Drop Offs and Pick Ups 


This morning as I did the nursery drop off, I couldn’t help but smile knowingly at one of the other mums looking flustered coming up the stairs with her son in one arm, and his bag, jacket and other toddler paraphernalia in the other as I overheard her saying to him “Come on, you’re going to be ok. Look there’s everybody!!”. I wasn’t sure whether her forced enthusiasm was for her benefit or his. He looked as cool as a cucumber.

If anything she was the one that was looking slightly distressed by their morning experience. However, any parent will know that looks can be deceiving and for all I know he could have been about to have a major meltdown (incident 3) the moment they stepped in that classroom door. I didn’t stick around to see. I managed to drop off my little person this morning without any clingy koala bear moments (incident 1) or tears (incident 2) and as any parent with a child in nursery will know, once you’ve dropped them off in their room you don’t look back, you saunter as quickly as you can so that they don’t pick up on any signs of weakness and try to pull an incident 1, 2 or 3 on you.

As I ran down the stairs and towards the door I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself thinking about how similar our experiences as parents are, and of some of the times that the little lady has blindsided me with one of these incidental delights during the morning drop off. So I thought I’d share some forewarning for the parents who have yet to experience one of these, or some laughs for those that have. Here’s typically how they go;

An Incident 1 Scenario AKA The Clingy Koala Bear: You dare to break routine for a lovely family holiday/break/day off (fill in the blank) and attempt to return to said routine like nothing has happened or changed, but your little prince or princess didn’t get the memo. Routine is king to these little people and they may have just assumed that spending all day with mummy and/or daddy was the new routine. Cue one clingy koala bear when you try to drop them off at nursery on day one post your holiday. As you attempt to routinely hand them over to their key worker or the nearest staff member, you find that they are suddenly glued to you like a limpet, firmly refusing to let go and genuinely confused at why you are both there in the first place. After much placating, promises to pick them up after work along with your choice of bribe, the staff manage to finally peel them off of you.

An Incident 2 Scenario AKA The Tears: They usually come out of nowhere, all of a sudden and without warning. One moment everything is fine and the morning routine appears to be going to plan, but the moment you hand them over and attempt to leave they start to cry for no real or apparent reason. Some of us parents attempt to stay and try to calm them down and figure out what is wrong. Others hot foot it leaving the poor bewildered staff to deal with the incident. However in the end the result is the same. Whether you stay or go they will cry until they are ready to stop, or unless you take them home, and that’s not really an option now, is it.

An Incident 3 Scenario AKA The Major Meltdown: Both a parent and key workers worst nightmare. Major meltdown incidents are explosive and uncontrollable and have the power to set off all the other children. Similar to incident 2, they seem to come from nowhere and without warning but with much more ferocity. I have seen other toddlers self destruct all of a sudden like little grenades, with full on, on the supermarket floor type tantrums. They are destructive and distracting and both parents and staff know that these are dangerous moments for all involved. The situation must be handled swiftly and expertly before the others all realise what is going on and join in. I have often watched the little lady assessing the situation, at which point distraction (think high-pitched, over enthusiastic commentary about what a great day she is going to have), handover and a sharp exit are key.

However, im glad to say that by pick up time all seems to be forgotten by all parties. That is, until tomorrow..

If you have any of your own tongue in check drop off or pick up moments then share them here. It’s always reassuring to hear it isn’t just you, and at the same time have a giggle!

photo credit: N05/2934218773″>Rich boys have many toys via photopin (license)



  1. Notmyyearoff
    June 5, 2015 / 4:40 pm

    Z would cling onto me and declare he absolutely needed a wee each time I dropped him off. we’d then spend 10 minutes in the loos every single day. Thankfully he absolutely loves it now and runs in without looking back 🙂

    • June 5, 2015 / 7:07 pm

      Oh no lol! Can’t say we’ve experienced that one yet and hope we don’t have too! Then funny things these little people do 🙂

  2. emilytealady
    June 5, 2015 / 8:02 pm

    Every day, every single day I have to push Nancy through the door at nursery, promising various bribes such as fruit shoots and her dad taking her to the park. I can hear her, absolutely fine the other side. Every day she feels the need to turn on the waterworks and cling onto me for dear life. It’s a race against time to get to work every day knowing I have this intense negotiation to deal with beforehand! X

    • June 6, 2015 / 10:21 am

      These little people are so witty! They know how to get the best out of us at the best of times 😉

  3. 2point4travel
    June 13, 2015 / 5:41 pm

    Oh I remember the early days of nursery well and often would experience Incident 2 with my youngest. He always calmed down once I left so I found it best to cheerfully say goodbye as I handed him over despite not feeling in the least bit cheerful. It soon got better though and he now happily wanders into nursery and pre-school although I’m sure we will go through the same routine when he starts school!

