'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE AT SCHOOL TODAY?' NOTHING.

Noah started school in January, half days, every day. He turned four before the January term began and luckily for us, that means his school of choice will let him attend every afternoon in a class they call Foundation. It's great, it's been undeniably positive for him and us. I'm watching him flourish more every single week, he'll come out with little phrases that I can't fathom where he has learnt it so it has to be school. Just this week he was telling me that if ships break in the ocean, and leak oil, it will make all the fish poorly 'that won't be good at all will it Mummy?'. It puts a smile on my face, for the first time in four years we're not the sole basis of his learning and it's lovely to hear him spout off these facts that even I forget myself.
Now don't be mistaken, this isn't the first time Noah has ever stepped into any form of education, he's attended nursery since he was eight months old. It wasn't really much of a choice as I had to return to work to support our family, staying at home just didn't appeal to me, I have to feel like I have a purpose outside of being a mother. But if I'm honest I never had any worries over Noah in childcare, after all, I worked in the nursery he attended and I trusted the staff implicitly, not just with his care but to do the best by him and be honest with me if there were any issues or concerns - and they were, I couldn't commend those girls highly enough. 



Having Noah just a few rooms away may sound like a luxury and for those years it did, his chubby palms weren't too far away for me to grasp and if ever I heard a cry, I could decipher what kind it was instantly. I was at his beckon call without really being physically with him and it was a huge comfort to me, probably more so than it was for him. Fast forward to January I was really in the deep end when I had to entrust complete strangers with my baby, what most parents had done at the end of their maternity leave, I was just beginning on that journey, one of reliance and one that truthfully I was nervous about. Nurseries spoil you, ours certainly did, we knew everything about his day from how many times he scraped his knee, to what he'd learnt and which friends were his 'bestest friend' that day. School is a different ball game, he's ushered in and then ushered out at 3:30pm, with a simple nod from the teacher that there's nothing to worry about today. (It's when you're collared in for a chat that you need to panic). It's understandable, they have so much to do and so many children to look after, it would be selfish of me to expect a detailed run down at home time. Even if my heart wants it, my head knows it's nonsensical. 



Each evening, as we hold hands and make our way through the playground, or clamber into the car with a clunk of seat belt clicks, I find myself asking the same words, fully aware of the answer I'll get in return.. 'So what did you do at school today Noah?' 'Nothing'. Absolutely nothing. A mother can't accept that, I mean I know he's done something, the paint splatter on the shoe laces and the play dough on his sleeve tell me he's done something - but the words from his mouth don't sing the same tune.  Why? I'm quite a neurotic mum, I have no shame in admitting that, I think most Mummys are of the same kind, I worry about my boys constantly. The thought of him playing alone in the sand tray, or being picked last in PE breaks my heart and hearing the words 'Nothing' doesn't offer me any comfort. Which is ridiculous, even as I write this I know that my sons words shouldn't need fill a void for me, but they do, I want to hear about his day, the friends, the games, the ups and the downs, so, I decided to change my tactic.


This week Noah hopped into the car, just like any other day previous, but I knew that our conversation would not echo the ones we'd had before. 'Noah, can you tell me something that made you really laugh today?' and off he went, like the Noah I knew, telling me tales of playing field chases and silly words (think poo poo head and mr pom pom). Just like that my face lit up, I knew he'd had a good day, I pushed on with my targeted questions 'Did anything make you happy today' helped me learn about their marble jar and reward system, something I could have gone the rest of the year without knowing, had I not changed my tactics. He was opening up and suddenly I realised that actually, he's four, he's done a lot in those few hours and suddenly placing the weight of the world on his shoulders by asking him to pick out every activity, was a big ask. 


12 comments

  1. Sounds just like my son! What did you do or what did you have for lunch at school today? Always the same answer 'nothing' or 'can't remember!' so now we have a race to see who can say what we've had for lunch. Also I find if I ask better questions that helps too, so rather than 'what did you do' I now say 'did you do any writing today?' xx

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  2. ❤️ these question my little girl is also 4 and she has same answers but with Scotland we have preschool nursery first same thing but def be asking these sort of questions instead

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  3. This is my four too! I never hear anything about their day other than what they had for dinner at a push!

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  4. Totally relate to this .My son's only in nursery but I still ask about to day. I usually get 'lots' when I ask what he did today. Like you, I'm learning to be more direct with my questions , like asking about specific toys or people. It helps, but I'd still like a full run down, including bladder movements! Haha.

    Fab post.

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  5. I think this is the standard child response! I always get it or what did you have for lunch? "Can't remember!"

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  6. It’s hard when they first start school and you miss so much of their day. You feel like that time is ripped away from you. Tilly is 8 and when I asked her what she has done at school, she says ‘can’t remember.’ Lol.

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  7. It is so hard to get anything out of them. Targeted questions are so good and I also read a recommendation of playing truth and lies. So he has to tell you three things that he did but one of them is a lie. I played this with Zach todsy for the first time and he loved it. Although in one round I had to decipher whether the lie was that he'd poo'd at school or farted on the carpet!!

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  8. It can be so hard to get something out of them, I'm glad you swapped up your question and now Noah is back answering like normal :) xx

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  9. Such a good way to get information from your child, rephrase the question! Also it's so good the school let him go in for afternoons. Must make the transition so much easier for everyone!

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  10. I was the exact same with Eloise, always worrying whether she had a good day. She was bullied in school so it was never a good day really and even questions like this gave answers that didn't fill that void. Before the bullying started though she adored it! I'm so glad to hear Noah is loving school! x

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  11. I quickly learnt that what and how you ask what they have been doing at school all day will effect what type of answer you get and the big question what did you do? always got a big fat nothing from my son but ask him what was fun, what was his favourite part of pe or who did he sit by in maths would get a lot of detail and stories from him.

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  12. I so remember being like this, my Dad would ask what lessons I did and I would tell him to go and check my timetable haha!

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