Going back to school this year was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Nugget and I had gotten into an enjoyable routine. We woke up, played, napped, had meals together, played some more, and waited for Daddy to come home from work to join in the fun. We both were comfortable with the routine and with each other. Nugget slept 11-12 hours a night and life rolled along smoothly.
Much too quickly our 13 weeks together were coming to an end. It was the middle of July when I started dreading the day Nugget would start day care. Nugget and I were together 99% of the time, and I was not ready for our time to be over. Don’t get me wrong, there were difficult days; days that I’d call Big Bear and asked him to come home early. I don’t mean to make it sound like every day was all sunshine and daisies. There were rough days. The easy days and the difficult days were important to me. I know that I was very fortunate to have the time I had at home with Nugget. I am selfish, I want more.
We decided to start Nugget in day care slowly. He started on a Wednesday and only stayed for two hours. He looked like he was in shock when I walked out of the door. I think I cried for the first 30 minutes of the two hours. Nugget did ok, but boy was he happy to see me when I walked in.
On Thursday Nugget stayed for three hours. Drop off was a little harder for him because he knew what was coming. When I walked back in three hours later I could tell that he had a rough time. He had been crying – HARD. You know how babies, suck in air after a hard cry. That is what my poor baby was doing. It broke my heart.
Friday Nugget was supposed to stay for four hours. The day care wanted me to leave him until after lunch. After the difficult time he had on Thursday I picked him up after three and a half hours. As soon as lunch was over I was there. Thankfully he had a much better morning. They said he hardly cried at all. Whew!
The following Monday was the first time Big Bear dropped off Nugget. Every day the week before Big Bear kept telling me that it wasn’t that bad, not to worry so much, yadda – yadda – yadda. I get a phone call after drop off on Monday and all Big Bear said was, “Okay, that sucks!” Yes! It does.
Nugget’s first full week was ROUGH! On top of being away from home all day poor baby cut his first molar and caught a terrible cold. He stayed home from school one day and stayed with my parents. We thought he was better so he went back to school on Friday. The day care called me Friday afternoon to say Nugget had a temperature of 101. Thankfully they called and I was able to get him into the doctor before the weekend. Our poor guy had an ear infection along with his cold.
This transition has brought back many of the issues we had when we first came home from China. Nugget has become very clingy. He doesn’t sleep well at night. He had sleep issues for a few weeks, but after we were home about a month he began to sleep through the night. Now Nugget wakes up every couple of hours crying. Big Bear or I go in and all he wants is to be held for a minute or two. He snuggles in close for a few moments and then points to go back to his bed. I think he is usually asleep before I get back to our room. This happens any where from one to four times a night.
Nugget has also started the angry hitting he did when we first came home. This seems to happen most often when we are eating. One moment he is fine and then all of a sudden he looks at me and his look changes. I can tell he is angry then he will strike out.
Nine times out of ten giving him a moment to be angry and then lots of big hugs is enough to help him past these moments. Sometimes when the tears are so strong and he is very angry we have to get up and walk away from whatever we are doing. We usually walk outside to look at the flowers. After lots of hugs and kisses Nugget is able to go back to eating or whatever he was doing before the angry moment.
I know that this is his defense. His way to express his fear, frustration, anxiety over all that has and is happening to him. I’m sitting here with tears streaming because it makes me so sad that this sweet little boy has to go through these emotions. I wish I could explain to him that we are his FOREVER. We will never leave him, but for now only time and lots of love, hugs and kisses will help his little heart mend.
Nugget has been in school for three weeks. He seems to be getting used to it a little more each day. Drop offs are easier for Big Bear. I pick up Nugget after school and it is the BEST part of my day. He is always so happy to see me. WhenI lift him into my arms I get the biggest hug and pats on the back. I can’t put him down for just a second to pack his bag. Once I pick him up he holds on with all he’s got. I hope one day Nugget will understand that I will always be here to pick him up and hold him tight.