Anyhow, Happy birthday little Miles! I hope you grow from being a strong and happy toddler to being a strong and happy boy, and later a strong and happy man. You are truly lucky to have a mum who will support you and guide you on your journey. I hope you will continue to be a great friend and protector to Asher and that you and your little mates will have many years of enjoying cake together!
I really don't know whether I should plow on despite my misgivings or pull the plug on the whole thing immediately. I really can't tell if I'm uncertain about it because the centre and the care isn't up to scratch, or simply because it's a big change and my baby is growing up and beginning to have a life separate from me. Normally I'm pretty good at separating my headcake from external reality (or I like to think I am, anyway!) but in this situation, where 'gut feel' is the best way to work out if this centre is right for us, I'm feeling really lost.
And now, on a completely different note, I'd like to wish little Audrey a very happy second birthday:
...I'd also like to congratulate Karen on surviving two years as a mum, and doing such a good job at it too! Thanks for being a great Aunty to Asher and a good friend for me!
He is growing up in other ways though. I have really been enjoying my day a week doing paid work and so we started putting our names on waiting lists at local childcare centres. In a perfect world I'd prefer to continue with our arrangement and have Megan look after Asher, but it isn't going to be practical for any of us now (which breaks my heart a little bit). Megan has made the decision to move back with her mum for a bit, for all sorts of difficult personal reasons, and although I'm going to miss her terribly I know she's only 25 minutes away, and if I use chocolate as bait she'll probably still come and visit me and bring some sanity on cranky-kid afternoons. I've learnt so much about dealing with toddlers and keeping me sane and them happy from her and I'm not sure that would have happened if she hadn't been only five minutes stroll away and happy to hang out with us. The boys will also miss our impromptu trips to the park and general hanging out but I'm quietly confident that we'll still see them a fair amount. On a really positive note her move has been the straw that broke the camels back on the driving front and I've had my first lesson and booked in for my second. One practise driving hour down, one-hundred-and-nineteen to go before I'm legally allowed to drive by myself.
Anyhow, this isn't a perfect world and not everybody's life revolves around Asher, so childcare it is. We got lucky and were offered a place at a local childcare centre* and, after having me visit, then Sanjay visit, we're taking the place. I wanted just to put him in on Wednesdays, while I work, but they only take kids for two-or-more days a week (because the kids settle in better), so Asher will be going along on Wednesday and Thursday. He will be starting on the 25th of June, the day before his second birthday and I will pick up an extra day at work so I will be doing paid work on both days. Between now and when he starts we get to go in there as much as we like for orientation. This morning we went at about 10:45 and left around midday - Asher got to have a play inside, eat lunch then play outside and we left as all the other kids were going to get on their little stretcher beds and go to sleep. After he got the hang of being there he did really well, following the other kids when it was time to go for lunch, sitting and eating at the table, putting his bowl and spoon in the right place when he had finished his meal, etc. I think the structure and routine of childcare will really suit Asher, and after the inevitable teething problems I think we'll it'll be OK. It still won't be the same care that we give him but I'm pretty sure we're not going to break him by putting him in good quality care two days a week, and I want to review the whole situation a month or two after he starts.
* I was about to name the childcare centre and include a link, but I figured I might want to keep it private. Perhaps I'll need to vent about them here at some later stage and I don't want to get sued for defamation!