  4. Tracey Abrahams
    January 18, 2016 / 8:55 am

    This made me giggle. It has been many years since ive had to do the playschool drop, but I remember seeing many of these. Luckily not so much with my own, but definately other kids. #MarvMondays
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    • My Petit Canard
      January 18, 2016 / 10:47 pm

      Lol, its one of the things that definitely unites us as parents – that knowing look when youre little one clearly isnt going to play ball that morning ;-). Bet youre glad those days are over! x

  5. Kim (sisterkin)
    January 18, 2016 / 9:46 am

    Oh i can so idenitfy. My daughter goes from a confident little chatterbox to a completely silent mouse as soon as I drop her off at pre-school. #marvmondays

    • My Petit Canard
      January 18, 2016 / 10:52 pm

      Oh, my little one is exactly the same! Then shes back to the same little chatterbox by the time we go to pick her up – bizzare little things 🙂

  6. January 18, 2016 / 9:56 am

    The stress of being a parent and trying to get anywhere on time with a toddler in tow, I remember these times well, as you say it is always forgotten by the end of the day. #marvmondays

  7. January 18, 2016 / 10:37 am

    Ha ha! This is brilliant. little Miss h is going to start nursery in September. I have no idea how she is going to cope. And I have no idea how I am going to manage the new routine. It is great to have this post to refer back to so that I can spot the sign of these incidents. #Marvmondays. Hugs Lucy xxxx
    Mrs h recently posted…Sunday Stars – 17/01/2016My Profile

  8. mummyofboygirltwins
    January 18, 2016 / 11:42 am

    My days are so different! Sometimes happiness sometimes a bit clingy. Usually pick up is the worst as they are tired!!!!! It does get easier now that they are older though 🙂 Jess x

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  9. Rhyming with wine
    January 18, 2016 / 12:51 pm

    We’ve only been doing the nursery thing for a couple of weeks. my highlight was picking up on the very first day and being met by my child, utterly bereft… to be going home. hmmm. ok so actually it was because she wanted to bring her special nursery beaker home with her and couldn’t, but to all of the observers they were tears of devastation to be going home to mummy. It felt lovely!

    Dawn x
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  10. January 18, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    The Tubblet would just ignore us and run in. She couldn’t get away from us fast enough. Most weird. Now she’s older, when she’s reluctant to go somewhere, it’s usually because something has happened and careful digging is required to find out what it is.

  11. January 18, 2016 / 8:26 pm

    I’ve got all this to come… I’m working on upping my good karma scale already 😉 #marvmondays
    Jessica Powell recently posted…This Week #18My Profile

    • My Petit Canard
      January 18, 2016 / 11:10 pm

      Oh they joys! Hopefully this happens on the rare occassions for you as it does us 🙂

  12. January 18, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    My son doesn’t do things by halves – we either have an incident 3 or he wanders in as happy as Larry. Although today it was everyone else having a meltdown, with my boy stood in the middle watching them all with his mouth open. And then giggling. Which was not appropriate! #marvmondays

    • My Petit Canard
      January 18, 2016 / 11:05 pm

      Ha ha, bless him! I’d much rather had the day you had today, rather than be on the other side of it 😉

  13. Silly Mummy
    January 19, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    We haven’t done it yet. Just went to look around nursery school thinking of for eldest when she’s 3 – she loved it & the only hint of an incident was trying to make her leave. But she may be different when she has to go without mummy & daddy there! #marvmondays
    Silly Mummy recently posted…Doctor Toddler Has Been Suspended…So Has Hairdresser ToddlerMy Profile

    • My Petit Canard
      January 20, 2016 / 9:14 pm

      How exciting! It such a milestone for them, and for you as parents. Its a big moment. They love it ultimately and definitely get a lot from it, but there are definitely moments and wobbles every now and then. Good luck with the nursery hunt, hope you find one you all love 🙂 x

  14. The Pramshed
    March 16, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    I have this all to come, it’s funny I was thinking today how she would be when I leave her. I think there will be more tears and a meltdown from me rather than her. Claire x
    The Pramshed recently posted…Week in Review #10My Profile

    • March 21, 2016 / 10:35 pm

      Oh its so hard leaving them for the first time, and the few after that. But you both/all get used to it (unfortunately). I definitely think its harder on the parents than the children sometimes though!

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