Monthly Archives: January 2013

Daycare Transition – Day 3

Today was the third day of Timothy’s daycare transition. Agenda: bring Timothy, a diaper, and a milk bottle at 9:30 am, leave immediately like it will be on a usual morning, come back 90 minutes later.

Timothy woke up very early today: at 6:10 am and refused to go back to sleep. Kept whining and whining and whining. He even whined while he nursed. And then when he ate breakfast. And then… well, you get the picture. He kept being whiney, although would stop when distracted. I have to confess, I sort of liked the idea of not being the one to deal with whining. It’s okay when he cries, when he’s upset – it’s very hard on my when he whines all day long for no apparent reason.

Yesterday’s rain stopped and turned into tremendous windchill. Hubby drove us to daycare. I took the snowsuit off of him in the corridor (there’s a convenient changing table there for these purposes) and went into the room. As of tomorrow, we will not be allowed inside the room – we will be passing Timothy over the low door partition.

I took a few pictures of the room while I am still allowed and left quickly. This is the area where they drink milk at 10 am (sans the pillows)

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As I stepped outside, I realized that I forgot to give them the milk bottle. Timothy was crying when I opened the door. I gave the bottle to the educator and left before Timothy could spot me.

Even though Timothy was crying, it was much easier today on me. Probably because I left right away – having not sat there, watching him play and laugh and crawl.

I went into a nearby cafe and sat there, doodling and writing down some list, for the 90 minutes.

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When I came back, Timothy was happy to see me. Again, not in a “where the hell have you been for so long” way – the same happy smile that he gives me whenever I come from upstairs at home 🙂

They said he whined and was tired and they tried to put him for a nap, but he couldn’t fall asleep. Unfamiliar place, no soother (my mistake), unfamiliar sounds…

But all in all he did well. He participated in some crafts activity, spreading glue with a gluestick. He ate some cheerios. He looked good.

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He promptly fell asleep in the stroller on our way home and woke up happy and content, no more whining.

Since I am not going back to work yet, they suggested I continue transitioning him – instead of leaving him for the whole day, I should pick him up right after nap tomorrow. And then go from there – gradually picking him up later and later.

So this is it. Tomorrow Timothy is starting daycare. I labeled all his clothes and bottles and shoes. I packed a crib sheet and sleep sack. I prepared lunch and snacks (the daycare starts providing lunches for kids older than 18 months).

I feel better about it. Calmer. And actually quite excited for him – oh, the new activities he’s gonna learn, the crafts he’ll partake in, the games, the interactions… I bet it will all be interesting and fun. And mom will always have the cuddles ready in the evening 🙂

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Daycare Transition, Day 2

Today was the second day of daycare transition, meaning I was supposed to bring Timothy at 9:30 am, stay there with him for 15 minutes, leave, and come back for him at 10:30 am – letting him stay there for 45 minutes without me.

Hubby had the brilliant idea to suggest that we can walk there, no reason for him to be late for work – especially since he needs to leave early today to let me catch my evening illustration class. Sounds logical, right?

Well, when I opened the garage door, ready to wheel out – it was pouring rain out there.

Let me tell you: maneuvering an umbrella stroller with one hand (the other hand holding my umbrella) is not an easy task: unlike strollers with one handlebar, it keeps going right, left, right, left, wringing your wrist. By the time I passed about 5 blocks, my wrists were in pain, I was steaming hot with the effort and actually swearing out loud. Which I don’t do often.

I gave up and decided to wait for a streetcar.

So we arrived late: instead of 9:30, we arrived at 9:45 or so; I stayed for 15 minutes and left for 30 minutes – not 45, as planned.

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When we arrived, one of the teaching assistants (the Russian one) immediately took Timothy and carried him over to another spot in the room, sat him in her lap and played with him – and other babies. After a while Timothy started crawling around. Then it was 10 am – time for the morning milk. They started gathering all the babies in this cushioned area where they take their milk daily – at which point Timothy saw me putting on my coat and started whimpering. Not really crying – complaining.

