I has been over two months since I got here, and exactly two months since the BB turned three today. And just yesterday was the first time ever, that he was without either the GP or me, and there was no related-by-blood adult taking care of him either. His first time, on his own. We will ignore that fact that I refused to leave the building, and kept peeking in every now and then, simply because he was not aware of that!
To get to the starting point of it all, I wanted him to start kindergarten/pre-school this year. Unfortunately we arrived here a wee bit too late, since all the admissions for this academic year had already closed by then, and most of the private kinders run programs only for those who are four and above, the ones for three year-olds were once again booked out. This meant, another year of him at home with me. This I did not want, simply because I want him to socialise with other children. So I found a playgroup and started him on that. And then started looking up for other options, found a few activity-like things to do, picked up one, and still wanted more. I needed him to start going to a place where he would be without his parents, so that he starts understanding the true meaning of getting independent and having to take his own responsibility. With kindergarten not happening, the only option I had left was day care. Once again the council day cares, atleast the ones within reasonable distance are all booked in for the year, and hence I started looking at the much much more expensive option of the private ones. There is one that has newly opened at walking distance from home, and not knowing exactly what it is, that was the first thing we had looked into. We had even gone for a tour and looked in on the facilities. While the GP was keen that we fill in the forms and start him off immediately, especially since he has been keen on letting the BB grow his own wings(as if he does not have them already), but I kept dilly dallying. The place is gorgeous no doubt. New and swanky, well done, bright and colourful, everything, but somehow it seemed to be missing a basic vibrancy, a soul. The place just felt too processed for my liking, maybe even a bit haughty. And since I go by my instincts, this centre, just did not speak to me much, I did not feel a vibe or energy, I would love to send the BB to. In the meanwhile the playgroup happened, I looked up some more online, found a few other day care centres, the ones I can reach on my own. And so I called up a few, and booked a tour in one of them too.
This one had been around for a few years. It looked neither swanky nor uptown, and yet, I loved it the moment I walked into the place. It simply was not processed. I had been there in the afternoon with the BB, the kids his age, were out in the play area, doing their own thing, while the carers just kept an eye out. One boy actually came up and introduced himself and his friend to me. I could see that the kids were happy. I loved it, and booked in a half day for the BB immediately. They had been around for a while, and were better aware of the needs of children. When I told them it was to be the BB's first time at a care centre, they suggested I do a couple of orientation sessions first. Which was just what I needed, since I would not have been very comfortable just dropping him off and coming back home on the very first day. He did a one hour session on Friday, and was due for a longer one on Monday, which did not happen, because he was not too well, and I wanted him to stay in and get better.
And yesterday we directly went in for him to start. I stayed in the building, in a waiting room, but he was not aware of that and was on his own all the three and half hours that we were there. From what I see, the BB is loving the place only for its play area, that is the only place he wanted to be, since we got there. So as soon as we went in, he opened the door to his room, and ran in. The door to the play area though, was locked, since it was the middle of the afternoon, and the kids were sitting around being read to, while a very few of the others napped. What do you know, this did not appeal much to my little son, and he wanted to come right back out with me. I stepped out and went away. I knew, he would not get too upset about not having me around, but not being able to play outdoors, may bother him. The carers took over, the lady reading, sat him on her lap and went on, and I went into my hiding place. An hour later I come to check and I see the kids are all out playing, and I spot the BB all smiling and shining in the sun. The manager there told me, that he was a bit upset and had some tears, but has been happy since they were allowed to step out. And that they had let them out a bit early today, since it was his first day, but they won't be doing it always. Works just fine according to me.
The GP arrived there from office to pick us up, and we went in, and the BB was still outside playing. The lady told us, that he had been invited in to paint with the others, but he just enjoyed being outside and stayed right there. Had he been left to it, he would have happily stayed on there till the very last person left the centre. We brought him back home, and I had to give him a nice long wash to get all the sand, from the sand pit out of him. But over all, I believe it was a good day. He definitely did not care a hoot about whether I was around or not(what a blow to my motherly self-esteem that is!) as long as he was out there having fun. There was no drama-shaama about missing me, which is great. And that is how, the BB went solo for the first time yesterday.
He was satisfied with all the playing I know, because he readily agreed to head back home, and happily and nicely bid good-bye to all the carers. I know that his hunger to just play will diminish as he forms bonds with the other kids around, and he sees the carers regularly and becomes friendly with them, and I am sure it will be loads and loads of fun for him. I still think next Tuesday will be tough for me, since I will infact drop him there and go away, hopefully heading back home, and knowing I am physically far apart from him will bother me a bit, but I am sure I will get used to it just fine too. And suddenly the little bundle who was handed over to me in a nursing home, not too long ago, seems to have become big enough to be left on his own. How time flies indeed. Just hope that he keeps growing and learning at each step, and moves on, finding his own friends, rules, likings, passions, while knowing always that his parents stand firmly behind him whenever he needs them.
On a side note, the BB is totally enamoured by the video of 'nani teri morni' on youtube, since I showed it to him, when Monika posted it on her blog. To say he is totally taken by the video will be an understatement. Whenever I am on the laptop, he keeps saying 'mori, mori'(meaning morni). He does not let me so much as touch my laptop, as long as the video is playing, and as soon as it gets over, it needs to be repeated. A different video of the same song would not do, none of the other songs are good enough, so basically my mind is sick and tiered of the repeat loop on which the song is currently playing here. And Monika, I completely and totally blame you for it. A friend who was online after ages today, could not chat with me on Skype, because no way on earth could I halt the 'mori' video. So well, that's the song-of-this-household for now. And I need a change.