It has been about 3 weeks since I pulled J out of infant care. Initially, I was overwhelmed by the thought of having very little time at hand to cope with chores, cooking and ‘me’ time. Yes, it was a change from the usual morning drop-off to the centre, then head to gym before marketing blah blah blah kind of lifestyle. I would be bluffing if I said that life was getting busier and more tiring and I had to multitask more.
Despite these changes, it did not take me very long to enjoy J being with me at home. It was something assuring to know that he is in good hands and that I would never do anything that would be of harm to his wellbeing. Also, every opportunity was a chance to impart values that he will get a chance to emulate as he grows up. Give and take about a week or so, I became really happy that J was taken out of the infant care.
Why do I say so?
1) J learnt to turn to the ones who are his God-given caregivers (his parents!)
J had no other authority to turn to but his parents. Educating him of what he ought or ought not do became easier as there was no confusion as to who he needed to listen to. When he was at the infant care, scoldings were discouraged and J would listen to ‘soft reprimands’, smile and laugh his way through doing something he should not, like opening the gate to get to the other side of the centre. Three weeks later, I see his receptivity towards listening to Hubby and I when we show disapproval of something he is doing. Occasionally, we shout at him or smack his hand when he is attempting to touch the standing fan and after awhile, it got to him that it is not worth it trying to challenge his parents.
2) J’s learning accelerated
With Hubby being a school teacher and myself being an ex-teacher, we both firmly believe in a nurturing environment in order for learning to take place. His room has been transformed (from the time he was born) to a learning ‘centre’ where he can look at flash cards, have educational toys and even a CD player to listen to and dance to songs. With J being at home, he was being read to at least half an hour every day, had play time with Hubby and I, as well as a good amount of time for independent play. Somehow, with a stimulating environment, his learning capacity surged! He began to speak more words and started to form short phrases like ‘big ball’, ‘big elbow’ at 18 months. That was something he could not do while at the infant care, definitely not when YouTube videos were being shown to him as-and-when. He started to associate drawings with actual figurines and objects found around the house and would call out their names. For example, he would point to the fan in his book and the standing fan and start swirling his hand in the air, making the sound that the fan does. It’s excellent, for a toddler of 18 months.
3) Discipline was easier to instil
Because there are only 2 main authorities in his life, J gets the consistency he needs to follow house rules. Enforcement of discipline was easier and some of his bad habits were shaken off (thank God!). We were struggling with getting J to stop his screaming or crying whenever we left him alone in his room while he was at infant care, but after he stopped going there, the bad habits started to die out. He became more contented and independent play time increased. He could go on playing happily for as long as 30 minutes! All through the months of his life, this had never been possible. He now sits still, looking at scenery, while on the bus or cab. He also sits quietly during meals outside of the house and smiles at our friends.
Just yesterday, we were attending the ROM of Hubby’s best friend and J was present at the solemnisation. He waited patiently for the wedding vows to be made, exclaiming at appropriate times and giving his best round of applause when everyone else did. I was so so proud of J!
4) J learnt to love his loved ones more affectionately
Hugs and kisses every night has become a norm and J would shower Hubby and I (especially me!) with them. It’s his simple way of saying that ‘I love you, Daddy and Mummy’, something so blissful that is beyond mere words.
Apart from these 4 aspects, there are so many other things that I’m thankful for, having J around. Yes, it is and will continue to be tiring. Even more so for next year when I will be dedicating just Saturday for all my tuition slots. Yet it will still be something I am not going to regret. The regret I will have would be to be faced with the truth that I cannot undo what harm had been done to him. No more nannies, no more infant cares, till he is able to fend more for himself and to communicate clearly what happens. Till then, I’ll be actively seeking out a good and reliable childcare centre for him. Then again, what is the hurry to send him to one when he has a nurturing environment at home? 🙂