When did pre-school get so posh?

One of the baby’s latest tricks is to bend over, put his hands on the floor and giggle at me with his wee upside down facey.


‘Hey F, come look at what your brothers doing, isn’t it cute?’ I call to the older one.

‘He’s just doing the downward dog Mummy’ he informs me.

Because yes dear readers, my boys aged 3.5 and 14 months both do yoga as part of their jam packed childcare schedules. If i remember correctly, from my time at play school, the order of the day went something like this:-

1, Fight tooth and nail for the sparkly red shoes
2, Paint a picture with a cup of sludgy brown water
3, Eat marmite toast
4, Wander about trying to avoid being bitten
5, Go home

If I ask F what he did that day, he would reply along the lines of this (should he ever be bothered to converse with me): –

‘First we took drama, we danced like leaves blowing in the autumn wind waving goodbye to the summer and then we listened to an excerpt from the Wind in the Willows and discussed its relevance to modern day society. Do you think Ratty’s penchant for poetry was a sign of weakness?’

‘Um, er, well yes, possibility i think…um…’

‘NEVERMIND! What did you do?’

‘I stopped your brother killing himself, watched Made In Chelsea on catch up and tried to stay away from the gin cupboard. Oh and then I did a bit of work to help contribute to the extortionate childcare fees we are paying. Glad to see its all being put to good use though.’

[The boy sighs audibly and thrusts his latest painting at me]

‘Oh lovely what’s this?’

‘El crocodrilo tiene dientes afilados.’

‘Ummm, errrrr Je ne comprends pas?’

‘IT’S NOT FRENCH YOU IDIOT! The crocodile has sharp teeth Mummy! Did you not take Spanish at pre-school? Urgh.’

‘Um no.  Listen I’ll crack on with making tea, what did you have for lunch?’

‘Tibetan mountain stew and wild rice followed by vanilla panna cotta with a summer berry compote. You?’

‘A tin of Heniz ravioli.’

[Actually not jealous as I love Heinz ravioli – not the cheese one though that’s rank].

‘Ok fine well we better go and wind down before dinner and practice our yoga, I really need to nail the modified cobra by next week. We might do a little meditation too as i’ve been feeling a bit stressed out lately.’

‘Er what have you got to be stressed about?’

‘Well, I don’t mean to be rude but you do go on at us quite a bit. It’s always – pull your pants up, stop trying to lick the plug sockets etc. Your negative aura is starting to interfere with our chakras.’

[The boy exits and I retrieve fish fingers from the freezer in stunned silence]

So next week I think I shall just shove them both out of the front door with a sandwich and a stick and see if they can learn some real world survival skills. I will cross my fingers that they make it back alive and maybe, a little less middle class.



P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)


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56 thoughts on “When did pre-school get so posh?

  1. Mummy Says

    Another brilliant post Katie. Milin is two and also does yoga, ballet and Zumba at nursery. He has an impressive appreciation for Van Gogh and Mozart too – again nothing I can take credit for. Tbh though, I would rather pay half the fees and let him run a little wilder there. I’m not sure he needs such structured lessons yet…. X

  2. Dean B

    Definitely posh! All little T does at play-school is bike around, play rough with the boys and take turns being the “baddie”. They do however, have circle time where stories are read and do a bit of numbers and letters. But that’s about it. On Wednesdays though, they do some gardening and then play down in the valley. Yes, it’s very provincial down here. When they grow up, they’ll form a commune, play the guitar around the fire, smoke weed and grow organic veg. Hehe.

      1. Dean B

        Btw, I heard my husband chortling in our room last night. I asked him what was so funny… Apparently he was reading your blog! He reads my blog sometimes and he followed your comment from an entry and started reading… then he was laughing! He said that you really are funny) I’ve mentioned you to him a lot of times and I always say how funny you are and he agrees ;)

  3. lifewithmunchers

    Sounds like you’re getting your monies worth. I pay £44 a day for munch to be bitten, licked and have her hair pulled by little gits. They then play her peppa pig CDs (note she didn’t know what peppa pig was before that…thanks nursery). Despite having a French name, the one language she comes home with is broad Aberdonian and that makes me want to wretch!

  4. brummymummyof2

    My girl has become a right smart arse since going to preschool. Telling me stupid things about me eating healthily and milk makes my bones grow strong. What’s that all about??? I used to eat Space Raiders, penny sweets and those cups of pop you shove the straw in the top x

  5. wrymummy

    Ha ha, they can keep their pannacotta, I’m Freddo all the way! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks baby yoga is ridiculous, as you mentioned on my post t’other day – funnily enough, I was thinking of doing a first vs last baby post too but will wait a bit now. We obviously share a brain cell, although I think you get the use of it most of the time ;). Have a lush weekend my pretty xx

  6. chickywiggle

    at least your kids talk to you enough for you to know what they do :) round here we have 3pm amnesia. “what did you do at school today?” “I dunno”, “did you play outside?” “can’t remember”, “did you play with x?” “who” ……. but yet he knows exactly which pants he wore yesterday or that time I swore and exactly which word I used 3 months ago!

