The First Day of Daycare: A Tale of (Parental) Angst and Woe

Mark and I dropped off Avery for her first day of daycare this morning. You could say that the experience didn't bode well for the first day of kindergarten, the first day of high school, or (just cut out my heart right now) college drop off.

Oh... oh wait... you thought I meant Avery? Oh gosh no! Avery was fine. After about 0.5 seconds of leg clinging (squee!) she found a crayon to try to eat and she was all good. There was no wailing. No tantrum. No crawling after us as we left. We didn't even get a lip tremble. No, she just stood there at the teeny-tiny daycare table, holding a crayon in each little fist, deciding whether to put them to construction paper or her mouth. Brave girl.

Mark and I, on the other hand... decidedly not fine. How could we leave her? We barely know these people with whom we just left our child! Even worse, Avery was only the fifth child to arrive, which means we're among the elite class of workaholic asshole parents who dump their precious baby off at daycare at the crack of dawn. Even worse? We were 15 minutes late getting out the door today, which means tomorrow she may have the honor of being first baby at daycare. I swear, if she's the last one there at 5:30 tonight when I pick her up, I'm going to lose my shit.

Anyway, we spent the entire car ride into work not really looking at each other, both feeling a little weepy. We tried to laugh at our own ridiculousness (OMG, all parenting cliches are true. All of them.). It didn't work.

As I'm typing this, it's only been 80 minutes since we left her at daycare, and it feels like years. Already, I've contemplated calling the daycare to:

  1. make sure they know they can put her in a short-sleeved t-shirt if it gets too hot (there are at least four of them in her back-up outfits collection)
  2. confirm that they found the sheets and blanket for nap time
  3. confirm that they know she gets her lovey (tiny blanket with a head -- seriously) at nap time -- she can't sleep without it!
  4. just make sure that she's doing okay 
  5. as I typed #3, re-contemplated calling the daycare about the lovey and had to force myself to put down the phone
In the rational, objective, logical part of my brain (I swear, I have that part!), I know that this is no big deal. 

It's no big deal. 

For heaven's sake, it's not like it's college or even kindergarten (throat lump).

Like I told my boss last week when he gave me that "oh gosh, are you okay about the whole sending her to daycare thing?" look, I'm fine! It's fine! It's no big deal. Mark and I have been leaving her with a nanny for the past eight months for heaven's sake. Daycare is a good thing! More kids to play with! More germs to build her immune system! A safe environment in which she learns to trust a variety of adults.

My mother is going to read this and start laughing at me which is so, so annoying because #goddamnit I hate it when she's right. 

I know, I know. Tomorrow it will be better. It will be easier. By next week, it will be really, truly no big deal. We will all be old hat at this. 

How are we ever going to live through the first day of kindergarten? 


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