As most of you probably know, this week has been the first week of Arjun’s settling in sessions at nursery.
You can read up on his first day here.
I had lots of messages of support and comfort from friends, family and followers which I really appreciate. I feel like any mum would in this situation and it’s really nice to be reminded that it will be ok. It might take a week, a month or 10 months but eventually he’ll be ok there.
I also take comfort as one of my closest friends and my sister are both nursery nurses and so are constantly reminding me of what a happy place it is. The amount of activities and other bits they manage to get done in a day would be impossible for me to do at home so for that I’m really grateful.
On day 2, I especially was feeling really apprehensive about dropping Arjun off as I felt that the previous day meant he was aware that we were going to leave him there so he’d almost be on edge anticipating that.
I didn’t realise the emotional toll that the day before had taken on me. Even when I was going through it, I didn’t realise how much it had exhausted me. When I got home, I had to sleep for a little while to recuperate and it’s been the same everyday since. I feel like I’m coping well but my physical fatigue makes me think otherwise.
I fell asleep feeling really anxious the night before day 2 but Arjun slept really well. After he got home from nursery on day 1, he was in good spirits and played lots with his dad. He didn’t go to bed till 10pm! I knew nursery was going to throw his routine off and I didn’t want to get overly bogged down by it. My priority is to ensure he settles there before worrying about slipping in to a bad routine. Plus our routine is going to change again once I’m back at work!
Arjun slept through the night which was brilliant. He woke up the following morning at 9.30am which is a rarity for him.
I felt exhausted that morning. So drained and I felt like I was going to be unwell. I have a habit of getting worked up. I almost feel silly given this is all so normal and Arjun and I aren’t going through anything that other babies and parents experience.
We fed Arjun breakfast and got him ready for nursery.
When we arrived we briefly met his keyworker who seemed lovely. We didn’t really manage to have a proper conversation as she was covering for someone that was on sick leave in another room.
After a few minutes of cuddling, Preetam placed Arjun down on the floor but he burst in to tears and kept trying to crawl up Preetam’s leg. It was actually really heartbreaking to watch and I knew Preetam wouldn’t be able to ignore his cries. He picked him up and Arjun flung his arms around his daddy’s shoulders and clung on to him like a little monkey. I could tell neither one of them wanted to let go of each other. It made me well up.
The nursery nurse, Rachel, told us it would probably be best for them to take him and comfort him and for us to slip away. So we did that. We weren’t really able to slip away as he was very conscious that we’d be leaving and so watched our every move. I felt terrible.
Every nursery seems to do things differently. For example at my sisters nursery, during first week of settling in, the parents are encouraged to spend that time at the nursery too. Almost to build trust.
It must be so daunting for Arjun or any other child to be left at a new place where they know no one. I know how apprehensive I feel when I start a new job with new surroundings and new people. It must feel the same for him except a million times worse as he’s being left there by the two people he trusts the most in the world and he doesn’t have any understanding or comprehension of why. It makes me cry so much. I hate it. I hope he doesn’t feel like we’re rejecting him or that we’ve abandoned him.
We came back home and I tried to remind myself that he was only going to be gone for two hours and to just relax. I managed to get some party bits done before heading out for an appointment.
Preetam went to collect Arjun alone and he said he was pretty upset again to see his daddy. They were unable to put him to sleep again – I think that’s mainly because he gets to a state of over tiredness by getting so upset and the start time coincided with his nap time purposely as the staff felt it would be good practice for him to try and nap there. They said he managed to have some toast for lunch and although he didn’t nap and he appeared upset, he seemed ok during the rest of the session.
When I met them back at home he was so excited to see me. His face lit up and he had the biggest smile – it filled my heart with warmth and I embraced him and didn’t want to let go!
Arjun was in good spirits the rest of the day. His Goov Masi came over and so did my cousin Rupi and niece Shaan who Arjun absolutely adores. Shaan insisted on taking Arjun back home with her so he went to their house for a few hours and had a really good time. Although he barely napped that day he seemed to be happier.
This was the first day I took Arjun to nursery alone. I was terrified. Preetam thought it would be good practice for me as I’ll be the one dropping and picking him when he starts properly.
I always feel so guilty when Arjun’s bouncy and happy and excited when we put him in his car seat. He probably assumes we’re going somewhere together. He has no idea what’s about to come.
As we approached the nursery car park, I felt really panicked. I calmed myself down by saying a little prayer. Took a deep breath, put on a smile and jumped out the car.
