The pain of the nursery drop-off

Nursery drop-off. Is there any harder way to start your day?

Nursery drop-off. Is there any harder way to start your day?

Not only do you have to get yourself ready for work, you have to coax a sleepy and sometimes rather unwilling participant to let you do the same for them. And heaven forbid you let them get a whiff of your reluctance. Slippery slope!

That, of course, is before you've even left the house. Or approached the front door.

Now, you might just be one of those lucky types whose children skip out of the door and practically run all the way to nursery. But you might not. Chances are, some mornings you face the childcare challenge - in the form of a vocal and reluctant little one. In these instances, just making it out of the door is an achievement. But it's no cause for celebration. Best to steel yourself for what's to come. The words that strike fear into many parents' hearts: nursery drop-off.

As with any other parenting conundrum (what age for whole nuts again?), if you endure a tearful drop off, you may well turn to the internet for advice. Sensible, as is the advice itself - five for whole nuts, short and sweet for drop-off: a quick kiss and farewell accompanied by a promise to come back later.

What could be simpler?

Believing such advice is easy to implement, although it is a bit like passing your theory test and assuming you're all set to drive a car unaccompanied. Naïve.

Walking out on a crying toddler, your crying toddler, when they're clearly distressed and wanting comfort from you? There's no coffee shop I know that sells a pain au chocolat big enough to soften that pain as you're sat on the train with plenty of time to run through scenarios of what your unhappy child is feeling, thinking, and doing.

There's no cure, sorry to say. But I have discovered a rather effective balm: a happy, smiley nursery pick-up.