    I always fancied the idea of taking my kids to baby yoga…. but was too much like hard work so I taught them pole fitness instead :)

  7. Life at the Little Wood

    Amazing, as always, Katie! Our wee pre-school is a bit less posh – I think Annie spends most days pretending to be a dog (non-yoga variety) They are all about the ‘structured play’ though – when I was little I’m pretty sure I just ran around a big hall for two hours! Loved this poppet xx

  8. Donna

    I keep hearing about this Downward Dog and now, thanks to your little yoga-ite I know exactly what it is. Thanks!
    LP starts nursery in September. How long before she is doing yoga, speaking Spanish and putting me to shame!? x

  9. Colette B

    Had to stop myself snorting with laughter (I’m in bed so don’t want to be waking the baby lol)

  10. Not A Frumpy Mum

    My memories of play school (the original pre-school) are of spending an entire morning bouncing on a trampette and going home to be fed breaded chicken legs by my mum! Seriously that’s all she ever fed me, interspersed with the odd findus crispy pancake ;-) x

  11. Olivia FitzGerald

    Recently my guys (who go to pre-school too) were messing about and told me they were doing the downward dog.. They also do child-to-child-massage & reflexology. I thought that was all great until the montessori teacher introduced her healing crystals. Now they think crystals are magic and take pain away!! I just said erm.. no crystals are not magic. Needless to say I was not very popular for contradicting their lovely montessori teacher.
    Only 2 more months left I suppose. :o)

  12. Tim

    I’m reassured it’s not just me! At our kids’ preschool they don’t do yoga but they do have weekly ballet and French sessions. It definitely wasn’t like this when I was young!

  13. Jenny

    Katie you are HILARIOUS. I love this post. I couldn’t stop laughing the whole way through. I feel like this with Buba coming home doing all these amazing acitivities. I know damn well I never did when I went to nursery as a kid. Downward dog photo is brilliant. #wotsofunee

  14. Louise

    Loved this! We don’t have any posh preschools near us where I live in Canada unless you count the Montesorri schools. We sent our kid to free French preschool through the school board. Not sure how much she learnt but she had fun and got to understand a bit what school would be like. Certainly no yoga or gourmet meals though!

  15. Tom Briggs

    Ha! Brilliant as ever. I often wonder whether my older son is becoming a middle class snob; he’s quite put out when we don’t have any olives and has started calling me “Father” too. Oh dear…

  16. laemil

    That’s absolutely hilarious, I laughed out loud at this! We live in Bath & altho baby is only 4 months atm I’m fully expecting this kinda thing in the future…

    Btw I started reading your blog as your sister posted it on Facebook, I’m so glad she did :-) you’re a very entertaining writer xx

  17. Tola

    Lol, that’s awesome! I want to send my kid to that nursery!! Right now I feel I’m being short changed at mine! But at least I get all the basic stuff and its right next to my office so I can’t complain or should I… :)

  18. mummydaddyme

    You make me laugh so much. I do agree though, Mads does ‘Dancing Emma’ which is ballet and French lessons at nursery. ;)

  19. Honest Mum

    Crack me up-Oliver’s pre-school is ridiculously posh too-part of a private school-not sure they do yoga but been great prep for school for the 4 year old as it’s divided into the nursery and pre-school part! A joins in Sept just as Oliver leaves for the village primary on our doorstep! Becoming a big boy!

  20. Del

    Don’t know about pre-school yet. But two working parents in the US means daycare for our baby boy since 4 months. Traumatic in itself. The first shock occurred at about the 9mo + mark. Sitting at home, my son who is sitting on the floor playing looks up at me and opens and closes his hand very deliberately. When I stare blankly at him, he looks at me like I missed a train going by and does it again, looking at Dad expectantly. I look at my wife and say “What the hell is that?” My wife, giggling hysterically, says “It’s sign language, that’s the sign for Milk, he wants a bottle. They’re teaching him sign language at daycare so he can express himself before he talks” I think back to the fact I grew up with my grandmother as daycare and think, “is this new? what else have I missed? and what’s the sign for poop?” The other part of me was just a little creeped out by a 9mo old baby signing for it’s bottle rather than crying.

  21. Celia

    Hang on, your kids are in childcare!!!!! kinda takes the edge off your posts. Work is time off, you get travel time and a lunch.


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