When you have a baby, you forget about things. Mostly, you forget about your sophisticated and oh so important television watching regime. Your DVR surpasses to a billion percent compacity simply because you’d rather watch your kid and make sure she’s 1. Breathing. 2. Breathing effortlessly. (The NICU really does a number on you.) You also forget about things. You forget that things that you should figure out ahead of time. Namely, the daycare situation. It was a given that we would keep her home throughout the RSV flu season which was to end in April or May. When you have a few months before sending your kid to live with strangers weekly, you forget that you’re on the waiting list to one daycare. One. Then life starts pushing you around and you get a call from that one daycare telling you that any chance of an open spot is highly unlikely. And then they shut their door in your face. But before that, they did give you a recommendation of a place we should inquire about. “It’s a great place, blah, blah, blah” SHUT. This was not good news. That next week would be the start of us taking turns being off work until we found a place. The stress was thick.

We called the place to set up a tour that day which was a Friday. We go tour a daycare center at 5:30pm on a Friday. That’s good and bad. Good because you see the place at the most hectic time. Bad because that’s a lot of kidsinoneplace. For me. We talked with the owner and teachers and they instantly fell for our baby because she decided to bring the smile machine. I was hoping it would help secure a spot.

The owner went to grab the waiting list for newborns and the list was gone. Turns out, the other owner had taken the list home with her because she was going to be calling on the waiting list for new kiddos. We were filling out paperwork when we hear “there’s a spot open?” We started watching her like a hawk. Less paperwork, more hawk.

I couldn’t get the checkbook out fast enough. We paid for our first and last week. We walked out extremely relieved and thankful. And terrified. We realized much like her entrance into the world, we weren’t ready. Our baby was going to start daycare that next Monday.

I knew Monday would be difficult. You could see it on both of our faces. But not on our baby’s face. From the second we arrived to the room and even as we were walking out, her smile could not be big enough. It didn’t seem fair. She’s in there giggling and we’re doing dead man walking back to our cars. Dejected.

One good thing is that they will text you pics throughout the day. We both knew she likes to smile but we did not know she likes to laugh. On video. For strangers. Laughing.

It’s a process of getting through these initial steps of letting some control go. The whole thing about it all going by so fast is dead on fact. She JUST learned to grab at things. She JUST learned to roll over. Now she’s laughing.

But she’s happy. A very happy baby. And that will never get old. For us or for our new trusted strangers.



4 thoughts on “Daycare

  1. So many feelings. SO! MANY! A: Daycare/preschool is a bunch of BS. It costs a billion dollars and it’s like trying to get into an Ivy League school. B: I’m afraid of putting my kids in daycare. I have just piles and piles of irrational fears. Good job jumping over that hurdle.

  2. My husband and i weren’t in a position to avoid daycare with any of our 3 kids. It’s a hard road to go down, even after the 1st one. It’s a blessing in that they learn so much socially as an infant, but then you have to swallow that it’s someone else teaching it during the day. Kudos for you and your wife to have the strength and take it with such stride. : )

  3. I commend you guys for being so strong. I can’t relate because I’ve always had my mom watching the girls, so I never had to go through the emotional process of leaving my kids with strangers. Perfectly wonderful, capable, qualified strangers, I’m sure. But still, that first day must have been THE WORST.

  4. Oh, dead man walking is a perfect way to illustrate that feeling. I’m grateful that we have family watching our son. We started out thinking we’d prefer qualified srrangers then had to have some serious discussions to get to where we are today. Not an easy thing to do.

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