Sunday night, I was prepared for a sleepless night. I just KNEW my mind would be racing counterclockwise around an oval track (SHOO-WEE!). Much to my surprise, sleep came easily. I suppose I have a three month-old to thank for that. Liam slept for 8 hours straight that night, but woke-up at 4:00 am. My alarm was set for 5:30 am. The whole “wake, change, nurse, back to sleep” process takes roughly an hour, so I was up for the day. First thought, gross. Can’t I just crawl back into bed? No, Betsy, you can’t. Instead, I went about my get ready routine that had been on the shelf for 12 weeks. Shower, make-up, hair. Here’s where it deviates… You have to get dressed last because you’re bound to get baby goo on you. So it went: Pack pump bag. Pack bottles for Liam, fill-out daycare report card. Wake-up baby. Change baby. Dress baby. Kiss, snuggle, love, hug, laugh with, and talk to baby. Feed baby. Dress myself. And get us out the door.
Luckily, I have an amazing husband who will take all my bags out to the car and start it (it’s been COLD here) before he leaves for work (which is about 10 minutes before Liam and I leave). Love him.
Overall, the morning of daycare 1 was uneventful. Husband did the drop-off with me. We moral supported each other. I started to get upset when we were walking to the nursery, but I checked my emotions at the door as best I could. After we said goodbye to him, one of the sweet daycare ladies, Miss Jackie (the ladies who work in the nursery are in the 70s, we’d guess), snatched him up, took him to a glider, and snuggled him to pieces. She knew all we wanted to see was him being loved. She’d obviously done the “first time drop-off” a few times.
My day at work passed rather quickly. I spent my time catching-up on emails and work, and catching-up with people. Much like the end of pregnancy, I was asked the same three questions over and over. This time, though, I didn’t mind. I could talk about that kid ALL DAY LONG. I called daycare twice. Each time settled my anxiety and quieted my racing mind.
Let me tell you – I have NEVER been so excited to go home in my entire life. I was trying to think of a way to describe it. ‘Tis the season, I kept coming back to this: Going home to your baby after being apart all day is like the feeling a five year-old experiences on Christmas Eve night… knowing something magical is about to happen. The anticipation mounts, and I start clock watching. About 30 minutes before I leave, I catch myself smiling every time I think about being home. When I walk to my car, I’m smiling. I’m smiling as I drive. I rush out of my car (smiling, duh!), drop my stuff (literally), and bound up the stairs. When I see that big head my world screeches to a stop (Husband is usually cuddling Liam in the glider, which faces away from the bedroom door). When I drop my face to his level, and say, “Heeeey, buddy,” I was rewarded with the BIGGEST smile. My heart melts, my breath catches in my chest, and my world resets on its axis. It was like I had just crept down the stairs and seen the pile of presents Santa had left for me under our glowing Christmas tree. It was magical. MAGICAL.
Daycare Day 2 and 3 passed much like Day 1, except they were harder. For Day 1, I had just spent all of Sunday with him so we hadn’t really been apart. By Day 3, I was sad. I was lonely. I missed him so much it felt like little pieces of my heart were crumbling. But again, each time I arrived home I was rewarded with a smile that reset me to “happy.”
Each morning, Liam has woken-up happy as can be and TALK-A-TIVE. He’s so tired when he gets home from daycare (he’s adjusting to sleeping through all the commotion – and by adjusting I mean not sleeping much at all) that he usually nurses and then falls asleep in our arms. He’ll wake-up anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours later, MAYBE stay up for a little while, nurse, and the he’s down for the night. Since we don’t get to catch-up at night, in the morning he wants to tell me ALL about his day. Here I am trying to nurse him, and he keeps rolling onto his back and talking my ear off. It would be completely frustrating if it wasn’t SO FLIPPING CUTE. So we just talk. He tells me about his day, the cute girl who shares his birthday, Miss Jackie and Miss Lois. I tell him how much I love him, how much I’ve missed him, and that I’m proud of how well he’s doing. I live for those moments. I used to get them all day every day. Now that I don’t, I savor them. I roll them around slowly inside my heart, each one leaving a permanent mark so I can reach down and munch on it when I’m missing him the most.
Someone at work asked me “how it was.” I assumed he meant how it was going being apart from Liam. When I began to tell him, he said, “No. How is it being a parent?” All I could do was smile. He said, “There aren’t words, are there? It’s magical. And you can’t grasp it until you feel it yourself.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
And I officially live for the weekends now.
So you (we) can get your fix: