What would you think if your son asked you for ‘Play’? During our Covid isolation, we were out at Joshua’s pod throwing a tennis ball for the dogs when Joshua stood up, pointed and asked for ‘Play’. I told him that we were playing and encouraged him to sit down, but he was adamant and he pointed back towards the house, so we came indoors, via the yard where he pointed at the cars, still repeating that he wanted to play. I was frustrated as Joshua was trying to communicate something to me but I could not get what he wantedand he must have been frustrated too. He hovered beside the car so I took him for a drive and that appeased him, but I knew that I had not worked out what he really wanted and I felt bad about that. I told my sister, husband and best friend that it was a puzzle.
Yesterday, I had to get him up early to resume daycare and as he was fast asleep at 8.45, I was dreading waking him, expecting him to be grouchy. But he walk up, as he usually does, with a big smile, telling me not to mess. He had porridge in bed and he asked for music and I told him that we were getting dressed and going to daycare in the car. The magic word ‘car’ did the trick and he leapt out of bed and obliged, so that we left home ten minutes earlier than we needed to. As I was reversing out through the gates, I asked him where he thought we were going and he replied ‘Play’. So his own word for daycare was ‘Play’ and when he had been saying it weeks ago, he was asking to go back to daycare after two weeks of isolation. It caught my breath and I wept for joy in the car. He had found his own word for daycare, the name of which is too long for him to manage, and not only that, it reinforced what I already knew, that it was a fun place to go. I was so delighted to have finally solved the puzzle and of course, as soon as we arrived I relayed to the staff what he had said and they will reinforce it. I cannot tell you how happy that single word made me.
So it was with a skip in my heart, and a grin on my face, that I went from his daycare to meet some school mums at the café next door to Joshua’s daycare. I had missed the initial get together when I had tested positive with Covid the night before last time, so we had re-arranged this date. Not everyone could attend as there was an Easter event at school that several wanted to attend, but four of us mums and a dad attended. I had a perfect morning, what was not to like?
- I re-united with friends that I know well and they know me, that I had not seen since February 2020, so we had a lot of catching up to do and inevitably, I had a lot of questions that I needed to ask.
- Inevitably everyone had traumas that they wanted to share : so we were able to talk about our health issues, our various Covid experiences as all of us present had had the virus and showed different symptoms, issues with our ‘children’ and life-changing events within our families. We covered everything and stayed at our table for over two hours, chatting and drinking tea.
- I preferred it to our old coffee morning format, as I was not in charge; I could sit and chat, rather than making hot drinks, escorting parents to the toilet and trying to welcome and include newcomers.
- I enjoyed a fried egg sandwich for brunch
So daycare means Play for Joshua, but it also meant playtime for me too, and for that, I am really grateful.