Friday, 20 November 2009

Very Healthy Eyes

Or at least I did have until I walked into Moorfields Eye Hospital on Tuesday night.

“Married or single?” says the receptionist.

“Neither” I say, when really what I want to say is,

“What the hell has that got to do with my eyes?”

I knew that there was possibly nothing wrong with my eyes. I can tell you the number of a bus from about 400 yards. But I kept getting intermittent blurry vision (no, not from drink) and the doctor suggested I go to Moorfields Eye Hospital with a letter. I had so much other stuff going on that I honestly didn’t get the chance to go until this week (three weeks’ later) by which time it had sort of disappeared.

The nurse administered a local anaesthetic and soon after, my eyes felt drunk. It was quite an intriguing sensation. Even so, I still refused to let the woman test my eye pressure by putting some machine on my eyeball. No way, lady! She rolled her eyes at me as if I was a child refusing cough mixture and sent me to the doctor as if I was being sent to the headmaster.

Some dilating drops later, and after being told I had very healthy eyes by a doctor I thought might be faintly attractive, (although I was by now blinded by the effect of the drops), I stumbled out of the hospital onto a bus hoping it would take me home. Yet again I was out on the street looking like a lunatic, only this time my pupils were the size of two pence pieces and I looked like I had just swallowed a big bag of Ecstasy. I went home and went straight to bed.

Thankfully, by the time I visited a potential nursery for my son on Thursday, I had lost the ‘been-up all-night-on-drugs’ look and my eyesight was back to normal. This was useful as I was hoping to make a good impression.

This nursery is billed as the best in the area. There is even a waiting list to view the nursery and the actual waiting list for a place is a year or more. The fees are around £60 a day. I can’t really remember what possessed me to book this appointment. I think I was close to returning to work and feeling panicked.

As one might expect, the nursery was very impressive. I'm sparing you the details here, but trust me, it is all singing and all dancing with a fancy website to boot. The three to five year olds even have an optional French class once a week, for fucks sake. All the children looked incredibly happy, incredibly tidy and incredibly........


Now, I’m asking myself, do I really want my child to go to the ‘best nursery in the area’? Do I want my son to be cosseted and pampered and get invited to tea at Seymour and Jocasta’s house? Does he really need to learn French at three?

Truly, I have no idea which way this will go. Part of me wants to give my son the very best I can and part of me thinks that maybe somewhere rough, ready and a bit more like the real world would be truly giving my son the best start in life.

P.S Many thanks to the lovely ‘Muddy No Sugar’, who has sent me 'The Honest Scrap Award'. I’m a bit rubbish with these things. Please forgive me for not posting 10 true things about myself.


  1. Go with your gut instinct. Work out what will make your boy happy. It might well not be french lessons and expensive toys, but a nursery where they let children play outside in the mud a bit and get all mucky. It takes courage to turn down the reputed 'best' in the area. It might be the best for your boy, but then again, it might not. Go have a look at other nurseries, day care options and see what else is out there.

    We went from a 'best' nursery that was truely very lovely in the UK to a Bosnian nursery that was way removed from the British ideas of what a nursery should be. Ok, the boys are not so good at all sorts of things but they have learnt a lot of other stuff that will stand them in good stead. I'm very confident that they'll catch up.

    PS - french lessons once a week? Total waste of time and money.

  2. I'm with FM here. Overall importance is that your child is HAPPY and that the staff care about him, not the 'impression' the nursery makes on adults.

    Bit like schools where all the emphasis is on results yet the kids are totally stressed out with the pressure of exams, ratings, leader boards, etc.

    And French at age three? How about teaching proper English so the children do not talk some hybrid patois with piss-poor grammar, eg "Was you there?", or "We done good"... grrrrr

    LCM x

  3. The best nursery is a posh nursery, right? It may not be a reflection of real society and real life. I would not go for the best nursery, but for the real nursery with a real mix of kids and forget about the French lessons. That's just a bunch of nonsense.

  4. Go where your boy will be the happiest and the most comfortable.