Every morning at nursery, the girls have their temperatures checked by the school nurse who greets all the children and parents at the door. With a building full of 300 children, it’s not a bad idea to try to keep the bugs at bay.
Anyone with children at school or nursery knows that once one child in the class is poorly, it’s just a matter of time before your offspring comes home feeling a little peaky, then proceeds to infect the rest of the family; normally, just in time for the weekend.
The girls have a cough and slightly runny noses, but other than that, I thought they were both ok. The blonde has been slightly off her food in the past 24 hours, but frankly, we’ve become used to her food fads and view this as simply her exercising her right to be picky… again.
So, we went to nursery fully expecting both to be admitted, and for me to then dash home, grab the laptop and head to the office.
The brunette was with me and was given the all clear immediately.
Then it was the blonde’s turn. “Oh dear”, said the nurse. “She has the fever”.
She showed me the thermometer in case I doubted her. I expect she gets grilled often by other working mummies who are desperately relying on nursery to take care of their little people.
So this throws up something of a dilemma for me. Should I leave the brunette at nursery and just take the blonde home? Or should I take them both with me?
Is it fair to leave one without the other? Will they be emotionally scarred for life?
I decided to try to leave the brunette, fully expecting a tantrum of epic proportions once she realised the blonde wasn’t joining her; and for me to then extract her and take them both home.
We walked into the classroom and I quietly explained the situation to Luisa. She looked horrified. “She will stay without her sister?”, she hissed at me, looking frankly, rather disapproving.
I managed a shrug.
Is it bad to leave one without the other?
There was blue play dough this morning and heart-shaped cutters. The brunette clambered onto a chair and grabbed a ball of plab and started jabbing it with her finger.
It’s normally at this stage that I say a quick goodbye and head for the door at which point she lunges at me and glues herself to my leg whilst sobbing.
“Mummy’s off to work now. I’ll come back and collect you soon sweetie.”
“Ok, bye”, says the brunette.
I’m stunned. Almost disappointed.
Does she not realise that her twin is NOT WITH HER?
I give her a kiss and head out of the classroom.
At the door I glance back, thinking by now she’ll have twigged and will be chasing after me. But no. She has found the star-shaped cutter and is busy making a play dough constellation.
I peak around the wall, the last visual point of contact.
I take the blonde home, administer the Calpol and head to the office.
Separation anxiety? Well it’s fair to say I still suffer from it acutely, but it seems my girls are way more independent than I gave them credit for!