Nursery Fears

Image of Snappy pulling a rainbow beanie down over his head.

There are lots of things to worry about when you send a kid to nursery. Will they get along with the staff, the other children, the change in routine? Will they miss us. Will they miss us at all or too much?

Will they learn anything or will it just be a break?

Will they get picked on?

The last one is actually one of my big fears, and it’s compounded by the fact that we’re two mums in a rural area. We’re not the only two-mum families, though I think we might the only one in the village. I’m not so worried about that until he gets to school but it is a worry. Cause kids are little shits to each other.

Plus I got picked on for the same thing in primary school.

My two big fears about Snappy going to nursery are him changing and heteronormativity/cisnormativity.

I’ll start with the easy one first.

Change

I’m worried he’ll change. He’s such a sweet kid, a good kid too. He’s generally whiny when he’s tired and he doesn’t always want to eat his dinner but he’s a really good kid. And he’s really funny. His personality is very well defined and I really don’t want that to change, want him to change.

My toddler hugging a bollard
Hugging bollards…

He’s really funny. Right now he’s calling bethend by her given name instead of mummy and it’s really funny. Well, I think it’s really funny – my wife less so. He’s also insisting on getting us to call people on his ‘rock phone’ (a stone he found on the beach at the weekend).

He likes to list things, at seven am the other morning he sat on the sofa listing all the people he knew who had noses. So everyone he knows. He likes to make lego vehicles and then have bethend take pictures of them for his nainy and papa.

He is very loving too. He will tell you that hugs and kisses make you feel better, he pats you on the chest when you cough (or sneeze, or something when you burp). He’s really shy, but he talks about the people he loves a lot. If he likes you, loves you, he probably won’t show it to you but he’ll tell the two of his mummies about you non-stop.

I don’t want any of that to go away. I know, I know, he will change, it’s inevitable but sometimes I wish he didn’t have to. He drives me nuts, he can be annoying as all hell, but I love him just like this. This is is peak goober.

Cisnormativity

My toddler with his hand in the air and pebbles falling on him.
On offering of tiny pebbles tgo the toldder gods.

This is a little harder to explain and for some people to take.

I am trying to raise my son genderfully. For him to be able to be himself regardless of the gender he is. At two he isn’t really any gender, we’ve assigned him a male name and male pronouns based on his sex. Whatever he is though he’ll figure out along the way and have the freedom to figure it out.

I am very aware that this is very much based and biased by my own sense of gender as a genderfluid person and growing up struggling with my gender (I did not really struggle with my sexual orientation). I am often distrustful of cishet people and their dealings with anything LGBTQIA+. Even the allies.

I do not want him to have to conform to cishet constraints. He’ll have to conform enough as it is if he’s anything like me or my wife. We’ve spent the better part of our lives trying to fit it. But I don’t want the same for him.

I don’t want him to suffer for being different, it’s a very fine line to walk, but I feel like it’s unfair for my kid to be bullied by kids whose parents are pricks. But it’s even the allies who cause issues, will cause him problems.

water colour pride flag

I want him to be happy, comfortable, himself. That’s all we want but some people forget that often means stepping outside of their outdated stereotypical gender roles. And it’s actually a little easier for afab kids, but as soon as an amab kid wants to wear a tutu or be feminine, people baulk. The same people who will stand there and insist their daughters can be anything they want, wear anything they want, do anything that boys do.

I don’t want my kid to be ruined by cishet people. I want him to be exactly who he is. And if he turns out to be cishet himself too then that’s fine.

And I get that most of you reading this are probably cishet, and this isn’t really meant as an insult. But there is more to the world than just cisgender heterosexuals, even if we are surrounded, outnumbered, whatever, you can just pretend your way is the only way anymore. Not just for the sake of my kid but for the sake of yours too.


Nursery, School, University.

This got a little away from me. But my points are valid.

Snappy has been at nursery a few weeks now, and I got his primary school place through just a few days ago for 2020. I think, to be honest, that’s where the real problems will start.

And I’m already worrying about him going to University.

For a quick list of some of the terms used – check out my lexicon.

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bread

Queer, weird, geek, poet and now parent.

12 Responses

  1. This is really interesting to read. Honestly, I have never thought of these issues personally as it isn’t something I have experienced. My daughter wrote something for school not so long ago (if you want to you can find it on my facebook page) about people being free to live as they want and love who they want without fear of repercussion. I feel like I am raising her right to accept people as who they are regardless of how they identify. I hope your son gets to experience this too as school years can be so hard for anyone classed as ‘different’ for any reason #kcacols

  2. Bryony shaw says:

    Schools and nurseries can be very stereotypical with encouraging certain toys etc but the time we’re in everyone is aware of freedoms of choice and gender #KCOCALS

  3. Ah school is a big step but I’m sure he will take to it more easily than you realise. Exciting times ahead #KCACOLS

  4. Veronica Lee says:

    Our kids are tougher than we think. I cried buckets on my son’s first day of school!! Yep, exciting times ahead!!

    #kcacols

  5. All we want is for our children to be happy and accepted for who they are. I hope Snappy finds some lovely friends, and that society changes in his lifetime. #KCACOLS
    Jo (A Rose Tinted World) recently posted…Upcycling Old ClothesMy Profile

  6. Jade says:

    Its so hard to let go of our children and nursery is that first big step in Independence! I totally get the concerns about conformity. My son is autistic and being forced to conform to things that are not natural or right for really scares me. The best we can do is provide all the right love support and information at home. #KCACOLS

  7. ERFmama says:

    A very interesting post. 🙂 My youngest was introduced to having two mummies or two daddies quite early – both my twin brothers are gay so that was always a thing in our family, and they both had and have relationships, currently one has just moved in together. Als one of his classmates had “two mummies” when he was in reception, so also there we talked about these things a lot. 🙂

    He never went to nursery, I chose to use a childminder with him because of his personality and personal preference. It went really really well but he didn’t start until he was 3 years old. 🙂

    My daughter went to nursery/pre-school from the age of 3, and though she was happy most of the time our experience with it made me choose differently with her younger brother. I do think she would have been happier in a smaller setting, even if the nursery we chose wasn’t a super big one.

    #KCACOLS
    ERFmama recently posted…What Are You Missing When Buying A Family Car?My Profile

  8. Sam says:

    I think your fears are what most parents feel. Sounds like he has good support from you and that is all you can do is provide and allow him to open his wings and fly. P. S. I love his colourful clothing X #kcacols

  9. Interesting read and a lot to think about. I’ve found it amazing how much easier it is for little to kids to accept each other for who they are and be completely oblivious to differences #KCACOLS

  10. Ruth says:

    What I love about little kids is that they are much more accepting of people just as they are and haven’t yet absorbed all of the preconceptions of the society they are in. I hope Snappy doesn’t have a hard time at school and that he feels able to be himself no matter what. I hope that for my own kids too, unfortunately Mexico has very engrained gender stereotypes, so that’s pretty difficult to go against. #kcacols
    Ruth recently posted…Life with Baby at four months oldMy Profile

  11. Lydia C. Lee says:

    I’ll admit I had to google Cishet so maybe I’m not enough of an ally (though I thought I was) but curious as to why the allies cause problems? (Just curious, not defensive or insulted) #KCACOLS

  12. The schools we have around us are terrible, and as such, we homeschool our kids. However, I do remember going to school myself and how it changed me. It sounds like you’re preparing for all of the possible changes and issues he’ll face. I think that makes you a remarkable parent! With that being said, I believe your child will handle it quite well. #KCACOLS
    Crystal Green recently posted…5 Things To Look For In A PreschoolMy Profile

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