Nati likes playhouses, carousels, kiddie car rides, train rides, and trampolines. It’s her happiness! But in all those times that she is enjoying those I mentioned, we (I and hubby) are with her. On train rides, I accompany her. In the kiddie car rides, it’s Papa Ace’ turn (because I don’t know how to drive and my eye and motor coordination is poor). At 34 months, we haven’t tried leaving her alone. But she was brave enough to try Moms Cradle – a child minding center located in the lower ground floor of Gaisano Mall of Davao.
She was on a trampoline that was facing Moms Cradle one Sunday afternoon. Maybe she was curious at first, she dragged me to the place after her 15-minute jumping session at the trampoline. She wanted to go inside so we let her in. I was hesitant at first because I find it expensive (sorry, this mom’s kuripot) at Php150.00 per hour. But after a little prodding, I gave it a go. Nati was ecstatic. She immediately went inside the play area alone! Nati being not the kind who easily feels at home with an unfamiliar place, it’s unusual for her to feel so comfortable at the place in a very short time.
She went in. Played alone (because she is not used to having a playmate). She’s “territorial” as Teacher Maan said. That we are having a hard time teaching her the concept of sharing. Yes, she shares after she’s done playing with a toy. But she would go berserk when one grabs a toy from her hand without even giving her time to process the thought of sharing and letting go.
The following Sunday, she was in Moms Cradle. As usual, she played alone as what she is used to.
We tried to leave her alone. She didn’t cry when we bid goodbye to her. Great sign that she’s ready to be left alone! So I and Ace had a quick stroll at the mall. It was a nice feeling to be strolling by ourselves again after almost three years of having Nati in tow. But my mind is preoccupied, thinking about Nati and how she is.
We went back to fetch her and she was ecstatic to see us. I asked Teacher Maan how was she when we were away. She told me Nati did great. She started playing with other kids but still doesn’t share a toy she is currently playing with.
On the third time she was in the center, we wanted to leave her for an hour but we stayed for a while because there was a bully little boy who kept on pulling a toy that Nati was playing with. Anything that Nati grabs from the shelf, he would try to get from her. She would run but the boy follows, grabbing the toy from Nati. Nati was already crying and shouting “Noooo!!!!” but the boy tries very hard to get the toy from Nati. He hit Nati in the head with a ball after failed attempts of grabbing toys from Nati’s hand. Seeing that, I couldn’t help but call the attention of that bully kid and gave him a stern look. What’s wrong with you, little boy? Aren’t you taught to wait for your turn? Nati is territorial only with the toys that she is playing with but never grabs from others. More so, hitting other kids. The little boy’s mom is in the waiting area. Saw what happened but didn’t bother to reprimand her son.
After a while, we went out of the center but still stayed outside to observe. When Nati was already playing with other kids, we left and went to the nearby massage station to try their massage chair. Couple time finally!
Few minutes before her time to go out, we went back to check on her. She’s playing with other kids and Teacher Maan.
It was a success leaving her alone in the center. Glad for child minding center at the mall! Soon, Ace and I can have our longer couple time or we can run errands without Nati in tow. We can leave her at the center longer because they have a sleeping room where she can take a nap. I won’t worry if she needs to change diaper because they have children’s toilet inside the center. I can just leave Nati with cloth diapers, food, and extra clothes. Nothing to worry, she’s in good hands with the teachers. I know she’s ready. Other moms told me she’s so independent because she can be left alone (without us) in sight and doesn’t seem to bother by our absence. It’s me who worries a lot about her when we leave her at the center. Separation anxiety it is!