RR survived her first day of daycare yesterday. We dropped her off together in the morning before my wife went to work. What does it say that I dressed up to take her to daycare? Like, jeans and a polo shirt dressed up, but still. Oh, and we like to call it “school.” Somehow that makes it feel better to hand her over to the arms of a stranger.
Her school is incredibly bright, clean, organized and yesterday, the halls were filled with excited, nervous, and sad kids all having their first day of school in their new classrooms. One little boy peered in the infant room with some nostalgia as he was then escorted to his new room. I held RR as my wife filled out some paperwork, and we chatted with the parents of a hefty six month old who was hacking a raspy cough. We dropped off her supplies – two crib sheets, a blanket, her cuddle monkey, a couple of pacifiers, some extra clothes (OK, OK – we actually forgot these, but dropped them off today), and a giant can of formula, which they will mix on demand. The only thing we’ll take back and forth with us each day is her paperwork and her bottles, which arrive and leave empty. Not having to actually mix formula and fill bottles in the morning is such a relief and time saver.
She has a crib and a cubby with her name on it – the only time Comic Sans is appropriate, if you ask me. There were five other cubbies with five other names, and an empty name-less cubby for a kid who hasn’t even been born/named yet, which means that for at least the next two months, there will only be six infants total in the infant classroom. Score. She’s one of two girls, and the son of the lady I work with already has a cubby, although he doesn’t start going until the week after next. There were only three cribs set-up – one for RR, one for raspycough, and one for a boy who hadn’t shown up yet.
We handed her over (after a lot of kisses), got a tutorial on checking her in and out each day, and paid for the week, and were on our way. What was supposed to be a day of working from home, for me, turned into a two-hour visit with the bad cat at the vet since he spent the previous 48 hours running in and out of the litterbox, squatting, and not peeing. 80 bucks, some “fluid,” some anti-inflammatory meds, and some urine unblocking canned cat food later, I got home in enough time to then leave, hit the grocery store, come back, unload groceries, and pick RR back up at 1pm.
When I came to pick her up, the halls were surprisingly quiet, given the amount of small children in each room. I knocked on the infant door, took off my shoes in order to enter, and saw RR being rocked in a swing with the teacher in front of her manually rocking her. No crying, no red faces, and not a hint of discomfort. I sat on the floor in front of her with the teacher and she debriefed me on her day. Raspycough was having a nap in his crib, and even heftier latecomer was playing with a toy on the floor. The other teacher fetched her empty bottles and daily sheet (which says when she ate, got changed, napped, and general disposition). The daily sheet reminds me a lot of the sheets we used to get when our dog had a dog walker who came in the middle of the day to walk him while we were at work: “He was good on his walk; he chewed on some sticks; he pooped in a bush.”
I strapped her into her carseat (which we can leave there) and we headed home, all in one piece.
I can’t ensure that every day will go so smoothly (case in point, even though she was the only baby there this morning, she cried when I handed her over to the teacher), but she is obviously in very good hands. Well, and it’s been 24 hours, and none of us three are sick yet, but I only give that another 12 hours. Or five minutes.
And now that the cat is peeing (thanks, vet!), I can sit here at The Paneras and work “from home” with a cinnamon crunch bagel and hazelnut coffee to take the edge off of leaving my crying baby. That, and I can download more R&B, rap, and dance music from iTunes, which apparently is RR’s most favorite music ever. Screw Beyonce, give her some Eminem and Rihanna. That’s my girl.