Friday, August 29, 2008

Baby Days: Daycare

Today, I dropped the baby off at daycare for the second day. When I say "daycare," I'm talking about "group family daycare," which in English means "someone's apartment." Knowing I would be working two or three days a week this school year, I had been on the lookout for childcare when I saw a sign on a lamppost when I was out walking the dog. It gave an address around the corner from my apartment and said: GROUP FAMILY DAYCARE "You can trust us with your children." I ignored the sinister usage of quotation marks, called the number, and went to visit. About five minutes into the visit, I realized that one of the two daycare ladies was not just a daycare lady but also the mother of one of my former students. Trust and affordability established, I decided that I could call off the daycare search.

Though incredibly apprehensive and miserable and tortured by the thought of the baby weeping for hours on end while waiting for me to come rescue him, I have also, in a very small guilty part of my soul, been looking forward to daycare. I scheduled his daycare time for a little longer than my work day so I could come home and write (well-nigh impossible with him around these days) or get housework done or go shopping or go to yoga or read or etc for awhile all by myself. Yesterday, I couldn't quite bring myself to do it, and I picked him up as soon as work was over. Today, though, I told the daycare lady 6 o'clock, so here I am, at home, all alone, having finished work at 3. Mostly, I cannot get any writing done - I have been starting and abandoning drafts for the past three hours. Mostly, I am staring into space and wishing we had more food in the fridge. Mostly, I am peculiarly bored. Not quite enough is happening. I keep looking apprehensively towards the bedroom, expecting to hear the baby's "I'm awake now" wail. I keep looking reflexively down at the computer cord, expecting to see the baby chewing on it. I keep feeling a sudden sense of panic and hopping out of the chair - is there something I'm supposed to be doing? - before remembering that no, there isn't, and sitting back down uneasily. I feel confused, uncomfortable, unproductive, and a little unhappy. After weeks of energetically wishing that I could get some time to myself, I am finding that I don't really want it right now. It is 5:25, so really, I have about twenty-five more minutes before I'm due to pick the baby up. But I'm going to hit "Publish Post" and then go get my baby.

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