Austin started Childcare last Friday. I"ve gone back to work on Fridays (although I'm not sure how long you can get away with working one day a week and call it 'gone back'. It's hardly going back to work, really...).
It was tragic, gut wrenching and heartbreaking...
Austin loved childcare and really didn't seem too concerned that I had abandoned him for several hours. Before we started, the room leader said that she would contact me every hour on his first day to tell me how he was doing. I was confident that, by about noon, she would be begging me to come get my son, who obviously was not coping with the adjustment.
No dice. In fact, the 'worst' call that I received went something like this:
"Austin didn't sleep very long this morning, but he woke up and played outside really well. He ate all of his lunch, but is getting a bit fussy now. We think he's just sleepy, but you indicated on your form that he generally doesn't go down until about 3:00. Do you want us to put him down earlier?"
They put him down for a sleep earlier and sure enough, he was fine. (Confession: I totally faked that form. I have no idea what time Austin "normally" goes down for a sleep. I just put him in bed when he looks tired. Sometimes he sleeps all morning, which is glorious. Sometimes he doesn't go to sleep until the afternoon, and that's great too. Talk about serious mommy guilt.....)
All of his other calls were glowing:
"Austin is outside building a tower with blocks." (Important Side Note: 8 month old children don't build. They accidentally put one thing on top of another, maybe, but there's no tower building.)
"Most kids don't want to engage with the other children on their first day, but Austin ate his whole lunch at the table with the other kids!"
"Austin did really well when you left. He got a bit fussy, but we were easily able to distract him with some toy cars. He hasn't even needed his dummy!" (dummy= pacifier)
"Austin really loves rhyme time! He even tries to do the arm movements!"
In all seriousness, though, the childcare Austin went to (goes to) really is lovely. The staff are fabulous, the toys are great, the play areas are meticulously maintained and the whole facility just oozes safety (case in point: they won't let him have a pacifier chain as it 'poses a choking hazard'). They even were nice enough to email me several pictures of Austin throughout the day while I was at work:
Lesson learned? My son is a traitor. Make that Traitor... with a capital T. Give him a few new toys and he is available for the taking.
I thought he'd at least be excited to see me when I went to pick him up. I did the whole over-excited "Hi, Austin!!" thing and I got a smile. But there was no arm waving, I want to go home-ing or pick-me-up-now behaviour. He was eating a cracker and he just kept on eating, giving me a look that said, "Oh, hi Mom. Just let me finish this cracker and then we can go."
He did pose for a picture, though:
This weekend, we painted with fingerpaints, blew bubbles, made a mess with shaving cream and found a talking stuffed easter bunny. Austin also sucked on his pacifier all weekend long.
Beat that, Childcare!