Sunday, July 6, 2008

Big Girl's First Day

Last week I went to look at nurseries for the baby. She has just turned one and this will be her first experience in anyone’s care other than her parents. Making aliyah means losing your whole network of family and friends and when the need comes for a babysitter you do miss having that network of (free) support.

I went to look at two, ‘parent recommended’ local nurseries. I had a good look around, asked about the activities and then let her loose to investigate for herself. She was very interested in this new, stimulating environment; an array of bright colours, an exciting variety of toys and lots of other ‘little people’ who took great interest in the newcomer.

Israeli nurseries differ from those in the UK. They are much more ‘out door’ focused. Most of the morning, in both of the nurseries I looked at, involved outside play (with an overhead net providing shade). As if all this outside activity was not enough, they also pile the kids inside what I can best describe as ‘mobile playpens’ and take them on a daily walk. They have different routes each day so the kids have something different to look at.

Whilst I was finding out more information and looking at all the educational toys, my daughter had found something which thrilled her to the core. She discovered a pile of goodies she is normally denied; there on the table was a box of broken mobile phones and TV remotes – she could throw them, chew them, press them, sit on them and no-one would stop her!

Today was her first day. I decided to hang around and let her get used to the new environment and routine. She did very well but kept coming over to me for re-assurance. We stayed for a few hours and then left as I could see she was getting tired. I will take her again later in the week and hope to disappear for some time and see how she gets on without me. I am not sure who will have more ‘separation anxiety’, her or me, but I do know that I have found a nursery that is full of music, fun and kindness.

Sharona B