Monday, 4 September 2017

The One With The Curious Case of Bridget Bones (41 months + 24 days)

Right. Write. Breathe.

Ok. So. Change. I am not necessarily the best person when it comes to dealing with change. And...that's probably an understatement.

No, wait. I'm ok with change. As long as I am in control of the change. When things are happening that are no longer in my control, I have a tendency to freak out somewhat (again- understatement).

So, Piglet and I are moving to North Tyneside. We are moving in to NNB's new house (although I've been told that it is not NNB's house, it is our house, although my name is not on the mortgage so if he dies I will be on the streets but whatever, fine it's "our house"). I mentioned school stress the last time that I posted 16 years ago... so maybe I should talk about the lovely things that we did before I go onto the mild (major) breakdown that I'm currently experiencing? (Spoiler alert: there are no pictures here because something very sad happened that I will talk about later on).

So, we went on holiday. To the lake district. And it was really lovely. We went to the World of Beatrix Potter. We had breakfast with Peter Rabbit. Piglet got to meet Peter Rabbit and was very excited about this. We went to Kendal. Didn't get to see Tim Farron but that's ok. We went to Grizedale and searched for Gruffalo's. Very, very lovely.

We have been to see Paw Patrol Live. Piglet had her mind blown. (Very impressed with Paw Patrol Live btw; not with price of tickets- that was not impressive, but actual show- v. v. v. good). They had an interval half way through; the first half of the show ended on them trying to find Everest so to convince Piglet to go to the toilet, I told her we needed to check if Everest was in there. Cue toddler running into every stall shouting "EVEREST, WHERE ARE YOU? EVEREST!". Excellent parenting. Top notch.

And then I started properly looking for a school for Piglet. Do you know what time breakfast club starts at the school Piglet would be going to if we lived here? 8am. Which would mean I could be at uni for- realistically- 9am. Which might be fine, if I was staying until 6/7pm each evening BUT at this school, after-school clubs finish at 4:20pm. So. Not fine. Not fine at all.

Hence, we're moving with NNB. Since he can always do pick up (#teachergoals). And half-terms. And holidays. And I can't. The plan was two and a half months long. We were supposed to give nursery two months notice, so I wanted to find a new nursery at the end of August, hand in notice at current nursery on the 1st September and Piglet would start new nursery from the 1st November. I would then give notice on my flat on the 18th October and officially hand keys in on 18th November- but aim to have moved everything out prior to the 1st (last two weeks for deep-clean and de-weeding yard). That way, we would be moving in time to apply for schools for next September, not moving too close to Christmas, and not trying to rush it all.

First part of the plan went well. We found a nursery. We looked round three, but I knew which one I wanted before we even went. Piglet goes to a Busy Bees right now. There is a Busy Bees near the new house; it's on NNB's route to work, and is walk-able for when I am doing pick-up. This is going to be a big change for Piglet and I felt- feel- that at least if she is in the same sort of environment (i.e. same routine, same poilicies, same learning scheme), it will be easier for her. And it's lovely. They vote for stuff! I was so excited about this; they get to vote for the "room theme of the week" and there's big posters saying "your vote counts!" and I am ALL OVER THAT YES! So, loved it.

The other two we looked around? The first Just no. Right next to a busy road, not enough space in the room, all about "preparing them for school" but...she's not at school, she's at NURSERY. There wasn't a proper garden, it was just a playground and...I just didn't like it. Also, the fees were (excuse my language Nana) fucking ridiculous! Over £1000 per month. Nope. Can't afford that. The second was, honestly, beautiful. It was a really beautiful nursery and had it been in a different location, and had they offered the 30 funded hours (they were only offering the 15 when we looked) I could very easily have been swayed by that one. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a nursery, because it was gorgeous. And the owner who showed us around was very good. Obviously cared a lot about early years education and she was very impressive. Everything she said really hit home with me.

Oh, another point to make. I lose all my tax credits when I move in with NNB. So, we looked at the finances and worked out that, if we put Piglet in nursery term-time only for the 30 free hours (3 full days) and then I paid for an extra half day, that should be enough to cover my lectures, And then I would just work closes and one day at the weekend at work. Work are fine with this (work are so good actually- if you ever hear me moan about work, just slap me).

