On Monday, we dropped our kid off at his first daycare session. There was a fair amount of screaming, quite a bit of crying and a desperate need for some hand-holding.
And that was just my wife. Rimshot!
In the days – months, even – leading up to our son’s “immersion” in daycare (quotes because part-time daycare is not exactly immersive), Mom and Buried and I spent a lot of time talking about how good it would be for both of them – for my son to spend more time apart from mommy and with other kids his age and for my wife to have some time to herself.
Last week’s phase-in period wasn’t without its bumps – this being my son’s first time away from mom and dad (give or take some babysitting while he’s asleep), he cried every time he gets dropped off and then cried again once Mom gets back there to pick him up – but for the most part it went well. He had fun while he was there and he adjusted to being by himself pretty quickly. So I had little reason to be worried on Monday when we took him back for his first full session. Nothing was really changing.
Suddenly, the prospect of my son being somewhere else, and with someone else, for extended periods of time was real. And my wife was having a tough time with it. Here we were, trying to get past our son’s separation anxiety when suddenly Mom and Buried was the one struggling with letting him go. Irony!
She knows it’s for his own good even if it’s just a part-time schedule, she knows she can really use the time on her own, even if she uses it for errands or reading or whatever; but it’s her first real experience with leaving him, and it’s a big change, so she’s been a tad emotional about it. Thankfully she has 18 years to toughen up before he’s off to college (if such things still exist for the bottom 99%), because I can’t take being surrounded by all this emotion. I’m a man!
Of course, just a few hours later, after everything had gone just fine, extra tears notwithstanding, we’d gotten him home safe and sound and all settled in his high chair for dinner. And it didn’t take more than fifteen minutes of the whining about the food and the throwing of the food and the refusal to eat the food (the same food that he had loved just one day before!) for my wife to start considering adding a few extra days to the daycare schedule. It’s enough to give a guy whiplash.
The lesson here, for any of you who haven’t seen Kristen Bell’s meltdown on Ellen: Women be CRAZY!
Thank God I don’t have a daughter.