Last week Cameron started playgroup three mornings a week. We’d arranged it months ago, but the timing worked out incredibly well with my first premature labour scare. I was really comfortable with our decision as Cam has been getting bored at home and he seemed ready for it. This was confirmed when he absolutely loved his first three days, waiting at the door with his bag in the mornings and not wanting to leave when Col went to fetch him. In fact, Colin and I struggled far more than Cam! It was the first time we’ve had to let go a bit, leaving him with someone who isn’t family or a close friend. It was Cam’s first ‘grown-up’ step and I’d be lying if I didn’t confess to getting a little choked up.
Since I was discharged after my first hospital stint Cam has been really sensitive about being left with his grandparents, something which usually doesn’t bother him in the slightest. I can understand this as he’s spent the last two weeks been passed around between my parents and Col’s mom. He loves them all dearly but I think the magnitude of change has caught up with him. So on Sunday, when we all went to Col’s mom for lunch, we reassured him that mommy and daddy weren’t leaving him this time. And then while he was having his nap, I went into labour again and what did we have to do? Leave him! I struggled with this more than anything.
Fortunately the doctor only kept me for two nights during this last hospital visit, but both Col and I have noticed an increase in Cam’s mommy-radar since Sunday. He wants to know where I am all the time and gets upset if he can’t stay with me. Yesterday, when Colin dropped him off at playgroup he was a bit niggly so this morning we decided it might help if I went with for the drop off. Huge, giant, colossal mistake. My poor little boy utterly lost it. He struggled desperately in his teacher’s arms, crying for all he was worth, screaming for his mommy and daddy, while Col and I got out of there as quickly as we could. I managed to hold myself together just long enough to close the car door before I collapsed into tears too. I cried all the way home and my poor husband had to console me as best he could before rushing off to work (as if he doesn’t have enough to deal with right now).
Cam’s teacher has let me know that he calmed down quickly, and the truth is, we really need him to be in playgroup at the moment. I can’t look after him by myself right now so having these three mornings makes a massive difference in the complicated logistics of our family life. But this morning’s drama has brought all my concerns for Cam to the surface and my mommy-heart is aching. With the best intentions, a lot of people have told me not to worry about Cameron right now and to just focus taking it easy for the sake of the new baby. But telling me not to worry about my child is like telling me not to breathe, especially when I can see he’s struggling with the situation we are all dealing with. His whole world until two weeks ago was being at home with me, with weekly visits to his grandparents and Nans. Now his mommy keeps disappearing unexpectedly, he’s never alone with me when I am around and he is spending more time away from home than at home. It is a massive upset in life as he knows it and it’s totally understandable that the poor kid is reeling.
We’ll all get through these next few weeks, and hopefully with some extra love and reassurance Cameron will settle down again soon. He understands a lot more than we realise so my strategy at the moment is to talk to him about what’s happening, focus on him whenever I can and shower him with cuddles. (There are also a lot more ice-creams and treats being consumed in our house right now, but honestly I think I need them just as much as Cam!) This inexplicable objection my body has to the third trimester of pregnancy is making life incredibly complicated right now and I am just praying that it’s not going to negatively affect Cameron’s reaction to having a little brother. At the same time I am praying that the little brother remains in the womb for at least another month. Needless to say, it’s a rough period for our family, but we will just continue to take it one day at a time. We’re grateful for the huge support system we have, and are finding little things to celebrate. Like summer, ice-cream and three-for-two specials on tissues!