You forget really HOW tired you are with a newborn. You forget how MUCH you threw up during pregnancy. You forget when that kid actually sat up on his own and you could finally go to the grocery store and stick them in the cart without lugging the beastly car seat around with you.
I’ve forgotten about what it was like to drop Dom off at daycare when he was still a babe.
I thought really hard about this.
I spent like three minutes trying to recall.
Nothing came to me.
I don’t remember what those first weeks and months were like handing him off to somebody who was, initially, a total stranger, and only accepting my child from me because I paid them to do so.
I do remember Dom’s last day at his first daycare. I totally cried. I was embarrassed. I wasn’t even pregnant and I was crying. His teachers cried, too. He did not.
He had no idea what was coming.
I do remember what it was like to take Dom to his current daycare. Initially, he was okay when I dropped him off.
We had our normal routine and before saying goodbye, I asked him for a beso, he gave me a kiss and then knew that I was leaving. This same routine also worked for babysitters and often, he would calm down about saying goodbye when we went through the familiar routine.
But after about a week, Dom must have realized that he wasn’t going back to the old daycare. This was his new stomping ground during the days. He wasn’t a fan. The crying began and besos didn’t help. He was not happy for me to leave him at this new place.
That was months ago.
This morning, as I dropped Dom off, he ran as fast as he could into the classroom because he saw his friend, Emery. She ran from the other side of the classroom and went they met, I flinched because I was sure they’d crash heads. They hugged.
Hugging little toddlers. Besties for life.
Well, besties for as long as they’re in the same daycare together.
I thought about the reasons why Dom doesn’t cry when I leave him in the morning.
- Dom is left with somebody that he feels comfortable with. He knows his teachers, he has friends in class, and he’s excited to see them.
- When I say goodbye, I’m always happy about it. Even when he was screaming and crying for me not to go, I smiled back at him. I’d like to think that it helped.
- I wouldn’t go back to try and calm him down. Eventually, he would be fine, running around and playing, even if in my mind all I could see was the last sight of him crying.
- I never snuck away without saying goodbye.
- I told Dom, ahead of time, that we were going to school or a babysitter was coming over, even if it made him upset. And then I would tell him that I would come back and get him. He still reminds me about the time that I left him with Maddy for about an hour, he played at her house, while I had a teleconference after regular work hours. He reminds me that I came back for him.
I’m glad that we are passed the separation anxiety phase with Dom, that he can be left at daycare easily, that nursery at church is a quick kiss goodbye, that he does well with babysitters. Gotta remember to be patient and go through these steps again with #2 so baby girl can handle saying goodbye to Mom and Dad, too. It’ll be far harder without a daily daycare drop-off.