J keeps asking me this question: “how old do you have to be to leave your mummy?”  He is five years old and he has already started wondering when he can leave home.

It took us a while for us to get to this succinct question as his five year old vocabulary (brilliant though it is) meant that he couldn’t quite articulate his question exactly as he intended.  Consequently we went through several scenarios; the process of a child going to nursery and its mum leaving it there, the act of a baby being separated from its mum by the cutting of the umbilical cord, even exploring why we invite complete strangers into our home to babysit.  If you really think about it most of these situations are a bit weird for children to understand.  I mean, we tell our children not to talk to strangers and yet here we are leaving them with one at nursery or at home to be babysat by, but don’t worry darlings it will be fine, THIS stranger is okay.  Anyway, J’s question has left me feeling, well, sad.

Continue reading “Leaving Home”