Two weeks into daycare, and the sobbing and clinging have yet to diminish. I am, of course, talking about me. Last Wednesday I suffered from such acute separation anxiety that I felt a physical longing for Skye. I kid you not. I mean, a gut-wrenching, shortness-of-breath kind of longing I haven’t felt since my ten-year-old heart longed to be united with soulmate Ricky Schroder. (Yes, he will always be RICKY to me.) I picked Skye up even earlier that day — she’s only there three or four hours, as it is — and studied her to make sure she hadn’t, you know, grown an extra inch or acquired a proficiency in German while we were apart. Still just two teeth? Check. Reverse mullet? Check. Extra-chunky baby thighs? BIG check.
Phew. Still my baby. As for me…? I sure as hell have changed. Clearly. Which has provided my mom with nonstop amusement.
“You’ve become such a… a… MOMMY!” Mom snickered as I wept that I wasn’t sure if I could continue with daycare. “I thought you were a career lady! I probably shouldn’t say this, but your father and I find all of this hilarious.”
And that’s what matters, really, in the midst of my trauma: keeping my parents entertained.
So I have my good days and my bad days. On my good days, I feel recharged and have the energy to devote more quality time with Skye. On my bad days, I caress her empty swing like a stalker-y babysitter in a bad horror flick and count down the minutes till I can pick her up. Working from home makes it even harder, I believe, because I don’t have crazy co-workers and office birthday parties to distract me.
I cannot lie: I miss the free cake. But not the crazy co-workers.
Miss Skye, on the other hand, is adjusting nicely for the most part. With Mr. Candy traveling so much and little family living nearby, Skye has been forced to spend 99.9 percent of her time with yours truly. Poor thing. So the exposure to different people is probably good for her. (As long as she remains a shameless mommy’s girl, of course.) I am told she is a “happy baby” at daycare, and enjoys sitting at the baby table and interacting with her new baby friends. I like to imagine they have a lively debate about Huggies versus Pampers, while clucking over Suri’s latest pair of high heels in Us Weekly.
She still refuses to take the bottle, however, instead chewing on the nipple like she’s never seen one before. We’ve tried using different brands of bottles. Feeding her in the car seat. The swing. Waiting until she’s really hungry. NOTHING works. It’s her way of protesting the new environment and, most satisfyingly to her, making me look like a fool. Because I can tell the daycare folks think we have never given this child a bottle before. But we have…! With no problems! To which the daycare crew smiles knowingly and says, “Mmmm-hmmm.”
Ah, well, anybody who’s seen those extra-chunky baby thighs knows she’s not going to starve any time soon.
Skye is also, and I don’t think she’ll appreciate me telling you this, rather constipated. Again, probably from the stress of the change. So we’ve been plying her with prunes. Which has caused her to emit gas that has brought us to our knees. Every time she does this, I’ll ask “Did you toot?!” (after I regain consciousness), making her laugh for some reason. So I’m probably giving her positive reinforcement for her lethal toots.
Notice how my reflections somehow devolved into a conversation about baby toots? My mom’s right: I AM such a mommy.
Well, this mommy has vowed to give daycare a chance. Yes! I am optimistic! I like the center, I like the idea of having more balance in my life and I like the social interaction that Skye gets. Also…? We had to commit to six months.
P.S. See Marcy lurking in the background in the picture? More on that later.