35. susan March 11, 2014 / 6:05 pm

    I am sure it will get better!

  36. Erica Price March 11, 2014 / 8:02 pm

    Hope it improves. We found it a long hard struggle, but he did get there in the end – I’m sure Z will too.
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