Lynn's Comments: My friends told me about their toddlers' reluctance to be left at the daycare center, but Aaron was a social kid who couldn't wait to get into the stuff and the food and the excitement of new surroundings. Later, when Katie went to a sitter while I worked, she was also happy to have my friend Marian's attention and never made a fuss! These strips show what sometimes happens to others.
Lynn's Comments: Aaron was very much at home at the Dundas daycare center. As I said, I was grateful to what was then called "welfare" for helping me to keep my several jobs and be a mom at the same time. He was happy with the routine and when I came to get him, he often had to do "one more fing" before he was ready to go.
Lynn's Comments: Katie had no problem going to day care and Aaron adjusted to it immediately, too. This scenario was based on tales I heard from friends who lived in the city. Some children felt abandoned, some moms felt guilty, and it was a difficult time all-round. I thought it was great material for the strip.
Lynn's Comments: One of the most useful bits of psychology I learned in my mom and toddler classes was to use "I messages". When you tell a kid how their inappropriate behaviour affects you, the exchange becomes a discussion and not an accusation. When you reword "Your whining drives me crazy! Why are you whining so much?!" and say: "I don't understand why you're upset. It makes me unhappy to hear you whining. What can I do to help?" You're more likely to get a better response. This is all very nice when you have your wits about you and can think of the right thing to say. Unfortunately "Oh for heaven's sake, cut the crap and get ready for school, already!" can easily spill out. The thing to remember is: a hug will always save the day!
Lynn's Comments: Aaron and Katie were both independent children. Trusting and eager to explore, they enjoyed Kindergarten, Saturday art classes, junior skating, and other activities that required them to be separated from Mom and Dad for a period of time. I credit this not just to parenting but to the wonderful daycare workers, playschool teachers, babysitters, and other caregivers who worked with them during their formative years. Together, we instilled confidence in themselves and confidence in us. We were really fortunate to have such a responsible, trustworthy team of people to back us up and give the kids a healthy, enjoyable, and safe environment to grow up in.
Lynn's Comments: We gave Aaron a key to the house, hoping he wouldn't lose it. He did. The key was as much of a concern to him as his glasses, which he hated to wear. He lost them, he broke them, and he left them at home. The frustration his glasses caused was part of the reason why they never appeared in the strip! When he was finally old enough for contacts, he was overjoyed. Now that I too have to wear glasses, I can see how hard it was for an active, conservative kid to accept them.
Lynn's Comments: Becky is a character who stays through to the end. At the time, I didn't know that she and April would become friends for a lifetime.
Lynn's Comments: In the dental clinic, a kid would often cause a real row—crying and carrying on. If the mom went down the street to have a coffee, the kid would immediately settle down knowing that mom was out of earshot.