Bye-Bye Mummy: The First Day at Child Care

Friday, February 7, 2014
first day of child care for my two and a half year old

"Bye, bye Mummy" he said when I bent down to give him a kiss goodbye. I anticipated opposition or at least for him to be a little tentative, instead, he gave me another kiss on my hand, and off he went, back to the slide and didn't look back. I walked away, pushing Willow in the stroller towards the door. And that was it. No crying, no big scene, no drama.

Its a funny feeling leaving your child in someone else's care for the first time. Not knowing what they will be doing all day, and knowing you wont be there if they scrape their knee, or to help them eat their lunch, or to yell at them for not eating it. I'll admit that I'm a pretty laid back Mum most of the time, but one thing I'm uptight about, is leaving my kids with other people. Up until now, I've never really needed to worry about it too much. We have my parents close by, and I'm happy leaving the kids with them, they know the kids so well, and know what their daily needs are, I know they have things under control.  But, other than that, it is pretty rare that I'll have other babysitters or carers. I know, I'm particular, I don't know why, but its just the way I am.

So, yesterday, when I left him in the care of people who are relative strangers to me, but who are trained professionals, I was a little nervous. Just because, nobody knows your child like you do. I found myself wondering what I he doing, or feeling strange that the house was so quiet. But, I just had to remind myself that this wasn't for me, it was for him. You see, when we were on holidays I watched my little boy grow, mature, learn and develop so quickly in only two weeks. His language came along in leaps and bounds, he grew up, suddenly. I watched him become enthralled with the older kids, my little socialite was desperate to participate and glean off them what he could. One of the reasons I love camping so much is because kids get that extra freedom to experience the world a little further away from Mum and Dad. And he loved every minute of it.

It got me to thinking, maybe it would be good for him to have a day a week where he goes somewhere, and has experiences something a bit different. Something that gives him the opportunity to  engage with a lot of other children. Because, some days at home it is hard for him. I'm busy sorting Willow out with something, or getting her to sleep, or we are at home because she is taking a long nap, and he is a little bored, and then gets into mischief or watches more TV than I would like. We have friends down here, but we are still relative newbies to the area so we don't have lots of play days, and I'll often drive up to Perth to see friends during the week but we still have a lot of quiet days at home. I had a little look on my dear friend 'google', and found a place nearby that looked pretty great. It's an educational program, play-school, for toddlers and young kids. We had a little visit last week, and it looked fantastic! So many activities and the ladies there are so lovely, I had no doubts this was the place for him, the vibes were great! As an added bonus, one of his little friends is going on the same day, and he is so excited
about that.

Yesterday was his first day. A whole day without me. And you know what.. he did amazing! No tears, no dramas, I'm so impressed, two and a half, going on 13. Just lots of fun, and lots of activities to keep him busy all day. I'm confident I made the right decision for him and his development.

And me, well I'm not going to lie, having the freedom of just one child for the day is pretty amazing. I've got a couple of big dreams in my head right now, and having a little bit of extra time to try and nut out the details is really helpful! I also wandered around some op shops for a couple of hours, and there was no yelling or prying a toddler out, off, or in anything!

first packed lunch for a play school for my toddler
My first ever packed lunch, its so hard to know how much they'll eat!! 

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