My youngest has started nursery. It’s bittersweet watching them grow up – you’re proud that they can navigate their way around an iPad better than you, but you kind of miss the dependency.

I miss that my youngest used to cry for me when she was sad, that I was the only one who could make everything better. Now she’s crying to get away from me! I knew I shouldn’t have dressed up as a clown for her birthday.

The miniature school uniform is darn cute, mind you. It’s reduced my vocabulary to ‘awwww’ and ‘ickle, tiny schooly pants.’ She just looks way too young to be rocking a blazer and fake tie.

In preparation for her first day I kitted her out with the necessities: a humungous Paw Patrol back-pack, a Peppa Pig pencil case and a few Michael McIntyre DVDs (so the other babies would think she was inoffensive).

I got her dressed and finished the look off with her bag. She looked like I did when I started ‘big school’, like she was carrying a house on her back like some sort of kid/turtle hybrid.

We tottered down and I decided to sit with her for a while in case she started getting upset. We played in the sand pit for a while but eventually I was asked to leave. I’d constructed a huge castle and became a little excitable, exclaiming ‘that’s how it’s done! Woooooo!’ whilst the kids looked on, bemused. I really need to quell this competitive streak.

I hung around, peering through the window, wondering why she wasn’t upset that I’d left her. I tried to get her attention by mixing waves with star jumps but if she did see me she quickly shook her head and turned her back. I felt like I was losing her. She didn’t need me any more. Pretty soon she’d be refusing cuddles, watching late night MTV in her room and coming home with a tattoo that reads ‘my only embarrassment is my mother’.

By this point I’d been escorted off the premises in tears as I watched my daughter mouth ‘I don’t know that woman’ through the glass. I had to win back my baby. Sure, she was all grown up and independent, and maybe I couldn’t have her crying to Mammy for a cuddle, but I could have Mammy crying to her for one...

My initial strategy was to stand outside the school, arms laden with Kinder Eggs. I decided against this course of action, realising that at best I’d be mistaken for a chubby Chitty Bang Bang style child catcher, and at worst be lifted by the popo, so I dumped them in the car.

In a desperate attempt to have her notice me (and before she started calling me by my first name), I lay down on the pavement outside the window: “I’ve fell! My... ventricle! I think I’ve snapped my... appendix!”

It was almost home-time and a few befuddled parents tried to help me up. “No! I’m fine!” I whispered. “My daughter’s just embarrassed by me. She’s pretending she doesn’t know me.”

Soon my baby emerged and hugged me, telling me she’d missed me. You see, even when she’s 45 she’ll be my baby.

She’s only half my baby today, though – turns out she was being nice because she was after the Kinder Eggs. At least for now she still needs me to take the wrapper off.