Hannah

Hannah. Hannah. Hannah.

I am sick of hearing Hannah.

But I’m also grateful. It’s complicated.

Little Chick has started his new nursery. Having spent the last two months nesting, the timing is perfect for all of us. For 15 hours a week we will be childfree and able to catch up on all the things we have let slide since Little Chick’s arrival. We will even have time to finish a hot drink and have a grown-up conversation. It will be a good transition before the Other Mrs Reed Warbler finishes adoption leave and returns to work.

As for Little Chick, he will have 15 hours of playing with other children, sharing and fighting over toys, books, and the attention of adults other than us. Adults like his key worker – Hannah.

Hannah is lovely. She’s sweet, kind, and Little Chick thinks she’s wonderful. Rationally, I completely understand why he likes her and why every other word uttered is her name. Emotionally, I’m scared.

Some would argue, including Little Chick’s social worker initially, that it is too soon for Little Chick to be going to a new nursery. Others, including us and our social worker, would respond that he is used to nursery, he enjoys attending nursery, and nursery is normal for his – and our – routine going forward. The main arguments against centre on first building attachments at home. Attachment cannot be hurried, but we do seem to be making good progress, so, collectively, we agreed that the timing was right.

And I still stand by that. But every time I hear Hannah I panic. What if we’ve made a mistake? What if it’s too soon and nursery confuses him? What if I’m always second best?

But they are my concerns. About me. I’m doing that annoying thing I do and making it about me. I’m trying to be the star when I’m a supporting actor at best (in truth I’m the non-speaking extra who edges forward hoping to steal the limelight). I need to be better for Little Chick’s sake. I’m also worried that my anxiety will translate as hostility, to both Hannah and Little Chick, causing further, unnecessary problems.

I need to embrace the name. As a child it was a favourite of mine, used as it was as the example of a palindrome (a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards). Now I need to favour it as the name of the person who will keep Little Chick safe and happy when I am not there.

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