I am a stay-at-home mom. My son is now a 28-month old Little Dynamo. He loves to be with people. He loves to be with children. And that observation doesn’t just come from me:-).
A few weeks ago, I was determined to put my son in a daycare. I knew he was ready for it. When I saw him in a daycare we last visited, he didn’t want to go home. He would rather stay behind than go with mommy. Psychologically and emotionally, we were decided that he should be in daycare… until I heard my Korean friend talk to the songsaengnim and said (in Korean) that my son is an active little boy… to the effect that he is more active than a regular boy. I was quite offended and right there I got those serious doubts about letting him in the daycare. No offense to my friend. She has a daughter who is tamer compared to my boy (aren’t girls generally really tamer than boys?). My boy is very active but is easy to talk to… unlike her own toddler who throws tantrums and shouts with a shrill voice. Okay, I was offended that’s why I added a nasty comparison.
My friend may have meant well but it gave me a realization that I would rather be in control of the firsts (first impression, first day, first orientation) of my son. I don’t want anyone forming their opinion of my son because of what they had been told, rather than what they personally see. This is a very important phase in my son’s life and I could only blame myself if he has a bad start. The daycare center that we went to is quite good and I am satisfied with it. But the songsaengnim in charge of my son speaks no English at all, although she understands a little. So, it brings me to the important part of my son’s daycare experience. I can’t understand the songsaengnim (I speak very, very little Korean) and communication gap between us might be disastrous to my son’s first daycare.
Because of the above experience, it led me into thinking: why should I put my son in a daycare? I am a stay-at-home mom… and he is just 28 months old. If I am working, there will be no second thoughts about that, I guess. Somebody has to take care of him. We can’t have a full-time nanny here in Seoul. That’s just impossible. I love taking care of him. Sometimes, I just feel that I am no longer enough for him. But when it comes to socialization, I came to realize that my son is not so behind in this aspect. We go out almost everyday. He gets to meet children. He loves to be with them. He is comfortable with adults, too. My primary concern is his learning the Korean language… a necessity for him at this stage so that he can comfortably mingle with other kids. Whenever I see him with other kids, he tries to say the words they say… I guess, that’s the start of learning. But I can’t help him further on that… unless I go back to studying the language, too:-).
As a mother, I am not too good with schedule. Even if I want us to have a 5-10 minutes study time everyday, my own laxity makes it impossible. Oh sure, he knows his numbers and his alphabets. Sometimes I feel I could do more if I am more conscious of time. But I can’t even make my toddler sleep on a regular time at night (LOL). He sleeps when he wants to and I let him be:-). After his bedtime stories, he continues on jumping on the bed and performing for Daddy and Mommy. Most often, my husband and I fall asleep ahead while he goes on playing in his own bed.