Thank God for a busy schedule. I've not had the idle time to obsess over my Mari-moo's first day of "school." I knew this day would come. I sincerely thought I was prepared for it. This is one of those moments people used to tell me that I someday I would understand when I had my own child, but until then, I wouldn't fully grasp what it was about.
Friday afternoon, her "principal" called and told us that it would probably be best for us to go by that day to drop off all of her supplies to make Monday morning easier. Actually, this is a very smart lady. She knew this was my first time taking her to a daycare and most moms go through this type of separation anxiety. I read and read that children would throw the fit and now want to be left by their parents, but never once did they mention that I would break down as well.
So there I was, in utter shock at the list of things she rattled off, when she finally asked: "Oh and be sure to bring a schedule of her typical day, too. She's six months old now, so she has more of a routine than the babies I watch and I'd like to keep to her routine for your sake." Right, I need to prepare the schedule, got it. I said my goodbyes and all of a sudden, traffic stopped. I sat there clutching my list and focused my stare on MARI SCHEDULE. Then it happened: ILOSTMYSHIT! What a crass way to put it, but I don't think I've cried that hard in years. I was stuck at 635 and Central bawling and sobbing uncontrollably. Fortunately, I hadn't eaten because I cried so long and so hard that I began to hyperventilate, triggering a massive coughing fit, that I began to dry heave. I nearly pulled off to the side of my road to finish. I reached for my phone and called Don. But he was in school training and couldn't answer. I called my mom, no answer. I was desperate and I needed emergency reassurance that I wasn't the absolute worst mother in the whole world. How could I, in my right mind, drop my daughter off at a stranger who didn't even know her schedule? What was I thinking??? I left a couple of sobbing voicemails, filled with a trembly voice, on people's machines. I'm utterly embarrassed thinking about it. I'm normally calm, composed, and confident. But this, well, I was in shock.
When I got home, I took a series of deep breaths, wiped my tears, and put on a happy face. Immediately, I went to work typing out her schedule. I took extra care to pretty it up, making it a document I'm proud of, since, after all, this is what I do for a living. I should PDF it and put it on here so you can see it. 5 pages later, complete with icons, colored headings and notes, and I was ready to pring. I loaded up all of her supplies, so as soon as Don would get home, we were off to her school. We went by and dropped everything off. There were still a few items to pick up, but for the most part, we were ready. We treated ourselves to Indian food and it quickly took my mind off of things. I love comfort food!
Last night, I was nervous like it was going to be my first day of school. I labeled all of her bottles with my lovely label maker. I took out some squash to thaw. We prepped all of her bottles for the day. I laid her clothes out. We took a shower together, and much, much later on I rocked her to sleep. It was midnight and I was tossing and turning. I slept horribly last night. Waking practically every hour thinking I would be late. She awoke at 5 and I nursed her and sang to her. The Lord blessed us with some tender rain, which was very, very calming. Afterwards, I gave her the paci and she slept for another hour when she got up and was ready for her big, big feeding. She took it in and immediately went right back to bed. I laid in bed with Don, praying for strength. I felt his warm arms around me and I knew that everything was ok.
I finally decided to get ready for the day. I reluctantly put on my work clothes and added a bit of extra makeup to pretty myself up since I was feeling extra emotional. I guess I had purple on my brain, b/c I'm wearing purple and black, and so is Mari. She had on a white onesie with a purple design, her black yoga pants, and her new purple sneakers. We loaded up her school bag with the bottles and food, and headed off to school. She was still sleeping the entire way there, but once we arrived, she woke up.
Her curious eyes darted around the room, taking it all in. She was familiar enough with her surroundings since we'd been there on a few occasions. She took it all in stride. Daddy signed her in. I unloaded the bottles into the fridge and organized her drawer with her items. We snapped some pictures and then it was time to go. (I'll post the one of me fighting back my tears. I only allowed myself 2 of them, and I made sure they were good ones.) I gave her one last hug and kiss and walked away. There weren't any cries from her. She just went on about her day and started playing.
So that was it. I left and I'm going to pick her up this evening after work. I'm much better, but it is still tough! But I'm totally excited for her and this will be a good thing. She'll be able to interact with a couple of other kids without being totally overwhelmed in a much larger environment. I love the lady who is watching her and I have a good feeling about the whole thing.
Last item of note: Last Thursday, I was off from work to hang out with Mari. I snapped photos of her all day long, recording her. Here is the slideshow from a day in the life of Mari:
Have a fabulous week!