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Part 1: First day at day care: a slice of life series about parenting

Liz, a parent from Wellington

The X family, a typical kiwi family, talk about their life. -  How can you not want to take a look?

Part One:

I don't know who cried more on the first day, me or him.

Melissa, one of my co workers, found me in the bathroom bawling my eyes out and could understand why, when I dropped Matthew off at Happy Kids Day Care Centre it felt like the purpose to my life was gone.

Okay, I admitted to her between nose blowing, I may be slightly exaggerating but I did feel like I failed. My beautiful one year old boy had stood on the veranda, among the wind chimes, mobiles and trikes, and screamed his lungs out while I backed down the drive.

"He’ll be okay," Melissa promised trying to get me back into the office. This was fair enough I suppose; I’d been to the loo a hundred times and it was only two pm.

Three more torturous hours passed before I drove back up the drive way leading to Happy Kids. I leapt out of the car expecting to hear his cries of deceit and abandonment but all I could hear were the wind chimes singing.

I hesitantly open the door with the handle placed unusually closer to the top than in the middle. It was then it occurred to me this was to stop little arms reaching up and escaping. Had my little boy who could barely walk tried to get away?

I looked in and saw Matthew sitting on the knee of Sally, one of the teachers, in what they called their reading corner. He looked up at me smiled and went back to looking at the book.

"Oh no," I thought. "He doesn’t recognise me."

I approach them and looked down at them both, cuddled into the cushions, surrounded by books.

"Matthew," I said. "Hi Sweetie."  He looked up at me again.

"Mum," he said and pointed at me.

"That’s right," Sally nodded. "That’s your Mum."

He stumbled to get up, smiled at me and threw himself round my legs. I picked him up and hugged him tight.

"He’s been alright?" I asked.

"Of course," Sally said. "He stopped crying five minutes after you left."