Yesterday was Jude’s first day of daycare. Now I know what you’re asking, “Drew, haven’t you always been against daycare?” Yes, yes I have. I know it works for some people but I didn’t foresee it being needed for us. After all, Alaina works part-time and I work nights, therefore can watch my children during the day. Also, if we needed to spend half a paycheck a week having someone watch our kids, I’d just as soon stay home. When I hear about parents who spend one spouses entire weekly pay (roughly what my wife earns working part-time) on daycare, I get so confused. Why work so someone else can take care of your children? Do people not want to raise their kids? Honestly, if you have a view on this I want to know. Contact me.
Anyway, with the winter days dragging on, Jude desperately needs to fight off his cabin fever. We’ve tried to play in the snow but because we seem to be living in Siberia, it’s so cold that his little heart becomes angered after only 20 minutes of playing. Coincidently, 20 minutes is also how long it takes to get him and his sister ready to play outside. Layer after layer must be applied until I’m satisfied that he’s warm. In the spring and summer months Jude loves to play outside and explore. The park down the street is a favorite destination of his. While he plays on the slides and wipes out on in the dirt, I can “people-watch” (definitely a favorite pastime). Unfortunately right now in Vermont, the slides are covered with a foot of snow and a nice thick sheet of ice is covering his favorite bushes. There’s only so much energy he can burn in the house. If we had a mansion or something similar, it would be perfect. Unfortunately our home (formerly the Essex Jail circa 1900, from what I’ve been told) is busting at the seams with us just existing in it. Jude doesn’t seem to notice though as he definitely enjoys running around the table yelling “YAY” with his hands up, but I think he needs a bit more.
Aside from the need to play more, we felt that he needed some interaction with other kids. His sister is only five months old and not the best conversationist. For the longest time now his best friend has been the cat. Which is fine, I love that he loves the cat…but we think he needs some human interaction too. I suggested he get a job, too bad the market’s so bad right now. He’s definitely interested in other kids and without having the awkwardness of his parents around him, he can explore and become more independent.
Him being gone gives me some one on one bonding time with our daughter. Jude was lucky. For the first year and a half it was the two of us while Alaina was working. When she was home, we were able to be a very close-knit unit. With two kids, its hard to give the alone time our daughter likes and needs. Sometimes I feel very guilty that I can’t give them the one on one time they need, I always feel like one or the other is missing out.
After debate for what seemed like hours, we settled on a one day a week daycare around the corner from us. One of the perks is that my cousin works there and would be working directly with Jude. Our finances are such that one day is all we can afford right now. Even if we could afford more, I don’t see a need for him being there more than part-time.
I need to take a minute right now and tell myself it’s entirely possible I am over thinking this whole thing. Honestly, this feels more like a diary entry than a blog post.
(16-year-old girl voice…high pitched…possibly southern)
Dear diary, Today Jude went away. I miss him, I love him, I don’t know what I would do with out him. One day he will be back and I will be happy. Momma says all is good. Well goodnight diary…..
I think I was more torn up about leaving Jude than he was about being left. The entire ride home without him, I was fighting back tears. I felt like I was leaving him in some sort of toddler prison. His jumpsuit would have been cute but its startling orange color would have suggested a hell he wasn’t prepared for. Of course the place wasn’t like a prison. It’s really nice, it reminds me a lot of the preschool I attended. This is how ridiculous my thoughts got: I was worried that the staff wouldn’t know what to do if he said “apple sauce”. What the hell is wrong with me? Of course trained professionals know when snack time is. I hope every parent goes through something like this. FEEL MY PAIN OTHER PARENTS!! FEEL IT I SAY!!
When I went to preschool I hated when my mom dropped me off. I hated it so much, I would run after her when she was on her way to the car. She must have been late to work every single day she dropped me off…the things parents do. I’m very glad Jude didn’t even shed a tear when we left. He was far to interested in the table that was covered in rice.
So, there I sat. Margot in my arms, a Breaking Bad marathon on TV. Other than the small cooing coming from Margot and Walter White’s occasional outburst, the house was eerily quiet. Even at night when I get home from work the house wasn’t that quiet. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.
I just couldn’t wait for my playmate to get home.
Ultimately, Jude did really good at the daycare. Aside from almost choking to death not he lunch we gave him (sorry bud) and having a minor breakdown a few minutes before I came to pick him up, he had a very good day. Any anxiety that was lingering when I went to pick him up was gone when I saw him and now I know he’ll survive. Which is good, because today I’m dropping him off at a construction site to see if he can be a day laborer.