This morning, I spent my first ever morning away from Ollie and Max when they weren't being looked after by their pa. I should say, however that they were with Sue, the lady that has looked after Ollie since I went back to work when he was 9 months old, and for all intents and purposes, Sue is as close a member of our family than anyone, and certainly nobody else knows Ollie as well as she does.
So it was with some nerves but with a lot of comfort that Will and I drove Ollie and Max up to Sue's house this morning so that he could start his day care journey and hopefully be accustomed to his new environment by the time I start work again in just under two months. We're doing what we did with Ollie and easing Max into his new routine, building up from a couple of hours to a full day with Sue by Christmas.
Today would have been his first day with Sue regardless, but a couple of days ago I was asked to attend a meeting in town with a new client this morning. I'm not due to go back to work until mid January and there was no obligation to attend but I thought it might be a good idea to have a trial childcare/work drop off and also to distract me from the hand wringing and fretting I was no doubt going to do if I'd just come straight home after dropping Max off. And we're trying to save money so a trip to the shops was out of the question and it's impossible for me to read a book or watch a movie without thinking about the housework. Anyway, I agreed to attend the meeting and while it stopped a bit of the hand wringing, I fretted nonetheless and was visibly tetchy when the hour long meeting turned into two hours and then three and I was very glad to get out of there and ring Sue from the nearest payphone to check on both boys before getting in the car and picking up Max while his brother slept peacefully in his cot at Sue's.
When I got there, Max was sitting up, playing happily, and I got the most adorable little smile from him when he saw me. He didn't complain and want to be picked up straight away, he carried on playing while I talked to Sue about their morning together, which in her own words was 'a reasonable success'. I had been worried about Ollie too, but he seemed to take it in his stride, and was big brotherly enough to recognise the change in his normal routine at Sue's as being positive.
I knew it would be alright, and there's a way to go to get him into a routine that he and Sue (and the other children) are happy with, not to mention Ollie might well start objecting to his little brother invading his time with Sue when he realises it's permanent, but for now, I'm relieved that this initial hurdle is over.
Going back to work is going to be really, really hard.