Monday, August 17, 2009

Dum..Dum...Dum... Daycare!

I don't mean "dumb", I was trying to write "ominous music" and that's not too easy to do. Hopefully it sounded menacing in your mind.

So. Maybe the hardest thing about moving to the other side of the world with a two year old is leaving him (with strangers, with jetlag, without being settled in). We've been with Maximo for about five week straight with very little time away from him. It's been a wonderful summer with him, but work lay around the corner. In Peru, he stayed in our home with a nanny, so he hasn't had to go anywhere except to the park to socialize with friends for the past almost two years.

We arrived last Saturday night in Japan and unfortunately had to report to work on Monday morning. Not real work. But we had to show up at school. It was an orientation week for the new teachers at Canadian Academy. So, in the midst of jetlag and still semi- in vacation mode, we stumbled into school on that Monday morning. We had breakfast with our new colleagues, then we ushered Max off to one of the preschool classrooms where other teachers' kids were and two babysitters (two lovely high school boys) were waiting. He was fine. Maybe a bit fussy, but he made it.

Tuesday brought us abruptly to another change. Max was going to "do" two consecutive half-day trials at his Japanese daycare on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had to do it earlier in the week than we would have liked because Thursday and Friday were national holidays. First day, I think he cried a bit. Day two, I think he cried a little less, but we left him screaming. My brave husband STAYED DOWNSTAIRS while I brought him up and pried him off my body (now, twice).

Thursday and Friday we only needed a few hours coverage when we had meetings, so two high school girls watched him at school. He screamed when we left, but recovered okay. (He's been spending a lot of time with his monkey and pacifier, which we normally just use for bedtime, but we know it's a tough time for him and he's chanting, "Mono, poo, mono, poo, peas".)
Translation: Monkey, pacifier, monkey, pacifier, please.

Today, our first day back with the whole faculty, was Max's first full day at the daycare. As soon as we pulled up at the pink building he started shaking his head "no', then started wailing, and arching his back and then continued to scream, bray, bawl, and shriek as he clamored up my side and tried to lodge himself onto my body. Finally after failing to distract him with toys, I used all my strength and handed him over to his sensei.

I figured that he would settle down after we left, but two other teachers who dropped their kids off after us said he was crying, one couple dropped their daughter off an hour AFTER we dropped Max off. I'm hoping he didn't cry the whole hour. Needless to say, that kept me on edge for most of the day. [Heather, I hope I'm not totally freaking you out.]

So, it's been a bit stressful, but we're looking at the big picture. We really like the place. Even with the language barrier, it's clear to see that his senseis are very loving and they have a lot of fun activities they do with the kids. I think it would be difficult no matter where we dropped Maximo off. For sure, we're happy not to have a nanny anymore. We just hope that he transitions sooner than later. I'm sure it'll break my heart (a little) when he runs for the door of the daycare and isn't stuck to my side, but I hope he'll be excited about it soon.

Some fun pictures of his daycare accessories:
His daily bag - that we had to decorate. John made a cute helicopter.

The sailboat patch we'll put on Max's PINK hat. They use these hats when they take the kids outside or on little fieldtrips. The patches are so the kids can identify their own hats.

A sticker for every day that Max is at Yume Club (or the senseis survive his screaming!)


Max has a little notebook that his senseis report in everyday. One of his teachers is really making an effort with her English which is really nice. I thought I'd have to have this translated daily. It tells us what he ate, when/if he slept, his diaper findings and comments. On the left hand side, I am supposed to be adding in what he's doing with us - what he's eating, his bathroom comments, sleeping, etc. I need to find out if it's imperative that I fill it out.

We're hoping for a better day tomorrow. And more than a 45 minute nap!

1 comment:

john said...

Julie wouldn't let me draw a man flying the helicopter-I have no idea why.
That's all I wanted to say.