All parents want the best for their children. No exception here. However, I am dubious about bombarding little babies with all types of stimulation and remortgaging the farm to fund exclusive ‘education’ in the hopes they will end up with a scholarship to Harvard. Babies born in the slums of Calcutta can grow up to be tycoons while sons of senators may well languish in rehab. All this to say that when it comes to parenting, I reckon fear of not giving your best is a great motivator.
As a baby, my father was bound in cloth to the backs of his aunts while they went about their daily grind of harvesting rice from the paddy fields in the scorching tropics of South East Asia. I’m not sure if this impeded any sort of mental development but he did go on to gain an engineering degree from Cardiff University. My husband and I were babies before the advent of fancy infant schooling but somehow between the both of us, we’ve managed to scrape together a number of acronyms in law and physics. What gives?
Today, our Petit-Homme started his first day at crèche in The Hague. Admittedly, we were influenced by this institution’s beautiful English brochures and intensive educational pedigrees of the ‘caretakers’. Although sparkling chandeliers are not quite necessary, they did top off a well-packaged theme of learning, caring and Michelin-munching at this childcare centre.
Lest it be thought our motivations were superficial, we toured another promising crèche with far fewer bells and whistles. Alas, too many safety hazards (lots of steep stairs, strollers helter-skelter and electrical work buzzing in the open) and carers AWOL from their kids for several minutes in the search of fresh nappies, scared the living daylights out of us.
Petit-Homme hollered for 5 minutes this morning after I said goodbye (sneaking out is not recommended), but a peek in later showed him to be bouncing happily on the lap of his caretaker. According to their latest updates online, he’s been sleeping and eating well – fingers crossed!