Joshua’s first day at Daycare could not have gone any better : I had to wake Joshua at 9am and , after porridge and getting him dressed, we were in the car by 9.25. We had a happy drive for the 15 miles to his Daycare, singing together and listening to his favourite tunes on Youtube. Once we parked up, he waited happily while I lifted his wheelchair out of the car and then he helped me push it into the building. We were greeted with lots of smiling faces when we went indoors and while I was talking to the staff, Joshua took himself off to sit in an armchair. As I was preparing to leave, Joshua jumped up and came across to me and gave me a big hug, which was greeted with ‘Awwwww’ from the watching staff. I left him there without any anxiety, I knew that he would be happy there and that he would not fret about where I was. I explained that I would see him later and he told me ‘Don’t mess!’, so I left him to it.
I drove home again and after a cup of tea and feeding the pets, my husband and I walked with the dogs, into town for some lunch. It felt very freeing to be able to walk at our own pace, without a wheelchair, to choose where to eat to suit us and to eat without interruptions, so it all felt very relaxing. While in the cafe, one of the original ‘baby’ friends who we went to ante-natal classes with, came in and we had a chat. She is at university now and has just celebrated her 21st birthday.. On leaving the cafe and starting the walk home, we also coincidentally bumped into the lady who used to work at school, who used to be responsible for the transition from school to adult services. She was very interested to hear about Joshua’s start at daycare and I was excited to share my news with her. The rain started to come down just as we approached our house, so we timed our walk well.
There was time for a cup of tea and then I set off back to collect Joshua, excited to see how he had got along. I arrived there are 3.30 and could not see him at first, when I walked in. Then I spied a 2-seater settee in the corner: Joshua was sitting there with a guitar on his lap, next to another ‘learner’, and surrounded by female staff. They pointed me out to him and he gave me a huge grin and then gave thumbs up to his audience. It was clear that he had had a good time, but he looked tired too. They gave me my notebook back, with news of their day, and told me that they had fed the ducks in the park. Joshua gave two of the staff big hugs before we left. He happily walked with me to the car and we drove the half hour home in torrential rain.
When we arrived home, he gave his Dad a big hug too and relayed the news. I was pleased that the staff had taken the time to record events of the day in the notebook that I supplied, as with Joshua being unable to relay what he has been up to it is an invaluable record. I removed Joshua’s boots and splints, and he asked for bed, where he slept for 45 minutes. It is exhausting being new and learning a new routine , on top of the early start, so I was not surprised that he was more sleepy than hungry, even though he had not eaten any lunch. But when he awoke, he realised that he was both thirsty and ravenous and he devoured everything.
I am delighted with how his first day at daycare has gone. I knew that he would not fret , that he would enjoy the company of new people and I knew that he was ready to mix again. But I was concerned that as he out of practice of having a routine outside of the house, it might be too much for him; that he might begin with seizures due to the exertion or might be so overwhelmed, that he would sleep all day. But neither of those fears came to fruition, and I am bursting with pride with how well he handled the day. It was the sort of big day that I wanted to share with Mum : she would have loved to hear the stories from the day and would have shared our pride. As I could not ring Mum, I rang my mother in law and sister instead, which was almost as good.