Saturday, August 18, 2007

The DayCare Dialogues

Although I have few recent photos I wanted to post an entry about our transition to daycare. I must say that the daycare is exceptional and I trust all of the workers have AnnaLeisa's best interests at heart. She is hard not to care for!

And it has been much much more difficult than I imagined. We started with me staying and playing and introducing her to the physical environment and to the new routines. This was all good.... playing with Mom and with many children and new friends around - what could be better? Great! And it was all reasonably ok when I started to leave for short times.

Then I started to leave for longer and managed to stay in coffee shops nearby in case they called and she needed me ( so lucky I could do this). All still reasonably ok...

Then she broke out in total body hives - some as large as 2 inches in diameter. That was when my heart broke and I realized how hard and big all of this was for her!

Her inner stress was now manifesting on her body. I know AnnaLeisa expresses much through her skin but this was the most dramatic it had looked. And ....she was still sleeping, eating and playing so managing quite well on the whole.

Then we returned on Monday for 4 mornings. Her skin healed thanks to a homeopathic remedy. Well..... it was progressively harder for her and for myself as the week progressed. Her four sequential words to describe the process is "daycare", "bye", "back"and "home". I continually reassure her that I come back and I know embodying this will take time for her. She loves coming "home". She is pale and exhausted and also very needy of her Mom. I try to give her as much control and attention as she needs and now we are home for a very very quiet and restful weekend before another week of 4 mornings. This week I must work.

As I explained to another.... I have spent all my time 24/7 "bonding" with my little girl. "Attaching", "Connecting" and "Being there" as much as possible in order to nurture a trusting primary relationship with a little girl who has been institutionalized and therefore somewhat neglected during formative first months. I think on many levels we have succeeded but she is also understandably anxious. Every decision I have made has been with this front and formost in terms of my mothering dear AnnaLeisa. She fills my heart completely - like a bloomed flower with many coloured petals - and then we are asked to separate.

I know it is time and that I have orchestrated my work life so that I am away minimally but it is hard. It is a real physical pain in my chest to leave her alone with others that I must - and do - trust. I find myself breathing deeply as I walk down pedestrian streets I had been longing to wander.

Some of my mother reactions were quite humorous.... like waiting for the cellphone to ring from Daycare if they needed me while I was in a grocery store. They made a loudspeaker announcment - maybe about tomatoes - but my first instinct was they were calling me to come to get AnnaLeisa.

Another when I mistakenly stopped at a redlight beside the little troop as they walked back from the gym. AnnaLeisa staring at my car trying to look at me as I hid behind the wheel with my arm raised and boldly turned left so she would not see me....

Little button sleeps now and has the rash recurring and we only hope the next two weeks improve?

Today she played with her doll saying she was going to "work" and ran off only to come "back". So she is working it out... as I am! And fundamentally it is a good thing. I will only need to leave her for 2 mornings a week when my orientation is over. And she will know I do come "back"... and we go "home".

The best is when she runs to me saying "hockey" and I know she has played happily in the gym with her new little buddies.


Norma said...

Leaving my daughter in daycare - in one form or another - is the biggest thing that I dread about motherhood. It sounds like you handled the transition well and AnnaLeisa is adjusting well.

Zeenath said...

Hi Karla!!

I am so very proud of You,,, you still amaze me everyday.You have such a big heart, and there is the only path left... It gets better.

A leisa will run up to you soon.. showing her crafts and treasures she made, and her learning to share and have peer interaction, and it will give a.Leisa time to miss you.

Treasure the time you spent with the time off,few mothers take or get this opportunity.

While your getting back to the Grind..Your daughter is smiling and waiting till she can cover you with her mischievious laughters and hugs.

I love you and wish you the best of journey as mother and daughter, as it is a lovng one.

all the best

Beth said...

I've been thinking of you this past week and hope it is getting better. I still love reading how you describe your journey, always so poetic. Hang in there Karla