I left.

The moment I set foot out the door, I started to cry. And then to bawl.

I called hubster – he was nonplussed. “But it’s only for 30 minutes!”

He couldn’t get it. He couldn’t get that I was not crying about leaving Timothy there today for 30 minutes (after all, I had left Timothy before even for longer periods with other people) – it was about… well, about all the days and months and years to come – of him being away from me.

That’s how it goes with babies. First they extract the baby from your belly – and baby’s no longer with you all the time. Then they introduce solids and baby is no longer nursing all day long, attached to your boob 8 times a day. Then they let baby sleep for 12 hours straight, so long that you actually start to miss your baby by the time it’s your bedtime. Then they take your baby to daycare… to kindergarten… to school… to college… to start their own family…

I walked the streets, hiding behind my umbrella, crying. Imagining his warm little body in my hands – someone else will be giving him hugs. His wide smile – someone else will be bringing this smile to his face all day long. His smell. His sticky fingers.

Was I crying because I had to leave him there? Because I was worried how he’ll fare? I don’t think so. I really am pretty sure he’ll be fine (otherwise I probably wouldn’t have been able to leave him there at all). Was I crying because I felt sorry for myself? Perhaps. But most probably I was crying because my baby is longer a baby. He’s getting older. He’s starting to become his own person. He’s starting to become independent. I have to learn to let go.

I came back at 10:30, he was whining. They said he didn’t cry while I was away. He did look around, searching for me – but didn’t cry and only started whining right before I came. Well, he usually takes a nap around that time – so probably he was tired. They said he did really well for the first day. And he wasn’t ecstatic when arrived, when he saw me. He was happy, but not in a “where have you been I’ve been missing you” way.

I am proud of him. He did well.

I didn’t do well at all. Even now, as I write this, tears keep coming to my eyes and I have to swallow my emotions down.

It’s hard. Really, really hard. I hope it does get better.

On the Other Hand…

As Timothy is getting older, less reliant on me, I am more and more inclined to uncover my true self from under piles of spitup, breastfeeding sessions, diaper changes, nap schedules, and such.

One of the things that I sort of lost is my creativity. I used to draw and paint a lot. Over the years, there was less and less of that, and that made me sad. So my 2013 resolution is to recapture, rediscover my creativity.

To document this self-rediscovery journey, I started a separate blog – follow me if you wanna… well, follow 🙂 http://whereismycreativity.wordpress.com

Daycare Transition, Day 1

Daycare Transition Day 1 – success.

We arrived at about 9:30 am, an administrative person greeted us at the door, led us to Timothy’s room and introduced to the childhood educator lady.

Hubby decided to tour the facilities, too – and stayed with us for some time.

We were shown around – wall with samples of art – yes, at this age (the group is 12-18 months) they already make art! A table with pictures of parents glued to the surface – babies enjoy those. A wall of babies’ pictures – sleeping. A wall of babies’ pictures doing various activities – apparently, those are being updated weekly. Schedule of activities. A journal where we will communicate Timothy’s day: we leave the last meal/diaper change/well-being remarks in the morning – and get daycare’s report in the evening on how Timothy ate/slept/etc. Sleeping area with cribs. Refrigerator with their lunches and snacks and bottles, all labeled.

It’s a big, bright room with colourful murals and lots of toys and books and clothes for dress-up playtime. There are 10 babies in the room, all of which looked happy and curious. Although none looked excited about anything. At mom and baby things there’s always at least one baby being very excited about something. Well, I guess those other babies have seen it all now, and aren’t all that excited.

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Timothy fit right in. He joined a group of babies playing with some plastic toys – balls, buckets, gears. A girl stroked his hair. Another girl touched his toes. Ladies’ magnet 🙂 An assistant teacher was amazed at Timothy stacking a ring onto a pyramid without pausing. Timothy giggling at his reflection in a mirror. Timothy crawling around, exploring. He loved it.

