I must stay cool on my son’s first day at school, says Polly Hudson

My son – who was a tiny baby 12 seconds ago – started school this week. Obviously this is a big moment for ­anyone, but particularly for us when things went so wrong at nursery.

Still, I’m determined to do better now.

The playground politics slate has been wiped clean, it’s all to play for again – and I’m older and wiser. I learnt stuff at nursery, just like you’re meant to.

I got in with a bad crowd there, you see. I panicked and talked to the first people I came across on the first morning and got stuck with them. Twice a day, five days a week, for a year.

When I say bad, I don’t mean that they were evil – if only!

That would have been something – just that they weren’t, you know, good.

The chat was dull, the silences painful, the bantz non-existent. I’d gaze ­wistfully at the cool mums, having a right laugh, and wonder how I’d messed it up quite so badly.

I did make a couple of escape attempts, but they always failed spectacularly.

Albie suddenly started talking about one particular kid a lot. She was in the other nursery class, but somehow they’d met and hit it off. It was like a modern-day Romeo and Juliet prequel.

I’d noticed her mum before (good hair) at drop-off, so once Albie’s chat level escalated to near constant, I approached her. “Hello,” I said, giving her a knowing look, “I’m Albie’s mum.”

She stared back blankly.

“You know,” I said – because maybe she’d get it if I shouted? – much louder, “ALBIE.”

Oddly, the shouting didn’t work. If anything, she looked even blanker, plus now also confused and frightened.

Juliet had obviously not been waxing quite as lyrical about Romeo as vice versa.

People were looking – one of us was shouting, after all. I knew I had to end this, and quickly.

My original plan had been to suggest a playdate, and ­unfortunately my brain was too busy being horrified to realise it needed to formulate a new one, so I squeaked, “Please come round,” and backed away.

Whenever I saw her again she was always in a massive hurry.

Then there was the mum with the lovely coat. I plucked up the courage to ask her where it was from, and she was properly chuffed… so I got carried away and told her I always liked her outfits, every day, then realised that sounded a bit stalkery, so made a stalker joke, and then another one, and then one more.

So then she thought I was a stalker.

She did eventually bond with the mum I shouted at. I’m aware it might have been over how weird I was… but I don’t mind. That means I did successfully create a friendship at nursery – I just happen not to have been in it.

Reception is going to be different though. I’m going to hang back, relax, try not to be such a desperate, over-keen loser.

I can’t muck this up. My next chance for a do over isn’t for seven years, when Albie starts secondary school.

Mind you, by that point every single thing I do will completely mortify him, so it won’t actually matter whether I’m completely mortifying or not.

Can’t wait.

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