After sticking it out for over 6 months after my maternity leave ended, we decided it was time for Maxon to go into daycare. Once he got REALLY mobile, it no longer seemed fair to keep him confined inside the house for most of the day while we attempted to work, only to be told not to touch/climb/chew on that. And that. It was also not fair that our work responsibilities were constantly getting the back-burner, and then having it catch up with us in the evenings when we were supposed to be relaxing and spending time together. We first considered hiring a nanny and even interviewed a few prospects, but at the end of the day I really thought Maxon would benefit from being around other babies and we needed to have a quiet environment for work. After all the work we’ve had done on the house, I was just done having other people constantly around the house. Plus, I selfishly could not accept that one other person would always get to be the one to go out and do the fun stuff with Maxon for most of the week. Maxon will now be going to daycare 3 days a week and I will rearrange my work day to spend quality time on both. Or something like that.
I elected Mike to drop Maxon off on his first day. It has lately been a source of increased apprehension whenever I leave the room, even at home, so I did not want to exacerbate the situation by being the one to “leave” him in a new place with new people. I also believed that Mike would be a bit better in leaving the emotional turmoil in the car whereas mine would be slung over my shoulder along with the diaper bag and inevitably rub off on Maxon. It worked out relatively well as Maxon was immediately settled into a high chair and enjoyed a little lunch action with the big kids and Mike was able to execute an official bye-bye without a single tear from either Guzek. Of course, I called a mere 90 minutes later and was assured that the teacher would call back once she got Maxon calmed down. Yikes! As it turned out, Maxon was highly sensitive to other children crying and needed a little consoling when someone else was upset. The second day went a little more smoothly, as we were assured that he only cried for a total of 10 minutes, including the additional two minutes after Mike left, and he took a respectable nap in the afternoon. I called the classroom just now and he again only cried when Mike left and has not cried since and has been sleeping for the last hour. I will take that as a good sign. But we’ll see how it goes next week after he’s spent the next 5 days with just us.
What we’ve learned so far:
1) Do not surprise your child by suddenly appearing outside the window and then promptly disappearing from sight as you continue to the door.
2) Do not extend the farewell in hopes of calming the child before you go.
3) The teachers may have invited you to call as often as you want but that doesn’t mean they can answer and it doesn’t mean the information you receive will automatically make you feel better.
The change in our work day has been dramatic already. It’s amazing what can get accomplished with solid blocks of time to complete a thought. It was hard for me to get into the guts of my job when I was trying to fend Maxon off my rolling office chair or giving positive feedback as he banged on pots and pans and so I found myself procrastinating during the precious few minutes of relative peace. But in the last three days, I’ve gotten reacquainted with hours and hours of staring at my computer screen, banging out productivity like nobody’s business although it seems I have involuntarily given up blinking. I actually have to think about my outfit for the day as it will need to be appropriate for public viewing when I pick Maxon up from school. At least, with this being Boulder, flip flops are still acceptable but I guess I will have to dust off my “nice” t-shirts and pants with both buttons and zippers intact.
And that, my friend, is what you call progress.