Hey there Daddy. So, this is what you’re doing when you are tapping away at the computer after I go to bed (don’t think I can’t hear you – but I thought you were a Fifa Manager man, to be fair).
I bet you’re surprised to find that I can type too, aren’t you?
About a month ago, you and I had a man-to-man chat just before I started at my pre-school nursery. There was some good advice in there. I thought it only fair to give you some feedback on some of your points and make a few of my own.
Friendship. I have some more friends now. I have shown this by standing next to them at activities and sometimes even acknowledging their existence. On even rarer occasions, I have spoken to them directly and it hasn’t been to say ‘no’ or ‘mine’. Obviously it will take me some more time to open up to them, but the old shy routine still works, I find. It certainly gets the grown-ups onside.
Grown-ups. There are quite a few at the nursery. It’s fair to say I like them all. They will never replace you or Mummy, but they make me feel safe, they listen to me and help me when I ask them. Do I have a favourite? Well, that would be telling.
Beach in a tray. Why did I have to wait until going to a nursery to discover the concept of a sandpit? It’s brilliant. It’s like rolling up a whole beach and putting it in a tray. Please can you put on hold all other house and garden improvement schemes and make a sandpit in the back garden a priority? Otherwise you are going to be making a sandcastle with me at nursery every day, either upon arrival, or prior to departure.
Carry. You’re right. The staff at nursery are much less gullible than you when it comes to trying to convince someone to carry me. I found it amusing today, also, that for the first time since I started you actually asked if I would walk from the car to the door rather than hitch a ride on your arm. Doofus, I would have done it weeks ago, but I like to see how much of a soft touch you still are.
Snack. I am given to understand there was much excitement at the nursery when I deigned to partake in a snack for the first time. Clearly they don’t know everything about me yet. Or you could have just told them to offer me a jam sandwich a little bit sooner.
Learning through play. I’ve heard people, including you and Mummy, talking about this. Personally I don’t get it. Counting is fun. The alphabet is fun. Pretending to be Bob the Builder is fun. And sometimes, when I’m sticking one bit of paper to another, or even when I’m dancing, I’ve heard the phrase ‘motor skills’ – but I’m not even in the car. What’s all that about?
Play dough. Don’t try and pretend you don’t know how to make it. I know they gave you a demonstration at the open evening. It’s on my lists of tasks for you to achieve in order to meet the requirements of the Elderly Years Foundation Scheme.
Is it too early to make a career choice? I don’t think so, but you’re much older and often appear to still be dithering. Anyway, I’ve narrowed it down to two: train driver or abstract artist. The first one looks great fun and I’ve had lots of practice (I hope you haven’t started to have size envy after seeing the amount of track they’ve got at nursery). The second one, well you’ve seen me in action; I think there’s a big future for me there. It has not taken me long to discover that it is as important to have as much paint on myself as it is on the paper/canvas. I am thinking of opening an exhibition soon, so you better not have recycled any of my work.
Parting is still such sweet sorrow. As predicted, there were a couple of times when you dropped me off at nursery when I gave the impression I wasn’t happy. And there have been plenty of times when you’ve come to pick me up when I’ve required a lot of convincing to leave. To address the first issue, I suspect you worked out fairly quickly that it was less about going to nursery that made me upset and more that I wanted you to stay for a bit. I find it hard to believe you could have anything better to do than watch me in action, like you do the rest of the time. But, I have to be honest, I now like the space – I can’t have you cramping my style all the time – I’m three-and-a-quarter years old, after all. Of course, the suggestion from the grown-ups at the nursery that it would be fun for me to wave at the window when you leave was a brainwave. How come you didn’t think of that, especially you make me wave at you when it’s Mummy’s turn to take me anywhere? In terms of the being reluctant to leave when you come to pick me up there are two points I wish to make: (1) it’s nothing personal, I just seem to have such a good time there as well. (2) I enjoy you coming up with new and ever more convoluted ways of bribing me to leave – whether it’s Daddy Biscuits, a new comic or one of the plastic eggs that I pretend to care so much about.
Daddy Days. I know you miss the full Daddy Days that we shared earlier in the summer when we went on adventures such as sitting on the steps in a park and pretending to fish and, if it was raining, you would take me for a run in the family library. Who can forget the famous day when we did three playgrounds and also threw in a run around Douglas Head? Not me, I was exhausted. Anyway, we still have lots of time together and we seem to be using it better. It was good you took the opportunity to learn how to make a pipe cleaner spider, although you must agree that it was improved later with my help. For the time being, we’ll stick with the deal that finger paints are only used at weekends, rather than in the morning before you take me to nursery. By the way, don’t think I don’t know there’s a massive box of craft stuff in the kitchen, but if it makes you feel better to think I believe that you only have a daily supply, you crack on. Just don’t EVER let the supply of googly eyes run out again.
And finally. Can you please explain to me how I returned home to discover a giant spider attacking Thomas the Tank Engine?
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