Maybe it because they don’t really understand what we mean when we say, something will change soon.
Maybe it’s because they believe, if it’s not broken then why fix it.
Maybe it’s because they don’t have any perception of time.
Maybe it’s because, they have no control over a lot of the things that keep happening around them and they would like to hold on to the same routine because it makes them feel safe.
I don’t know what it is but all I know is every time we go through some substantial change or anytime Nia goes through change in her life, we usually have to pay.
It started with the first time I went back to work, after being home with her for a little over a year. She started off by staying at a relatives house with a nanny. One on one care I believed would be the best for her, and it was herself and her cousin so she had someone to play with. It took her a while to get used to that routine but in about 2 weeks she wasn’t crying anymore at drop off. People always say its harder for parents than for kids, but I don’t believe this to be true.
Off course it was extremely difficult for me, I always pictured myself transitioning her slowly when I went back to work, I was gonna take her for an hour at first and then after 3 days two hours and so on till she was gone all day. Only that, I got a call from a job on a Monday to start working on Thursday. All my transition plans were out the window. The first day I dropped her off, I almost got into a wreck driving to work, I was a nervous wreck, trying to listen to the training was almost impossible because I had left my baby, who had never been away from me for more than a couple of hours, when I would usually leave her with her dad. The nanny literally knew nothing about her, i remember her texting me to find out how her cereal needed to be mixed up. Yes I was a ball of nerves, I would call and text to see how she was doing, and the number of times I called reduced with every time I picked her up and she was fine and then she stopped crying at drop offs. Finally in about 2 weeks, I wasn’t calling her anymore, I wasn’t constantly worried, I was adjusted and adapted.
I believe the reason people say its harder for us than kids is because we think because the baby/child stops crying at drop off, they have now adjusted, that they play when we leave they are now used to the situation.
But I disagree with this, I think kids just like us, learn some coping mechanisms to survive in certain situations. Nia wasn’t crying anymore, she was playing with her cousin and on all accounts seemed to be well adjusted to the new situation.
But that was not the case when we got home in the evenings. When we got home after a long day at work, she wouldn’t go down to the floor for the rest of the day, the last time she was on the floor was as soon as we picked her up from the nanny, she would run to you, and you would pick her up, and that was it for the rest of the evening. she wanted to be held constantly, she cried at the drop of a hat, any little thing would set her off, every single thing became a fight, from showering to sleeping to eating. She was the most easy going child the nanny would describe her to me, and she is very mature, if her cousin snatches a toy from her she would just let it go and get another, she didn’t dwell on it or start fighting, does she ever roll herself on the ground when she cries? I asked, who Nia? She looked surprised, she never cries, she goes right to sleep on her own at nap time and never wants to be held.
Eventually we moved her to daycare, and her care givers have changed on several occasions, she always seems to transition smoothly at daycare but at home it takes her a little longer to settle. I feel so bad for her sometimes because she is the kind of child who gets really attached to a particular care giver, she flourishes when she likes her care giver, so anytime she changes one it always breaks my heart.
She recently started a new class, older 2’s and young 3’s, I hear parents saying you never get used to them starting a new class or school, I didn’t know how real that was until I had to drop her off in her new class. I was a ball of nerves again….she said no to the new class and was asking to be taken to her old class, I asked the teacher if I could just drop her off in her old class and have her move to the new class later in the day, the teacher politely said no, and she started explaining things to me about her days off, and where Nia’s new cabbie was, but I could not concentrate, why is time moving so fast, how is she moving to an older class? I speak to the director about the change, I feel better after talking to her because she explains how Ms. Shirley(the new teacher) has been in that particular class for 13yrs, wow some stability for Nia, so for now am feeling better about her moving, am sure she can gain a lot from an older teacher like that with all those years of experience under her belt.
Shes a little fussy when she gets home,but not like when she was younger. My baby is growing up, she’s beginning to understand change is inevitable. A week later we move to a new apartment, I had tried to prepare her for the change by telling her how mummy, daddy and her are getting a new house. Finally it’s moving day, she leaves for daycare in the morning from the old place and in the evening goes home to the new place. ”Remember baby, mama said we have a new house, we’ll here it is, you like it?” She says ‘oh wow it’s nice.’
She explores and runs all over and has so much fun, then when she starts getting tired she comes to me and says, mama let’s go home, I explain again it’s our new house but she seems tired and I tell her lets go sleep. She tries to sleep but she’s tossing and turning too much. I can tell it will be a long night. She sleeps for about an hour and then wakes up crying, she cries like in her sleep for about an hour, I try to give her water, moving her to our bed, moving to the living room, nothing works, she seems uncomfortable and unable to relax. She does finally sleep at around 3am. We feel bad about moving, but we had to move, it’s better for her and we know soon she will realize that. Last night she went right to sleep. I do hope and wish this means she has realized that this is her new home.
It sucks that change is inevitable, even as grown ups with all the information, and time to process things it’s still difficult for us, it must be that much harder for kids who have less understanding of the matter, all we can do is try and prepare them as much as possible, and be prepared for it to affect their daily routine, patience is key, love them more and hug them tighter during those transition times.