At 10 am all the babies (or should I call him kids?) were gathered for the mid-morning bottle of milk, patiently waiting, listening to one assistant teacher singing, while another one was heating all the bottles in the microwave. It was time for us to leave – and I think Timothy didn’t wanna go. He liked it there.

Tomorrow I will stay with him for 15 minutes and then leave him – with a bottle of milk and a diaper – he will have milk with others and have his diaper changed with others, getting used to the idea. After 45 minutes, I will pick him up.

I think Timothy will like it there. There’s lots of activities, toys, other babies. I liked the employees (one actually speaks Russian!). I know he’ll be okay when all is well, he loves playing and interacting with others. I still worry about naps and mealtimes and times when he cries (like when he falls or something) – how will he react to me not being there for those? That I don’t know.

Overall, I am glad I exposed him so much to being around others. I am glad we went to all those mom and baby programs, playdates, and drop-ins. He felt very comfortable there, completely at ease. I feel better now about this whole daycare thing.

Well, we’ll see how it goes…

Daycare transition begins tomorrow :(

My baby is starting daycare tomorrow. Not full-time yet – the next three days are transition days:

Day 1. We go and spend an hour there, together.

Day 2. We go and spend 15 minutes there together, then I leave him alone for 45 minutes

Day 3. I leave him there for an hour.

Day 4. Start daycare, full-time.

That is what they have found works best.

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But.

Today we went to visit my dear friend who recently gave birth. As we were spending our whole day there, Timothy had to take a nap there, too. We put together a playpen upstairs and when Timothy was clearly ready for a nap, I brought and left him there. He cried. And cried. And cried. No amount of coming back in, shooshing, singing, and patting helped.

Was it because I just dumped him in an unfamiliar room, in an unfamiliar playpen?

I went back, took him out of the playpen, spent about 5 minutes showing him all the decals and toys and prints in the room. After that I put him in the playpen again; he still cried when I left, but just for a few seconds.

Now that got me thinking. Yes, he is fine when we go to drop-ins and playdates. He crawls around, interacts with others, plays – never even searching for me. But what will happen once in daycare, when it’s meal time and I am not there? Okay, maybe he will be sufficiently distracted by food. But what will happen when it’s nap time and I am not around to give him a hug and a kiss, and it’s an unfamiliar crib in an unfamiliar room? And less than perfect sleeping conditions – other babies, light, etc.?

😦

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025 – Jan. 25

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We had a huge snowstorm today. Daddy and I planned a date night, but both daddy and babysitting friends came late – we barely had time for dinner before movie. But you enjoyed watching the snow falling down. I grabbed some snow from the outside and put it on the floor for you to touch – and you immediately ate some. And then started crying – whether because it was cold, or because the rest of it on the floor disappeared (melted) – I don’t know 🙂

026 – Jan. 26

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Finally, snow here in Toronto! My friend came over and we all went for a stroll in the park; you slept through most of it – but we enjoyed the sun and the snow. Beautiful.

028 – Jan. 28

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Today we went to enjoy the winter wonderland with your dad; when we came home, your hat strings got all tangled up and you were too anxious to be on the move after being stuck in the stroller for so long – we had to let you run around in your winter hat. Barefoot, but in a knitted hat 🙂

Sunday Brunch: Cottage Cheese with Dried Fruits

So today’s brunch is simplicity itself: cottage cheese with dried fruits. But it’s yummmmmy!

Ingredients:
  • cottage cheese
  • dried cranberries (sweet ones)
  • dried pitted prunes
  • dried apricots
  • fresh blueberries
  • jam (if you wish)
  • nuts
Really, I don’t think I need to write a recipe, but here it is, just in case.
Quarter the apricots and the prunes and throw into a bowl. Add raisins, cranberries, nuts (ground, sliced, or whole – as you wish), mix – and serve.
You can also add jam, or canned fruits like peaches or mandarins. And enjoy – it’s a really healthy breakfast made tastier (there aren’t many people who would enjoy plain cottage cheese, I believe :))
You can even pre-soak raisins in rum and then serve them – mmmmm!