Eric’s second and third days at child care center were just as much of a disaster as the first time. He wouldn’t let go of his teddy or his hat (yep, a strange choice of a comforter, I know). He wouldn’t eat or even drink, not to mention sleep. Actually he would get in bed voluntarily but not to sleep – he would just lie there in a “leave me alone” pose.
Following a suggestion from the child care manager, I was taking him there for 2 days a week, he would spend there 3 – 4 hours each time. 3 weeks have passed and no change, he would scream on top of his lungs when I left him there, run after me, grab my leg, cry hysterically until I disappeared and for a good 10 minutes after. I couldn’t just leave him standing on the floor – one of the girls had to take him from me, pick him up and hold him so that I could run away. I don’t wish this experience to my worst enemy.
When I’d come to pick him up, he would drop everything and run to me crying. He wouldn’t calm down until I picked him up, said bye to everyone and left that room. Even then it was hard to convince him to go in the stroller, he just didn’t want to let go of my neck. Once we were home, he was getting nervous every time I disappeared from his sight. I couldn’t even use the toilet without Eric’s crying at the door, that’s how bad it was.
During the time he spent in the day care, they were telling me that every time they tried to take away his teddy or his hat, he started to scream. As much as my kid loves eating, he didn’t touch any food, not even fruit or his favorite biscuits.
He was getting sick a lot more than he used to before the child care and it would take longer for him to recover. During these weeks we were at the doctors almost every week, there were many sleepless nights when Eric had fever and many useless days when he was too weak to enjoy anything at all.
The doctor did explain that we can’t avoid this period of catching viruses, Eric can go through it either now or, if we decide to drop the child care, later at school. Assuming that is true, from that point of view I think he is better of having it now, when he doesn’t miss much being sick at home, rather than later, missing classes and catching up on homework.
So what did I gain here? I have 6-8 hours a week of kids-free time to myself. Much needed and truly appreciated. Then I have a nervous wreck of a kid for the rest of the day, I’m troubled by thoughts about what kind of trauma am I causing him here. On top of everything else he gets sick a lot which affects his growth and development. And, forgive me for being selfish, when he’s not well I can’t function either, the lack of sleep and Eric’s mood swings are taking the toll.
Is this worth it? Right now I’m not too sure.
Does your kid hate the child care center as much as mine? How do you cope with it?