Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why we turned to the professionals

It's been disturbingly quiet at home. Soft toys droop despondently. A rattle lies limp.

Sonny isn't around in the day any more. And all because we had no choice but to act.

Our son entered the world 12 weeks ago. Except for two days in hospital bathed in jaundice-fighting rays, he's been almost constantly with us. But yesterday, he entered infant care - across the road from our home, in a pleasant suite of rooms on the ground floor. He has four other babies for company.

There are two reasons why we turned him over to professionals from 7am to 7pm. First, Mum returns to work in a week: We have no one else who can step into the breach. But the fact is that Mum could have asked for more time away from work, perhaps even taking no-pay leave for a few more months. Here's where the second reason comes in. Mum was becoming more and more attached to Sonny and - more important - he was becoming dangerously used to being with us. So the longer we held off a partial transfer of caregiving responsibilities, the more it was going to discomfit and distress him when it finally went through. That seemed unnecessarily cruel.

Another argument that has been mooted for keeping Sonny away from infant care is that he's more likely to catch a bug from the other babies - not just from the four really young infants, but from older kids who are just a room away. But we've already been taking him out for little excursions - and, in any case, for how long can we keep him sequestered away in perfect health security? The care centre requires that infants that run a fever be sent home. Temperatures are supposedly taken with a thermometer every day. It's more than we do ourselves - and it's not as though Sonny is being paraded about before the general germ-breathing public anyway.

So we've bitten the bullet. There are fancier childcare operations in the general area, but the one we plumped for seemed to have the basics - decent staffing strength and no negative word-of-mouth. What more does a 12-week-old need, who must necessarily be deprived of his parents' attention? Meanwhile, Mum mopes about a bit, but she'll adjust. And Sonny? We're told he was well-behaved and didn't kick up a fuss at feeding time.

That's more than can be said for him at home most days.


Anonymous said...

((((( huge hugs ))))) separation is so hard, I can't even imagine :(

Anonymous said...

it's good to hear that he was well behaved in his first day there. looks like he's a quick one at assimilating and getting used to new conditions. very adaptable. a good trait to have.

Cloudsters said...

Thanks, tinytapir... we'll muddle through, never fear.

Good to hear from you, howshouse: Yes, Sonny may be faster at adjusting than we are. Youngsters these days!

Mumsgather said...

So is mom and pop suffering from separation anxiety yet?

Cloudsters said...

Mum is the one that's having to make a greater adjustment, actually. Once she starts work next week, she'll probably be too busy to mope... and too busy expressing breast milk at the office.