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October 2008

Today was a little better...

Drop off this morning went very well. Max slept in a bit this morning after waking up around 1am wanting to cuddle with me. I took him to our bed and let him "sleep" with us.  He wiggled around and nestled himself in the crook of my arm and drifted in and out of sleep until about 3am when my body said it needed uninterrupted sleep. I gently put Max back in his crib and he went right to sleep.  Morning routine went well without any tears. When it came time to put on his coat, I told him clearly that he was going to the creche and he said, "ok" and put his arm out to put his coat on. Then walked over and sat down to put his shoes on. Relief came over me... this is exactly what I had hoped would happen.  My suspicions were correct. He was reaching out to us saying that he needed more time with us. Needed help making the transition to the creche. We arrived at the creche and he was happy to get out of the stroller and walk up the stairs. He willingly walked into his classroom and went over to find a book to read with Celine, who was waiting to give him a "big calin" and I waved goodbye and he responded with au revoir and a smile.

For the first time in a couple weeks I walked to work with my heart feeling lighter with less worry.

We are still going to make an appointment to meet with the director to discuss our concerns. I also have made a doctor's apointment with Max's peditrician next week to discuss this kind of behavior and to ask what can be done. 

Thank you for all your kind words of advice... it has helped Julien and i get some perspective on this matter. It is a sensitive subject that we must deal with vert diplomatically. Unfortunately, changing creche is not possible. There are so little spots in the creches in Paris that us getting another spot is probably impossible. Also, if we go about this situation wrong with our current creche would could encounter troubles if we ever want to enroll our second child in the same creche. It is all politics and human relations. One (political) that I am not always very good at and the second I can handle. Fortunately, I am married to someone who can be very political(ly correct) in all the right moments.


I feel like for the last three years my life has been full of major transitions. Moving to France was a the first major transition, it took me two years to really feel like I could live in France for the rest of my life. Making friends, finding a job, I finally felt like I was finding my place. Then my mother suddenly passed away and yet again my life was transitioning again. I had to find a new identity, new place in this world, a new me.  I became pregnant and there I found myself again going through major transition. Nine months of gestating a baby, watching and feeling my body becoming a vessel of life and then finally giving birth. Upon giving birth, I transitioned again from being a childless adult to a mother. The ups and downs, the hard and the easy there I was transitioning yet again...

But this transitioning wasn't over yet.... I started my tea house adventure 10 months after Maximilien was born. And a month after he turned a year old I found myself the owner of a tea house in Paris. And there I was transitioning from being a stay-at-home mother to a full-time working mama.  Things have seemed to calm down a bit in the transitioning department for me.  I have to say that I am pretty glad to be getting to some stability in my life right now. I honestly ask myself sometimes how the heck I made this far?

But now I see my son going through some hard transitions himself.  And I question myself how will he get through it? The creche is hard for him.  Where I initially thought that things were going well it turns out that he is having a difficult time. Both Julien and I agree that we feel like he's changed a bit. He seems agitated when he's home and very temperamental. When before he was very easy going and happy, now Max is sometimes hard to please and often melancholy.  Morning drop offs at the creche for the last couple weeks have been difficult. We arrive and he immediately wants me to carry him. He refuses to take off his coat and when we walk up to his classroom I must coax him to enter. Upon arriving he is very hesitant to go play with his classmates and must have one hand on me at all times.  Tears are shed when it's time for me to go and I end up leaving him in a crying heap in the arms of one of the creche assistants.

I have my suspicions as to why Maximilien is all of sudden rejecting the creche.  My first suspicions is that he misses me. Less of a suspicion really... I am pretty sure he misses me because I miss him terribly.  I think it's sunk in now I'm not around all the time like I was before.  My second suspicion is that he's getting bitten at the creche and he just plain doesn't like it. And in response to this Max has bitten a couple other children. I say a couple children because there have been two incidents where Max has bitten a child but incidentally there have been more times where Max has been bitten than I can count on my two hands.  I am frankly shocked at this but apparently this is normal according to the creche director.  All I know is that since the biting has started Max has been different child. Is this a life transition that he must go through? I reluctantly tell myself that it is.

I picked up Max a bit early from the creche today so that we could spend some extra time together. We came home and did the evening routine, had a pajama party in our bed, reading books and playing with dou dous until we both fell asleep. Tomorrow, I will keep Max home from the creche and spend the day with him. The only thing I can do for him now is to help ease him through this new transition in his life. And somehow we'll get through it together.

I am the mom who forgets to pick up her kid at daycare...

Last Friday, I was busy working away at the tea house when my phone rang at 6:30pm. Directeur Crêche flashing on the screen of my phone. I start to panic a bit. I answer the phone and the director gently tells me that no one has come to pick up Maximilien and asks if I could come and get him. I was out the door before she hung up. I can see the crêche from the front steps of the tea house. I arrive to see that Max is the only child in his classroom. In my head, I was thinking, "oh, Julien must have gotten stuck on the RER". I start rattling off that my husband must be late and apologize for the misunderstanding. I dial my husband number as I walk back to the tea house and ask where he was? He calmly answers that he's on the train and that he'll be at the tea house to pick up Max by 7pm. Then it dawns on me that it's Friday and it's MY day to pick up Max.

I am the mother who forgets to pick up her kid from daycare.

The image of Max's face is etched into my brain. A mix of utter happiness to see me and relief that I had finally come to get him. The assistant told me that Max had been standing by the door for the last 20 minutes waiting for me to come.  I'm sure she said that just to make sure that it stuck in my brain that I had forgotten to pick up my son.

It is the end of Max's first official week at the crêche and I have already forgotten to pick him up.  And on top of that he was bitten 4 times and apparently bit another child. But I'll get to the biting story later for now I am off to go and watch my son sleep.  And remind myself that I am still a good mama.