I thought I had it covered. We had two intro sessions last week to give RB a taste of nursery. I stayed with him for an hour one day, and left him for two the next. Leaving him was harder than I expected. As though there was glue under my feet my husband had to pretty much push me out the door.
This morning I skipped in. Cockily grateful for last week’s warmup, we bowled into the baby room, handed him over and then the glue oozed from under me. I was stuck again.
Unlike last week, I managed to say bye and kiss him as I wasn’t fighting my tears.
Unlike last week, when I looked through the window on our way out, he looked back at us. He seemed to say, ‘Where are you going without me?’ (I’m projecting, I know…)
Now I’m home and I’m looking at interiors on Instagram to distract myself while my tears dry.
It’s funny how my response has surprised me. I’ve been so excited for this day. I think RB will love nursery. He’ll make friends, he’ll learn, he’ll play. They’re professionals, they’re set up to look after children and the staff have chosen it as a career. They’ll be better at it, and more willing, than I am.
I am so excited to go back to uni. To have adult stimulation and adult freedom without worrying about how much boiling and cooled boiled water I have, and clean bottles and does RB need a new nappy and is he tired and is he bored or cold or hungry. I’m excited for me to become my top concern again, as everyone else enjoys when they are not caring for a child. I’m so excited to do something I’ve always dreamed of doing but been too afraid to acknowledge or chase because of the fear that I’m shit and it’s a pipe dream.
I’ve been conscious not to hog him or make out only I hold the key to his needs and happiness. He’s spent one day a week with one of his grandmas for months. I pass him around freely when out with friends. When my husband is home from work we are equal parents. Bottle feeding has allowed us to share equally in RB’s nurture for three months. My husband has bottle fed him at least once a day since RB was 3 weeks old. I don’t want, or think I have, a clingy kid that can never leave my side.
And yet, and yet. He’s excellent. I bloody love my little kid. He’s funny and curious and so happy. I’ll miss him. His smile melts the world around me so it’s only him I see. I love our excursions. Telling him about the world. Introducing him to new experiences, sights and sounds.
I’m scared he’ll pick up bad habits. I’m scared someone will be mean to him. I’m scared someone will damage the innocent purity I’ve tried so hard to maintain by always having good cheer with him. Never shout or get cross for things I know aren’t his fault – like massive poos at the wrong time, or being overtired and so he cries instead of sleeps.
I want people to fill his head and heart with love and encouragement and confidence. To teach him good values. Not gender drown him with cultured ideas of what boys do and what girls do. To show him the world, not just inane baby things but real art, real music, real science, real life.
But this is where I have to acknowledge control is not all mine. Society will play its part. In good ways and bad. That’s life. It’s my job to hopefully teach him how to embrace the good and weed out the bad.
And I still have him to myself two days a week, so I plan to pack those to the rafters with fun stuff we can do together. A bit of inane baby shit, because that’s more available to me locally, and the big life stuff, for our trips to London and all the culture it has to offer.
But gaaahhh. It’s a big day.
I went through a phase of writing shit poetry in my early twenties. There’s a bit that’s helping me now. I’d watched a mum and her child on the beach. The child was running to the water and someone walked inbetween them. It was almost as if I saw the invisible cord between them that this someone could never harm.
An invisible cord holds us together
That can never disappear
It stretches, bends but never breaks
From my heart to yours
And your heart to mine
Our thread will remain through all of time
So wherever he is, whomever he’s with, he’s still my son. I’m still his mum. And that’s that.
…But they said we can call whenever to see how he’s going. How long do you think I need to wait?