My treacherous child

This time last week I was panicking about abandoning my child.

When I say “abandoning” I actually mean leaving her with a fully competent, registered and rather lovely childminder. But you know how I like to veer towards the drama, so I’ll stick with “abandon”.

As a freelance journalist I don’t do regular hours. Sometimes I do radio work (usually while Daddy Daycare’s around during the school holidays) and sometimes I work from home writing articles for various websites and magazines. Sometimes I sit around and eat biscuits all day and don’t do much of anything at all. But most of the time I juggle. With lots and lots of balls.

This week was a radio week and, as Daddy Daycare selfishly had to go to school and teach children how to turn their computers on (he’s an ICT teacher – I still don’t really know what the C stands for), Frog had to go to a childminder. A new childminder.

This made me nervous. I hated the thought of leaving her crying, reaching her pudgy arms out towards me calling “Mamamamama”. What can I say? I’m a softie.

Day Number One was awful. As I handed her over to the childminder she sobbed, like a true tragic heroine. She was red and snotty and it broke my heart. But I held firm, gave her a kiss and waved goodbye.

Then I got in my car and cried all the way to work.

As I arrived at work I received this text:

“Tears stopped v quickly. She waved bye to J and is now busy exploring my sitting room.”

Oh good, I thought. She’s happy. She obviously misses me but knows I’ll be back to get her later and is making the most of having a new adventure playground.

Then came Day Number Two.

Just a little sob as I passed her over this time, with a bit of reaching out for me. Not exactly the tragic heroine any longer. More the slightly miffed Extra.

Later that day I received a text to inform me my slightly miffed child was no longer slightly miffed. She was having a whale of a time at the local park.

OK, I thought. She’ll probably be relieved to see me later though.

Day Number Three, and no tears. Not a single bloody drop.

Instead, my treacherous child reaches her arms out for the childminder and happily plays with the childminder’s older son. I don’t get a single sob or “Mamama”. Instead, I’m deigned with an absent-minded wave before she turns her back on me and gets down to the busy job of playing.

Now, call me ungrateful. But that’s not the reaction I was hoping for. Brilliant, she likes the childminder. Great, she’s happy and has settled in there. But not even a little sob for her paranoid mother, wracked with guilt at leaving her for an entire week with a stranger? Not one measly tear? Huh.

And don’t even get me started on the situation when I collected her later that day.

Rather than being pleased to see me she sobbed all the way home, wailing for her new playmates. My welcome cuddle was replaced with a wallop in the face, as my 14 month old made her feelings about returning to her boring home with her boring toys quite clear.

That’s me told then.



Filed under Baby stuff, Being a mum, Development, Family, Work

20 responses to “My treacherous child

  1. Better that way than the screams I get :-). Sounds like Frog will take everything in her stride!

  2. Welcome to the club. Let’s bung em in a creche and go shopping! X

  3. Hilarious post! Glad frog is settling in xxxx

  4. Glad she settled quick. My youngest took a while!

  5. Fickle! Glad she’s embraced her new surroundings though. x

  6. Oh, sorry. If it makes you feel any better, we get the same thing here. My wife drops the kid off at school, and said kid hits the ground running. The wife has to struggle to get a kiss goodbye these days. But hey, at least the kids are happy, right..?

  7. We dread them crying and breaking our hearts when we leave them but there is something about them not giving a toss. I regularly don’t get waved goodbye now and there was even a phase when I would pick up my son and he would look at me and look away! charming! I am greeted with a smile and open arms now but it sucks rejection doesn’t it?! Bless her she’s spreading her wings 🙂 x

  8. Then I got in my car and cried all the way to work.
    I remember doing this–first day, second day, and third day. It was on and off for a few days after that. I’d made the mistake initially of finding a great daycare the looked (on the map) to be a half an hour away from the office, but actually ended up being one hour. With him in the car, I’d drive back bawling at how much I wanted to hug my screaming 10-week-old . . . but how much driving I had yet to do!

    It was so much easier for me the second week, which involved a daycare actually a half an hour away.

    My son was so young, I didn’t have to deal with a lot of sadness from him from the get-go. I grew to almost savor the days where he’d scream for me and protest being dropped off, but then I’d come to pick him and find him doing the same for his daycare “nana.” D’oh!

    For the last few weeks, he’s run at me with a cry of “mama!” and reached to be picked up. I love it. 🙂

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