Saturday, August 28, 2010

They call him Baby Jacob

Aside from good health, almost nothing makes a parent more proud than to see his or her child interacting, learning and having fun with other children. And you know you've been accepted by your peers when they give you a nickname.

Jacob's new day-care buddies have dubbed him "Baby Jacob." The older boys have taken Jacob under their wing -- literally, he fits under their armpits.

They play a game with him where one of the older boys connects a couple Lego blocks and hands them to Jacob, who then takes them apart. Everyone thinks it's hilarious. Jacob's day care provider, Barbara, said they could do that for hours and laugh every time.

The other day, one of the girls was singing at the top of her lungs. Barbara said Jacob was chiming in with some type of high-pitch noise. Erin and I wish we could be flies on the wall one day and just watch how Jacob interacts.

Here's how Jacob's first week went:

Day 1: I carried Jacob into the room. After prying him from my shoulder like a cat digging into a sofa, I placed him on the floor. He just stood there, stoic, motionless, like someone still in shock after surviving a traumatic event. I called his name. "Jacob. Jacob, go play. C'mon, let's go play."

He just stared straight ahead. Dazed.

Seconds later his eyes began to well up. His bottom lip quivered. His recently developed separation anxiety was on full display. Jacob knew something wasn't right.

I couldn't help by laugh, and I couldn't resist not giving him sympathy. I gave him a hug and then picked him up (I know it's bad form, but even the most heartless person with a stone-cold soul would do the same). I tried handing him over to Barbara, but he just turned his back, dug his claws into me and buried his face in my shoulder. Finally I just sat him on the floor and let him cry it out.

Barbara said he opened up not too long after I left.

Day 2 yielded similar results. His neurons were firing on all cylinders, though, as he just stood back and observed the other children.

On Day 3 I decided to let Jacob walk into the room so he wouldn't cry when I put him down. Turned out to be a smart move. He felt more comfortable. He even walked up to Barbara to give her a high-five.

Days 4 and 5 looked as if Jacob had been attending this day care his entire life. Barbara said he never gave her trouble, slept well and ate like a little piglet during feeding times. We couldn't have been happier to hear that news!

Now when Jacob walks in, he immediately goes over to the toys, or sits on the couch, or gives Barbara a high-five, or lets her pick him up. If I were to leave without saying bye, he probably wouldn't realize I'm gone until long after.

We're sad to see him grow up so fast, but we couldn't be happier to see how much he loves going to day care. As everyone knows, day care is expensive, but you can't put a price on learning and happiness.

From a boy who cried the first few days we left him now cries when we take him home.

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