|Just one of the kids <3|
This past week, my Little Mate has gotten his bag out (along with his sister's) the night before and spent ages talking to me about seeing 'Rellie' who is his carer. He has been excited and tells me over and over again about how 'Mummy go Mummy's car go bye bye (Little Mate) no cry'. We rehearse me saying goodbye many times.
Some mornings the reality is still hard and he cries as I walk out the door, but more often he is happily waving me goodbye so long as all the steps in his rigid schedule of events once we get there go to plan.
I sign them in, we put their bags in a locker, we take Little Miss Thing to the toddler room where she happily runs off to play with her friends, we put the coats in the right place then we walk into the Kinder room where he launches himself at Rellie as soon as he sees her.
It is such a blessing to see him so happy there now. Last session when I picked him up Rellie told me that he had been 'just one of the kids' that day. He had asked to put on a dress from the dress up box. He had played in the cubby with another child. He had eaten lunch (although he still won't sit at the tables with the other kids) where beforehand he was not eating there at all. My boy is coping, and even thriving in that environment.
As tends to happen I am discovering, the effort required of him at child care means a huge increase in self stimulatory behaviours at home. To be honest I have had a really REALLY hard time of late as he lapses into gibberish more and more often. His temper is short, he is physically aggressive with me and the other kids and if things do not pan out as he expects them to the meltdowns are longer and louder and more violent than they have been in the past.
During his night wakings he often spews forth streams of nonsense interspersed with random words related to child care, which tells me that even in his sleep he is so busy processing everything from his days there. On the very bad nights I lay there and wonder if it is worth it... I am exhausted and his increased need for me to be with him constantly can be quite wearing.
BUT when I hear that he has achieved something new all that exhaustion falls aside. He completed a pasting for the first time ever last week. Such a small thing for any other kid... but a huge leap for him (and one that took over an hour of one on one direction, help and supervision from his carer). That he is learning, that he is growing... We still see periods of regression and maybe that will be the way of things always (as it is with all kids really). There are periods where I just want to weep for how hard it can be not just for him, not just for me, but for our whole family...
But his smiling face wipes all that away. He will turn four this week, my son. And four may not look like we imagined it would when he was born, but gosh it looks pretty amazing anyway. He is changing constantly as children do, and I am so privileged to watch it happen.