Monday, Thursday, and Friday mornings are the worst. I absolutely dread these days because these are the days that Lily goes to daycare. Every time I drop her off, without fail, she cries. It’s not just a regular one and half-year old cry either. It’s a screaming bloody murder, blow out your ear drums type of cry.
I still can’t figure out why she cries like this. When I pick her up, they always tell me that she stopped minutes after I left and that she had a great day. If she has fun, what is the need for these terrible melt-downs?
Today was different though. She didn’t say “no” the minute we pulled into the parking lot like she usually does. We walked into her room and were greeted by her favorite teacher. She seemed excited as we were taking off her coat, was laughing while we were washing her hands, and then she began talking and walking to the table where she proceeded to sit down in a chair and look up at us and smile.
Her teacher and I stared at each other with large grins. “Lily how great!” we both exclaimed. “No crying today! Are you happy to be here? Are you happy to be able to get out of the house after being sick all week? Mama’s going to go now. I love you! Have a great day!”
I was practically skipping with glee toward the door when I suddenly heard a little, tiny voice. “Mama?”
I turn to look and there is my baby, sitting in her chair, lips quivering, and the outpouring of tears begins.
I begin to move toward them. I need to rescue her! She is so, so sad right now! This is her first day back to daycare after being sick all last week. SHE NEEDS ME!
Her teacher insists that I leave. She will not stop crying whether I stay or go, she tells me. I know this is true, but my heart breaks into a million pieces as I walk out that door. The rest of the drive to work, I just keep thinking, “I’m sorry, honey. I’m so, so sorry.”
There are many things I would say to her if she only understood at this age:
Mama leaves you at daycare because she has to work to keep a roof over our heads.
Mama leaves you at daycare because she thinks it’s good for you. She has seen you learn so many new things since you’ve started going and you always have fun with your friends.
Mama leaves you at daycare because she wants to be a role model for you. She wants you to see that women can have it all. They can be successful by working in a career they love and still come home and be good mommies to their babies.
But, she doesn’t understand right now. All she knows is that Mama is leaving her and it tears me up inside every Monday, Thursday, and Friday morning.
Does this ever get easier?
At least tomorrow is Tuesday.