The Poop's second trial run at going to nursery.
Clearly the excitement of returning/the opportunity to break her mother's heart prevented her from having her lunchtime nap, so, shattered and unable to fight it any longer, she finally dozed off in the back of the car on the way there, at exactly 13:27 - three minutes before she was due inside the building. Good stuff. I plucked The Poop's lolling body from her car seat, and cuddled her, head on my shoulder, fast asleep, across the car park.
We arrived at the main entrance and the mere sound of me pressing the intercom buzzer jolted Betty awake; sending her immediately into a startlingly terrified cry. She cried uncontrollably. Hysterically. Furiously. While snatching the mobile phone from my hand and frantically calling Childline.
We made our way through the building, tears streaming down her face, with her chucking in a few wails of imagined pain. Arriving at the 'Baby Room' door, I tapped on the glass, and Boo stopped crying. Ah. Good. She's calming down.
Turns out she was just taking in the maximum amount of air her little lungs could possibly stand, in order to facilitate the longest, loudest, shrillest, most harrowing scream of terror and misery a mother's ears could ever dream up. Thanks love.
At the suggestion of one of The Poop's assigned tormentors, I raced out to the car for her pram, in the vain hope that she would go back to sleep if she was able to lay in it.
I ran back into the building with the pram, Boo's agonising shrieks ricocheting intensely about the building. As I returned to the 'Baby Room', she spotted me and reached out to me for comfort. Torn between wanting to offer it and yet also let her deal with her new surroundings independently, I kissed her cheek while she was held by a member of staff and left.
That hour and twenty minutes were the longest of my life.
I drove about.
I decided to drive home.
I paced the lounge.
I washed a couple of dishes.
I even considered cleaning out the fridge, but then I remembered that there could never be anything I would need distracting from that badly.
I decided to head back, and on the way there I dreamed up every distressing, dreadful scenario my tortured brain could muster; that she would have cried so hard that she would have made herself sick; that she would have sobbed so violently that she would not have been able to catch her breath; that she would have wiped some tear induced snotty dribble on the pram after I have only just cleaned it.
I arrived back in the car park - the first time I have ever been early for ANYTHING IN MY WHOLE LIFE.
There was not a sound in the corridors. Total quiet. Then a little laugh. Oh, that was from another room. Again, the silence. I arrived at the 'Baby Room'. Not a peep.
A few children played quietly on the carpet; no Betty.
My heart thumped heavily in my chest. My palms were clammy; my breath shallow.
Something must have happened.
Turns out, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAD HAPPENED. The Poop was still fast asleep, in her pram, and had been since moments after I left. How utterly bloody fantastic.
While I had worried and stewed and fretted about her well-being, she has snored and yawned her way through my debilitating concern, not seen anything of the other kids or her new environment, and in turn had utterly wasted an afternoon of my time, her own time, the staff's time; there having been absolutely no point anybody having gone through any of it at all. Least of all me.
And while folding it up to chuck it in the boot of my car, I noticed that, mid snooze, she'd only gone and dribbled all over her freshly washed pram.