Another day, another milestone...
Nik returned to work today for the first time since Tom contracted meningitis. It hasn't been the most pleasant of transitions for her as one might expect; there's enough personal and societal guilt tied up with being a working mother (however hard we try and rationalise it all and however much people think things have moved on) and putting our son into childcare without the added complications that prolonged illness and deafness bring. Jeez, there's a whole separate blog and debate just there. Anyway, we won't open that one up too far just now.
The return to the childminder (Karen) has been phased over the last few weeks, ostensibly for Tom to get used to spending time with her again but also to allow Nik a little down time. As it is, appointments, letter writing and filing (Tom needs a full time clerk to manage his correspondence) have messed up any chance of that happening. Couple that with the fact that the boy has cried his eyes out at the mere mention of Karen and you can begin to imagine how stressful ths period has been.
Yes, more stress.
But today Tom defied all expectations. I told him where we were going once he was belted in 'daddy's car' and, although he wasn't his usual, van-spotting ball of chat, he took the news well. It seemed a particularly adult, stolid reaction; he bore the bad tidings and, although clearly not over-enamoured with the prospect, he was resigned to the inevitability of it all. His only words on the journey were 'Daddy sit down Karens'.
So there we were a few minutes later, daddy sat down as requested, with Tom standing close. Then, having decided he was ready, Tom said 'daddy work, daddy's car'. I was dismissed - 'Don't drag this out any further father, your work here is done'. He was so brave, I nearly cried.
Naturally, Nik thought I was just making it up so that her first day was less stressful. Work still sucked but, hey, that's work for you.