Most working moms have apprehension and anxiety over sending their children to daycare. Fortunately, for most, they will eventually discover daycare isn’t so bad and that their children thrive in the environment.
Most moms ain’t me.
I dread daycare. It terrifies me. All of those feelings of apprehension and anxiety are completely founded on my part. My oldest son has been kicked out of daycare. He has been more or less removed from preschool. He has caused a nanny to quit.
You can see why today, when I took my two boys back to daycare for the first time since June, I was a little freaked out. In fact, I’ve been agonizing over it for weeks, getting in touch with the school social worker and psychologist, speaking with his new teachers, making social stories, trying to get everything in place to ensure that this day would be a good one.
That’s a lot of pressure.
But guess what? It was a great day.
As many of you know, my four year-old Big C has high-functioning autism and a nasty temper, so daycare settings have proven to be a challenge; however, it would appear all of my dedication with him this summer (along with his social skills class, OT, Speech, and his visual schedule, God love it) has paid off because he was awesome. He couldn’t wait to go to school: “I’m all set!” He was all smiles when his classmates greeted him with a hello by name. The school social worker (who seriously must have wings hiding behind her cute cardigan) stopped in for a visit to check-in and also commented on how great the day was. When I picked him up, he was sitting with a group of other boys playing cooperatively. He didn’t come running to me. In fact, he looked hesitant, but smiled, and asked if he could stay a little longer to play.
Seriously? Needless to say, I was all smiles and so proud, even a little tearful.
In swoops the Mommy guilt. I mentioned it was a great day, but I forgot the qualifier. It was a great day for my oldest son. For my youngest, not so much.
Since Big C’s diagnosis last February, I have put so much of my time and energy into ensuring Big C’s success that, on some level, I’ve just been assuming 16 month-old Little C will be “just fine.” He really is an easygoing kid.
But not today. He had a rough one. He wanted to be held most of the day (which is so not like him), he didn’t nap at all (also not like him), he hardly ate (are you sure this is my kid you’re talking about?) and he bit another child (okay, that sounds a little like him). As soon as I picked him up from the teacher holding him, he clung to me like a little koala and made that sporadic sound of breath that comes after a long cry. He didn’t babble. He didn’t smile. He just held tight. He did perk up once we got home, but I cannot forget that lost look on his face right before I held him.
I end this post feeling conflicted. I feel like I have a great success story here with Big C. He has been my main muse for much of this blog thus far, and since its inception, he’s made some amazing leaps and bounds.
But what about Little C? When is it his turn for a little attention?
Tomorrow is always a new day, little buddy. Let’s tackle this biting bit, shall we?