So. Back to Busy Bees (I'm so sorry, this is all over the place, but this is my life right now). We said we wanted her to start on the 1st November; they said that's great. We asked about 30 free hours and...hit a wall. For Piglet to receive 30 free hours, she needs to be at the nursery on head count day which is October 9th. Otherwise we are not eligible for them until the following term. So, here was stress numero uno-

1) This meant I could only give nursery one months notice
2) Because they are in different local authorities, I could only have funding for one of them; it wasn't transferable. Which basically meant that either I have to cancel the funding for September at current nursery, which almost doubles my bill for that month or find a way to pay for two months of new nursery without funding or tax credits.

Do you know why our nursery is so great? I spoke to them and, not only did they say they were fine for us to give one month's notice, she also said that she would just charge me the funded rate for this month but not access the funding so that I get it at the new nursery. So basically nursery just gave me a 50 % discount for this month.

Which is wonderful, but here's where I started to unravel slightly because now everything has been shifted forward a month. Piglet starts new nursery on 2nd October. I am handing notice in on flat 18th September, with a view to being out by 30th September (officially 18th October- but as previously mentioned, the yard really needs de-weeding). And now my control on the situation is starting to dissipate and I am getting anxious.

So, what do you when you get anxious? BIG NIGHT OUT! OF COURSE! EXCELLENT IDEA! Uhm, I can't tell you what happened on my big night out because I have no memory of it. I can tell you I ended up with the police. Who think my drink was spiked. I have a vague memory of them asking me what I'd taken because my pupils were the size of plates, to which I responded "I would NEVER do DRUGS, I have a baby and my boyfriend is a MATHS TEACHER, and I do CHEMISTRY!" Hence, spiking. And my phone was stolen. And my student ID. And my pink leather jacket. And it's all very sad. And now I have a shit pay as you go phone that cost £20 and takes pictures that look like...crap. And I can't even cope.

Next stress on the list; remember that three and a half days at nursery I was talking about? I got my timetable last night. I can't cover uni with three and a half days of nursery. Semester one I will have to have her in for three days and two mornings; from March she'll probably have to be back in full time until NNB finishes school for the Summer. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I AM GOING TO BE SO POOR HAHAHAHAHAHA LOVE MY LIFE.

Here's the biggest concern though. Bigger than picking a school; bigger than being spiked and having all your things stolen; bigger than living in poverty for the next year. Piglet. I love Piglet's nursery. Piglet loves her nursery. I love my flat. Piglet loves my flat. We were driving home from the new house last night, and she was sat next to the cat in the back saying "Don't worry Adelaide, we're going to mummy's house now, not NNB's house. It's going to be fine, we're going to mummy's house". NNB said he picked her up one day before he'd got the new house and she was shouting in the car, "NO, ME GO MUMMY'S HOUSE, NOT NNB'S HOUSE NO!" and he had to reassure her that they were coming here. She woke up next to me this morning and said, "Yay! We're in our house!"

She loves the new house. She loves her room- she chose it herself; she's picked out her bedding and helped unpack all her toys and clothes; she loves the garden and the cat that lives next door (every morning when we go downstairs she asks to look out the window to see if she can see him). But clearly this is her home. And I'm taking it away from her and that makes me so sad. And it's happening far faster than I thought it would, or even wanted it to.

And whilst it's all exciting, and will probably work out for the best in the end, I just feel constantly sick right now at the thought that I'm about to do something that could seriously upset her.

So, Piglet. In 15 years, when your therapist works out that all the issues you have stem from this move, I'm sorry. I really am. But, hey, I'll probably be sat there alongside you because I AM NOT COPING VERY WELL RIGHT NOW. I promise we'll still see your best friend. I promise you can always sleep with mummy if you're sad. I promise that I'll try and do everything I can to make this as easy as possible for you.

But also, remember that it was not mummy's fault, it was NNB's fault because he applied for the stupid job at the good school in North Tyneside, so he is the source of all our woes ok?

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