Don’t be mad but things are about to change around here. For almost 11 months now, you have been my sole focus. Day in, day out, I’ve made sure that I’ve been right there within arms reach. Well, I’m sorry buddy but our days alone together are about to come to an end. In 5 days I’ll be going back to work, full-time.
Please understand that leaving you with someone else won’t be easy for me. The very first day will be the hardest. It will mean 10 whole hours apart which, if I think about it too long, makes my stomach ache. I have never been away from you for that long before. I’ve barely been away from you at all and in the handful of times that I have, we have left you in the hands of one of your grandparents that adore you. Ugh, and now I have to do this. Leave you in the care of strangers.
Your Mum and I decided early on that we wanted to make this transition as easy as possible on you. So for the last week I have been taking you on daily visits to the childcare centre. The first few days were just so that you could have a play and become familiar with the surroundings. On the first day I placed you down amongst some toys and sat nearby, watching. Gradually I moved further away, until I was on the other side of the room from you and you barely noticed. You have been so comfortable and independent in this new environment, that I am feeling genuine shock that you aren’t clinging to me the moment I try to leave your eyesight. Shock, but also pride. As your parents, we want nothing more than for you to be happy, confident and independent as you grow up. I have to say, kiddo, you’re off to an outstanding start.
Yesterday was the first time I left you alone in the centre and it was for a whole 30 minutes. It was basically just a trial to see how you handled it when I wasn’t around. I sat in a café less than 10 meters away and sipped nervously, wondering how you were going. When the half hour was up, I walked back in to find you happily playing alongside another little boy. When you saw me, your face immediately lit up. You did that funny gallop-like crawl that you do when you get really excited. The kind you do when your Mum gets down on the ground and says ‘I’m gonnnnnna get youuuu!” before chasing after you. It was so cute, your head was bobbing all over the place and you had a massive goofy grin. I knelt down and you climbed onto my lap, rubbed your face all over me and clung on tight to my shirt. I swear my chest felt like it was about to burst. You are such a sweet kid.
Today I left you alone in the centre for 1 hour and once again, you did amazing. I returned to find that you’ve been a happy chap and this time you didn’t even notice me when I walked back in the room. After about 3 minutes, you finally saw me sitting next to you and I received the same gorgeous greeting that I did the day before. The only difference was that you didn’t linger on my lap for as long. After five minutes, you crawled down and took off across the room to play some more.
I feel really lucky that I’m able to ease you into this new phase. I truly think you are going to learn so much and develop so many new skills. As much as I’m going to miss you on our first day apart and most likely cry my face off, I know that you are going to be okay. In fact, my sweet boy, I know you’ll be just fine.