It's that time of the year again. Fall isn’t far off, summer vacations are coming to an end and the kids are gearing up for a new school year.
I still have a few years before the dreaded first day of school, but I did experience a similar level of anxiety as most moms do on the first day of new school as I dropped off my now nine-month-old at day care a few weeks ago for the first time.
Colum was ready for day care. And so was Mommy.
He has been crawling around our home for the past few weeks, discovering ways to give his parents several mini-strokes (finding him under the kitchen table with the computer wire in mouth is just one of many examples) so we felt it was time to give him a little independence of his own. So we packed up his lunch, some extra diapers and shipped him off.
I was excited about the new beginning, for both Colum and I, but that was short-lived once I arrived at the day care and he clung to me for dear life.
Naturally I cried, embarrassing as it was, and as soon as I was alone in the car I sobbed. I was warned about those emotions but didn’t think I would be the one crying.
It was a trying day to say the least, and I did check in with the day care owner a few times that first day (okay, and the second too). I couldn’t wait until home time rolled around.
I had visions of my little man wearing a big smile when he saw me for the first time that afternoon. No such luck. He was sitting in a high chair, and when he saw me he cried his heart out and flung his hands in the air for my affection.
He didn’t do so well that day, and if I’m being honest he is still a little cantankerous. They tell me when other kids go to play with him or try to share toys he doesn’t appreciate the kind gestures and cries each time. (The day care workers are saints).
I guess he isn’t used to being around other kids. Most of my friends who have babies similar to Colum’s age are either full time at work or are living upstate.
It’s time for me to join some mommy and tot groups I guess. Day care is only two days a week so it will surely take him a while to get used to the other kids.
When I watch him crawl around our home he is so content. He is able to entertain himself for hours at a time and is a pretty happy baby.
So when I went to pick him up last week and could hear him screaming from the curbside I was a little disappointed (and heartbroken). I peered in the front window and could see my little guy sitting at the back of the room in a bouncer crying. I guess he wasn’t too happy to be locked in.
The lady in charge of the babies had to separate him from the other infants so they could sleep. He can be loud when he wants to be. But nevertheless it tugged at my heartstrings to hear him crying.
Of course when he saw me he became worse until he was in my arms. I guess it will get easier for both of us. I hope so. It’s a matter of adjusting to new surroundings and other little humans.
I’m hoping by the time we move back to Ireland (nine months and counting) he will be comfortable with other kids. He has dozens of cousins his own age and a little older ready and willing to play with him.
Our summer was very non-eventful. We spent many weeks indoors avoiding the hot and sticky weather.
In this time Colum discovered his fascination for shoes, toes and all things dangerous. Now that he is able to stand in his crib he pulls at everything far and wide.
On several occasions he has managed to dismantle the camera on the top of the crib, get his chunky leg stuck between the bars and lick the animal printed wallpaper by his bed. It’s non-stop, but it’s so entertaining to watch his little face upon his discoveries.
He has an “o” mouth expression every time something new occurs to him. He dances to music all the time and does his best to climb on the couch a number of times a day -- what a typical boy.
My mother and her partner are due to visit in two weeks. We have been spending hours every week on Skype to Nana Liz, so Colum will find it extremely strange to see the one-dimensional person on the computer screen as an actual person in his home. I’m looking forward to his expressions.
No doubt he will be spoilt. Nana Liz is already planning out her walks down to McLean Avenue for lunches and dinners with the stroller. She is proud as punch of her grandson and looks forward to showing him off as she strolls.
As you can imagine, the excitement is building so much for the move home. John (my husband and Colum’s dad) has been on to his own mom, Granny Mooney, about the big move and she is beyond excited about it.
Nana Liz is already looking at appropriate strollers of her own and is counting down the weeks on a calendar. The time won’t be long rolling around.
Friends of ours who recently moved back to Ireland (they have two kids) are enjoying the company of family and friends. They enjoyed the long summer evenings and made the most of visiting relations throughout Ireland.
Their kids started school this week and that is a big adjustment, but they are embracing it positively and we look forward to doing the same next year.
In the mean time we look forward to what the fall has to bring to New York and what other mischief Colum Mooney has up his sleeve.