All parents are going to relate to this one…it’s the night before the big day, in our case DAYCARE DAY 1! Who wakes up at midnight and then DOES NOT GO TO SLEEP FOR 3 HOURS??? It was a perfect storm of bin night, husband on school camp and anxious mother. Finally, I gave up and snuggled the little darling into my bed (reality – baby eventually falls asleep sideways and I cling to the edge of the bed waking up with a jolt every so often to check he hasn’t crawled off the side).
Fast forward a few long hours and we get up and get to daycare. Unlike most parents (I’ve been led to believe) I had actually been looking forward to daycare. I imagined long, blissful, coffee-fuelled hours of painting, carefree in the knowledge my sweet child was loving life playing with new friends and toys. This is what actually happened…
We arrive and while I’m waffling to an educator about ideal naptimes, Sal has pinched another child’s yogurt pouch and squirted it all over the floor. I rush to clear it up and sort of tell him off while saying a fumbled goodbye, rushing out the door before I burst into tears…but I hear him burst into tears before the room door even swings shut and it’s TERRIBLE!
At home I listlessly shove a load of paint at the canvas, hate it, call the daycare centre (newsflash: Sal has been, “A little upset,” a.k.a. in floods of tears, like I couldn’t have guessed that, call back in an hour). So what do I do? I do what any sensible person would do. I go to bed. Apart from when I rang to call daycare (again) to check on Sal, I slept until 12.30pm. Then I called again, and then one more time, then I went and got him.
My first day as a working artist felt like a total failure, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt as a mother over the past year, it’s to not be too hard on myself. I had unrealistic expectations – I was probably never going to whip up a masterpiece in a couple of hours on three hours sleep while my baby made lifelong besties. First day of daycare was tough for both Sal and I, but it was a baby step in the right direction. I will still conquer the art world and my baby WILL love daycare – watch this space!Photos from Day 2, which was clearly more successful for both of us.