There are some ground rules at nursery that our eldest has informed us of: “no running, no shouting, no biting and no opening the sandwiches!”
The first 2 rules didn’t take us much by surprise. But the ‘no biting’ and ‘no opening the sandwiches’ certainly made us do a double take. Although we were aware of the biting it’s clearly a bigger problem at nursery than we thought, especially if it warrants its own catchphrase.
We’ve had personal experience of ‘the biters’ or at least our 3 year old has. She has been bitten a few times and one bite mark took several months and a tan from a Spanish holiday to erase. The ‘no opening the sandwiches’ is an odd one and, as we have learned, aimed at one particular child who likes to separate the sandwiches prior to selecting one to eat. Sensible perhaps? after all, we are constantly being told we can ‘try before we buy’ so some would say he is simply exercising his consumer rights.
But the most recent nursery rules have come about because our youngest has been ‘visiting’ the upper end of the nursery. Up until now they they have been separated at nursery by classrooms and fences. Now that our youngest is moving up she will now share ‘the biggie garden’ as it is called. No more baby toys and padded mats for her.
We were told at one pick up how our eldest had had a ‘moment’ when she clocked her younger sister in the same garden as her. Perhaps ‘moment’ doesn’t do it justice, it was one of those frighteningly silent episodes of sheer fury. That type of anger that rages so fiercely internally that there are no ways of communicating it to the outside world. I can understand this as this is usually how I deal with ‘situations.’ But to realise my 3 year old has inherited this trait, is slightly disturbing.
When it came to bath time that evening, my eldest decided she ‘wanted to do talking.’ She has developed a love for ‘doing talking’ from her father who ‘likes to discuss things.’ I, on the other hand, do not do talking. I, prefer to lock thoughts away in a box, only to be opened at your peril.
So the ‘mummy can we do talking’ filled me with a sudden anxiety. It transpired she wanted to discuss the discovery of her sister on ‘her turf.’ The root cause of her upset was basically that she felt her little sister was cramping her style.
Even at 3 she understands the subtleties of credibility and how hers was being crushed by the antics of her baby sister and all her baby friends. Made extra cringe worthy from her point of view by her little sister demanding cuddles every so often.
Now despite being chalk and cheese they play well at home together. At home we have nicknamed them ‘Brains and Brawn,’ eldest in age she may be but it’s definitely her smaller, younger sidekick who is in charge. Nevertheless, our eldest declares almost everyday how her little sister is her ‘best friend.’
I reminded our eldest of this ‘best friend’ statement and therefore shouldn’t she enjoy having her little sister there to play with? ‘No mummy’ she said with fierce head shaking, ‘she is only my best friend at home!’ And so there it is, the nursery rules regarding even the most ballsy of little sisters: to be seen and ignored until such time that they too can earn their nursery cred.