Some of you may have noticed that I have been a bit limp on the blogging business lately. Since my last post, I have just had so much to do and I couldn’t find time to focus and write a decent post. Between babysitting Alden, working on my proposal, meeting my supervisor and binging on junk food in front of the TV, there hasn’t been a moment for me to think about my blog…Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. Of late, I haven’t had any mood to write anyway. I blame the weather for my lack of mood (if that’s possible) and anyone suffering the New Zealand summer heat would understand why. It has been extremely warm and dry these past few days which makes activities in the afternoon very very torturing to be executed. For e.g. hanging the clothes, gardening (not me), driving to/ from campus and taking an afternoon nap (a must for most pregnant ladies). Oh, did I mention our car’s air condition needs fixing? That’s another reason why driving is like having a sauna plus a spray tan.
Today, the crappy weather didn't bother me a bit. Today was different. I woke up earlier than usual and the first thing I did was fill out an enrolment form for UC Childcare Centre. The centre is also known as Te Ao Tamariki (in Maori) and it is based at the College of English, which is only 2 blocks away from the College of Education (where my office is). The centre has a big compound with a large outside play area as well as excellent indoors facilities. Activities include music, collage, play dough, painting, family/dramatic play, carpentry, water play, sand play, blocks, climbing equipment, balls, etc. Sounds like a lot of fun huh? Alden is enrolled for Wednesday and Friday sessions and this inevitably forces me to go to campus and do my work, no matter what. So enrolling my little Alden serves two purposes; for him to learn and socialize and for me to work my butt off in the office. Since the centre is only 5 minutes walk from my office, I could always check on him like every 5 minutes *grin grin*. A perfect arrangement.
Before I could really send Alden to the centre, he needed to go for transistion visits accompanied by mum and dad. The first visit was scheduled at 2pm today and it was meant to give Alden a sense of familiarity of his new surroundings. Since the first visit sounded so important, I took it upon myself to brief Alden on the plus points of attending Pre-school; new teachers, new friends and new toys. He nodded excitedly and said "mmm" (as if he understood what I blab about). You see, at this stage, eventhough he doesn't understand what I'm saying, with the right tone and pitch, I bound to get a positive respond from him. Satisfied that I had given Alden 'First Day of Pres-school 101' in 5 minutes, we quickly zoomed to the centre.
When we arrived, one of the preschool teachers warmly ushered us into the playroom. Alden took small baby steps and slowly walked into the big room and when he saw the colourful crowd of tots playing and talking, I could sense his anxiety. I knew he wanted to join in but was too insecure to do so. Seeing his reactions, one of the preschool teachers, Joanne, tried to coax him into joining the crowd and tempted him with a Thomas and Friends train set. Upon seeing that, his eyes sparkled! (Thomas and Friends is his favourite cartoon and idol). He couldn't resist the tempatation and finally sat down on the floor. After 5 minutes, he was already showing his antics to the teachers; taking out toy cars from the toy box and arranging them in perfect line (as if they were stuck in traffic). You see, it is Alden's trademark to arrange cars in perfect line and he does this everyday. (see the picture here?). He also marked his territory by grabbing toys that he liked and placing them close to himself. When his new friends asked for the train and fire engine, Alden had no inhibitions saying ‘NO’ to them. Not wanting Alden to be labeled as rude, I started to warn him and was about to take away some of the toys when Joanne stopped me. She assured me that it was a positive behaviour indicating confidence and security. "Good boy Alden", she said. Hearing that, I beamed proudly and just kept my mouth shut.
It is important for me that Alden feels secured and happy in the centre and from what I saw this afternoon, he was all that. Seeing how much he enjoyed the short visit, my initial worries have subsided. My Alden is finally going to preschool with his little lunch box and Bob the Builder backpack. He's all grown up :-)