Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Tale of Sweeney Nutkin

Sweeney's been going to the Hataitai Community Creche for a month now. He goes three days a week. As far as we can tell, and sometimes a 14-month-old is a bit opaque to his parents, he seems to enjoy it.

That said, he gives the impression of enjoying everything. Except having that bubble-thing stuck up his nose to get mucus out. Ooooh, he hates that.

I was in Farmers in the mall at Linwood in Christchurch a few months ago, with my mother and Sweeney, and he was starting to lose it a bit as we entered into our fifth hour of looking at tiny little clothes, so I parked him up in front of an Elmo toy. On the shelf in the Toy section. Bliss. For twenty minutes.

When he was really wee, Martin or I would go into his room in the morning and if he woke up, as soon as he opened his eyes, he'd crack a huge smile. It's a sad fact that it takes him longer to wake up in the morning now - takes between thirty to forty-five minutes for the smile to come out.

Anyhoo, back to the creche. Today, Sweeney and the rest of the crew went on a field trip to Capital E. They took in a performance of some kids' drama outfit performing tales from the Beatrix Potter canon.

Word from Sue, his truly glorious caregiver at creche, is that he was moved to boogying in the back - "we raged", she told me. I think the last time I used the term "raged" was in 5th form. Who knew that creche would give him access to someone who my teenage vocab? Could be that it's cooler than what I have to offer him now.

This particular creche has so far been wonderful ...
  • There are cubbies for the kids' bags, and shelves for their lunchboxes and drink bottles. I haven't checked, but I suspect there are tiny little toilets out the back.
  • The creche hires a minibus and takes the kids on field trips. Since Sweeney's been there, they've been to Te Papa to check out stringed instruments, and Capital E today to see live performance.
  • Tuni called to let us know that Sweeney had put his teeth through his own dimple, and gave us the option to come get him if we didn't think their cuddles were up to the job of consoling him. We'd seen their cuddles on previous visits, and knew that he was in good hands. Or arms.
  • These places are necessarily more prissy and conservative and politically correct than real life at home. What with the low, low levels of political correctness at our house, and the angst and instability that's arisen between Martin and myself in the last while, it's no bad thing for Sweeney to get three days a week in that sort of environment.
  • The play area has a Wendy house. Martin dropped him off the other day and as he was leaving, saw Sweeney slip into the Wendy house with a gaggle of wee girls. Martin swears Sweeney had a lascivious smile on his dial, but I'm just not ready for that ...
Creche also makes you aware of your shortcomings ...

  • A chorus greeted me when I arrived to pick him up today - like small woodland creatures saying "peanut butter" over and over. Seems the central suburbs are a hotbed of nut allergy and Sweeney's demolition of pb sarnies (his first ever - his dad and I actually discussed it this morning) today put a few of his compadres in danger of anaphylactic shock.
  • I was very sweetly instructed to never sully their premises with glad wrap again. Seems the central suburbs are teeming with preschoolers stuffing wads of it down their throats.
  • I'm a hopeless labeller. As in, I send my child to creche with no labels on his clothes, his lunchbox, his cup. I do love changing his nappy when he gets home and seeing "Sweeney" in vivid marker on his bottom. Of the nappy, I mean.

He's asleep now. What with him not talking well enough for us to understand anything other than the cat's name, I don't really know what he got from the Beatrix Potter thingy today. Makes me realise that as he gets older and communicates more, asserts himself more, it just gets better and better.

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