Back in 2019, we selected a daycare provision for Joshua to attend when he left school and the paperwork and funding was all in place. With the pandemic, he did not access it when he was 19 ; firstly because it was closed and more recently, because we were wary of the risk of infection. I was assured that his place was safe and yesterday, we went back to speak to the manager. I wanted to find out more about their post-covid measures and to learn about the steps we still need to take so that he can finally access daycare.
Joshua was very excited to be heading out in the car at 10.30 and he was pleased to arrive, although I am not sure that he remembered it from his last visit. While we were waiting for the manager to come from another of their buildings, Joshua spotted a guitar leaning up against the wall. He virtually ran towards it, pointing to show what he wanted. Once I had checked if he was allowed to play it – as he is rather rough with his own guitar – he took it to the settee and began to strum the strings happily to himself. He could not have made a better start and that is where the manager found him when she arrived. I had prepared a list of questions and she answered them, reassuring me about their flexibility, their covid measures and their confidence with epilepsy and his rescue medication .
My main concern is that Joshua is out of practice of early starts and busy days, as our pace at home is pretty leisurely. Tiredness and being too busy are key triggers for his seizures and so I want to introduce him to daycare steadily. The manager understood my concerns and is happy to accommodate our needs. They open at 8am, but she agreed that we could aim for nearer 10,as it is a 30 minute drive away so we can miss rush hour and Joshua can stay in bed until 9 if he chooses. He will go one day a week initially and gradually increase it. I could see two comfy settees where he could nap if he needed to, so everything that I was worried about ,seems to be in hand.
While we were talking, after the guitar solo, Joshua wandered around happily giving thumbs up to the members of staff and he showed him the twinkle in his eyes. They responded and seemed to welcome his cheekiness and said that they were looking forward to him joining them. As I went to put my coat back on, Joshua gave me a cheery wave – I think he thought that he was staying, like the old school days and he was happy enough about the prospect. I cannot remember any days at his childminder, nursery or any of his schools when he clung to me or cried to be left; his love of people means that so long as they give him attention, he will be content there. I know that he will be pleased to see me when I pick him up, but I am also confident that he will not pine for me while he is there – in fact, I suspect I will miss him more than he will me. Joshua has been blessed with such a cheerful disposition that focuses on the ‘here and now’ so he will not fret, but I am confident that he will embrace this next stage of his life.
So we both left the daycare provision with a spring in our steps, eager to get started. There has to be some paperwork exchanged between them and our social worker before Joshua can attend . I also chased his Epilepsy nurse when we got home, for a care plan ,identifying what measures they should take if he has seizures while in their care. But once that is in place, Joshua should be able to have his first day there pretty soon, which feels incredible to me, after waiting so long. He will be there for six hours, which will be the longest that I have been without him by my side for almost two years. I am certain that that distance will mean that we can both enjoy our time at home together, even more.