Song Lyric of the Day:
Under the table, nobody’s there / Under the ceiling, under the stairs / A funny feeling, my head is sleeping / I want you to come home
Today is a day I knew was coming for a while now, but that hasn’t made it any easier to face: Today is Coraline’s first day of daycare.
Until today, my mom has watched Coraline four days a week, with me being fortunate enough to be able to work from home one day a week. It’s been a wonderful arrangement — Rich and I know Coraline’s in great hands, Coraline gets to spend lots of time with her cousin Stephen, my dad is off on Fridays so she gets to be with both my parents, and I get a day where I get to watch my free-range baby tear around our basement while I work. But Rich and I decided a while back that Coraline should experience at least one day a week of daycare. That way she gets more socialization with kids her own age (although she’s always played well with other kids) and, God help me, gets needed exposure to germs. After months on a waiting list, we got the call last Tuesday that a spot had opened up for three days a week. We decided on two days and took Coraline to the daycare on Wednesday to meet her teachers and classmates. Within seconds of Rich setting her down, a little boy, W, gave Coraline his favorite book. After that, Coraline relaxed and set off to explore her new classroom. She enjoyed checking out the new toys, and at one pont was surrounded by three little boys, including W, who was resting his chin on his hands staring at her. It was too cute, although I know Rich would rather not have his daughter on the receiving end of googly eyes.
The timing of this spot opening up has been really fortuitous since my mom will be having knee-replacement surgery in the near future; we were going to be in need of an alternate child-care solution as I can’t work from home every day of the week. As it is, once Mom has the surgery, I’ll be working from home some, working at the office, and using my lunch breaks to take Mom to her physical therapy appointments. In light of that, knowing Coraline will be in daycare at least half the week is a huge relief.
Still, this is a big change for all of us, and it’s bittersweet. It’s a rite of passage of sorts, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier to hand our baby off to strangers this morning. Experienced, credentialed strangers, but strangers nonetheless (at least for now). While my mom knew this was going to happen eventually, I know she’s going to miss having Coraline around those two days each week. But she understands why we’re doing it. My poor dad, on the other hand, was just devastated. I felt like a monster telling him, he was so crushed. I think he felt like we were taking away his little girl, that tiny chatterbox who runs to the door to greet him when he gets home from work every night and “tells” him about her day as only she can. He’s made peace with it now, but like Rich, Mom, Stephen, and myself, he’ll still have a little bit of an adjustment period. Good thing we live so close to each other.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put on my brave face and do my best not to cry.
No tears on dropoff. She immediately ran off to make new friends. She’s going to be just fine. 🙂