AS a parent, there comes a time when you know you have to let your little ones out into the big wide world alone.

I just didn’t expect it to be quite yet.

The realisation that there were parts of my son’s life that didn’t include me came shortly after he joined pre-school.

At first, I would quiz him enthusiastically about his morning but before long I realised there was very little point.

Mostly the answer to, “What did you do today darling?” was “Nothing.’ I found that hard to believe so explained to him in the plainest terms that this was an unacceptable response.

He then changed tack slightly.

“What did you do at school today?”

Thinking face... “Um, I did everything.” Right.

This was frustrating but then I noticed that some nuggets of information weren’t always positive.

Like the time his response was, “Well, I hit a girl and she cried and cried.”

Okay. I think maybe I’d rather not have known about that one.

Then there were little gems that were a bit too positive.

“Mummy, I love my teacher up to 13.’ That’s reassuring, but more than a little galling for Mummy and Daddy who are regularly told they are also loved – but only up to 10.


We battled on for a few weeks, gleaning what little information we could and trying to interpret it.

One of the children is silly we were told. Another cried because he had been given potato to eat.

I finally gave up after he started staying for lunch.

On his first day I excitedly asked him what he’d had to eat. The answer was emphatic. “I didn’t eat those yellow things.”

Okay. The next time I asked the response was more comprehensive.

“It was a sort of porridge. But it had funny chicken things in that made me cough. I had to have a drink of water. I didn’t eat the salad. And there was bread.”

I was none the wiser.

I’ve considered standing and peering through the window for the few hours he is there but, tempting as it is, I don’t think it’s the answer.

So I have resolved to stop asking questions – as long as he seems happy of course.

I will just have to accept that mums are not always required.