As I approached Arjun, I could see his tiny little teeth shining through his gorgeous smile. The bigger his smile the more guilt I felt! He was so happy. As I unbuckled his car seat, he pushed forward the bolster and threw his arms around me. I held him for a few minutes and absorbed the beautiful moment – I could feel how safe he felt with me. How happy he was to be in my arms. The smell of his hair, the feel of his chubby cheeks against mine, his tiny heart beating against mine was all so comforting. I love him so much. Once I felt we were both happy and calm, we headed inside.
As we entered his room, I saw his face drop. My bouncy confident boy suddenly turned in to a shy timid one. It made me feel uneasy. Danielle took him off me and he was hysterical. I was devastated. I felt like a part of my heart was being ripped out. He was kicking and trying so hard to reach out for me. I couldn’t help it that day, the tears began streaming down my face and I felt so so helpless. I also felt a little annoyed at myself for crying but I couldn’t help it.
I left the room before I had a total melt down. I could hear him balling his eyes out all the way down the corridor and when I got outside. The window was wide open and the sound was overwhelming. I couldn’t just leave. I sat in my car and cried hard. All I wanted was to run back in, cuddle him and take him home. I wasn’t going to leave till I could hear he had settled.
I was there for over twenty minutes. It felt so odd. He was crying for me and I was crying for him and we were only separated by a wall but I knew I had to be strong for him. He relies on us for his strength.
When I got home, Preetam had bought home a motorbike to test ride and asked me to go for a spin with him. For those that know me, you know I’m an absolute chicken! I never do anything remotely scary so riding on the back of a motorbike is the last thing I’d ever want to do. But I thought “sod it! Just do it”.
Since having had Arjun, I’m trying to be a bit more brave. I don’t want him to fear absolutely everything like I do. I want to be able to enjoy doing fun things with him. Not that I’ll be encouraging him to ride a motorbike any time soon. Or ever.
I actually can’t believe I agreed to get on the bike let alone sit on it while it wasn’t stationary! This was my second time and there’s no prizes for guessing why it’s taken me four years to get on a bike again. The first time terrified me!
It was actually really nice. It was a really hot day so the wind against my cheeks felt really soothing. Till I opened my eyes and absolutely pooped it!
After the bike ride, I did some party prepping and then it was time to collect Arjun.
My dad came over to drop some things off for the party so I asked him to come with me to pick Arjun up while Preetam dropped the bike back.
I wonder if my dad has any recollection of dropping us to nursery? I wonder how they felt when we cried?
When we got to the nursery, I quickly made my way to his room and when I opened the door he was in Danielle’s arms but his face was hidden behind Rachel. As soon as he heard my voice he started crying and literally jumped in to my arms.
All the other babies were asleep, Arjun was the only one awake. They weren’t able to put him to sleep again. I felt so warm and fuzzy at his dinky little arms around my neck and his hair against my cheek. He calmed down as soon as I embraced him and fell asleep within a few seconds. I was bursting with emotion. I often doubt my mothering skills but it was one of those rare moments where I felt so confident.
The girls updated me on his antics for the day – he enjoyed his lunch and managed to play for a little while. Last night I was thinking about him eating lunch feeling sad (figuring from his tears) and it made me cry.
He was a happy chappy once we got home and even managed a little nap. He certainly kept me entertained!
Today I woke up excited for Arjun. It’s so warm and I knew that meant outdoor play – he loves being outdoors! I dressed him in a romper so he was cool.
I dropped him off alone again but felt a little stronger. He cried a little but it didn’t feel as bad as the other days. Today was his first three hour session.
In between I managed to pop to Costco and run a few errands as well as make a few phone calls. I felt a lot more relaxed about him being at nursery.
When I went to pick him up, again he was the only baby awake playing with Rachel whilst the others slept. He was ok till he saw me at which point he did a swift turn and burst in to tears acting like he’d had the worst time ever! He was instantly comforted once in my arms and the girls showed me some pictures of him from today.
They said he seemed a lot more settled today and cried less. He played with sand and water, Lego, and also enjoyed rhyme time. They said he waved all his buddies goodbye when it was home time for them. He also seemed a lot happier while in my arms interacting with the nursery nurses which made me feel a lot happier. They said he went to them himself for cuddles today and said he gives the best cuddles 🙂 they also said he’s been good in terms of eating with his peers at the table since the day he joined.
I feel a lot better now that it feels he’s beginning to trust the staff. I’m so glad this is how he rounded off his first week settling in at nursery. I’m really proud of him. I hope next week brings less tears (for him at least!).
I’m looking forward to celebrating my little man’s birthday tomorrow now that my mind is a little more at ease!