After three years of tending to home, hearth, hubby and child (darn! the alliteration ended with hubby) I've got back to work. YAY! Open champagne bottles, get drunk all around? Erm no. This place is quite sanitized from that standpoint.
I work for Gymboree. Red and I took MLM there 2.5 years ago after friends recommended the place. And over a point of time it became the de facto weekend destination for us. MLM learnt about clowns, lap rides, cleaning up his toys after play time and most importantly, about BUBBLES!! To this date it's tough to get him distracted from bubbles whether it's those hawkers at the traffic signals, the bubble bath that he insists upon or just any ol' foamy stuff. That boy's serious about his bubbles!!
But the going's not been easy so far. It hasn't been a Herculean effort either but I realized that for all my whining to Red about having cabin fever, it was very difficult for me to swallow the idea of leaving my child in a daycare at the mercy of perfect strangers! Sounds very melodramatic but there's no dearth of drama in a mother's head anyhow so...
We looked at daycare centers which would not only be at a doable distance but also the kinds where he would feel comfortable. Children are creatures of habits as Red never fails to remind me and once they get used to a particular kind of ambiance, any kind of change in it affects them quite a bit.
And it wasn't just about the hygiene. It was also about the dimensions of the place, how well ventilated it was, how well light and how spacious. I finally found one that satisfied me to some extent and that's saying a lot because somewhere in my head I was waiting for the place to miraculously look like my house and the caretaker to resemble me somewhat so MLM's transition would be smooth.
But it hasn't been smooth. It hasn't been too choppy either but it's been a bit painful on all sides. The first few days he howled. The next few days he simpered and then he clung to me like a limpet when I came to pick him up. There were some territory issues between him and a few other boys (testosterone city!!) who were there before him and had a few years and pounds on him. To add to it, the van driver from his school who drops him at the daycare after school gets over was also melancholic because 'babu roya'.
I was beginning to feel that between my son's somber face, my husband's gloomier than ever countenance and my parents' anxiety over MLM's adjustment, I had no business at all feeling even the slightest bit of satisfaction in getting up in the morning, contemplating on what I was going to wear that day (with ACCESSORIES!!) and heading off to work with the music blasting!
But my employers being pretty damn considerate all things considered, gave me the freedom to work fairly flexible timings and now I leave in the mornings before MLM heads off for school and pick him up from daycare and am back home by a little bit post 2 pm. That's a total of just over 2 hours in daycare on most days of the week. And I have to say at the arrangement is working great! Either because he's also getting acclimatized to the place, or because he's spending lesser time there, our man's been happier in the last few days. I've yet to see him sulk and he's actually taking time to say bye to the kids and the staff there, which in his world means some amount of connections are getting established.
Of course he would still has to be dragged away from his school whereas he's quite free about waving everyone off at daycare as soon as he sees either Red or I have come to pick him up. But today I saw him totally at ease there and it really soothed my anxiety imps. Of course it's a rare (read oddball) child who will leave crayons, papers to scribble upon and just up and leave because his mother's come to pick him up!
Once we're back home he has the added advantage of taking YET another bath (again with bubbles) and takes his time race-walking through the house, touching all his things to reaffirm that they are indeed all there. And by the time the evening dawns we're busy with the newly discovered game of Crennis or Croccer.
Let me explain-
Crennis was discovered in circa 2012 by a bored and yet imaginative child who found that if he used both a cricket bat and a tennis racquet to hit a ball, he'd be able to strike with more force, make more noise and possibly make the ball go further each time if not entirely beat the living daylights out of it!
The game is played with a parent on one side whose primary job is to NEVER get tired of pitching the ball to the offspring or hitting it when the offspring chucks it at them-even if it's actually going towards the fridge or the sofa or another object which is at a tangent from where the parent is actually positioned.
When the child is thrown the ball, the child always has an option of kicking it when they feel like it, bopping it with the tennis racquet or just sweeping it with the cricket bat a la broom-ishtyle.
The game is typically played till the child grows tired. Parents' fatigue is nonexistent anyhow and therefore not in the equation. The points are scored usually in favor of the child (which activity the child has taken up- batting/kicking or pitching) and occasionally parents score when child is feeling magnanimous.
The outcome of the game is to make the parents sweat and feel like they're finally losing weight doing something intensely physical( since the damn gym membership is languishing anyhow) and the child happy, tired and most importantly hungry enough to eat what and as much as the parents think they ought to snarf down at dinner.
Drawbacks to the game are simply this- it can seem to be unending. It's looped till the child says so and the child is the only referee. Bats, racquets are often flung when the parent inadvertently scores or wants to call time out and it has a habit of popping up whenever the parent is least inclined to run and sweat like they've been mining ore.
Speaking of which, it's Crennis time again. I'd better go and set up the equipment if I have any hope of it finishing before Masterchef comes on.