February 23, 2012

the way the boys are

A month ago, Max joined Ollie at his day care centre.  We managed to secure a place for him at the very last moment, a week before Max would have started at another centre until the boys could be together in mid-March.  It was fortuitous to say the least.

Max has, as we quietly predicted he would, settled in with minimum fuss.  We had a couple of days of tears at the gate, and he still has a firm grip on my hand until the moment I ask him for a squeezy hug and kiss, but every afternoon when I pick him up, his carers tell me what a wonderful day he's had and how settled he is.  It makes every bit of me glow with pride.

One of the loveliest things about this new chapter is that I've had a chance to see the brotherly relationship between Max and Ollie blossom.  Actually, it's not even that it's blossomed, it's that I see a side to it that I don't see at home.  At home, they get on really well most of the time, but they can also wind each other up and each knows exactly how to push the other's buttons.  At 'kindy' as we call it, they seek each other out, take great comfort in each other's company, and I have on more than one occasion arrived early to catch them sitting together, talking about a book, a toy or just hanging out.  It's the sweetest thing a mother of sons can see.

I've no doubt that while a large part of Max settling in so quickly is because he's a confident and easy going little man, it's also because he's there with his brother and chum.  It must have made the transition so much easier, to know his brother is just in the next room if he needs him.  It's also safe to say that Max is the rock in Ollie's life.  Ollie wasn't as quick to settle in, but since his brother and best pal has been going to kindy, he's been much happier to be there and goodbyes are no longer the emotional, gut-wrenching affairs of a month or so ago when I didn't think he'd ever forgive me for putting him through the ordeal of big day care.

But you know, kindy has taught Ollie so much already - and Max too.  The other day we caught Ollie actually singing a song he'd learned there (he doesn't sing.)  He is learning how to interact with children that are different to him and his brother (definitely NO biting) and he talks so sweetly about bringing his friends home from kindy (if only his mum would make friends with some of the other mums).  Sure he has his off days but on the whole, it's been a good experience for him so far.

So the last couple of months have been a big deal in our house with the change in the boys' routine (one they are still getting to grips with because being at kindy is so exhausting for them - and us), but seeing how they are with each other there, with other children, with their carers and how they are bringing home what they learn, makes me so excited for the days when they will be at school, then uni and then grown up men themselves.  Until then, though, I'm pretty happy to see them just been little together and enjoying little breaks with them like the one we just had at North Straddie, where everything was damn near perfect.  Sunshine, waves, gelato every day.  I never want to forget these days.

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