A good number of my working mom friends visit their little ones at daycare from time to time. They take them out to lunch, they come to see a special splash day or just to come read books. I have to admit, before Landon was born, I envisioned this. I would run and grab him for lunch at my work and head back over. Popping in to read to the class and then bouncing. It would be a special treat and he would be so excited.
Then I became a parent.
Now when Landon was an infant, I could pop over to feed him no problem. He didn’t know the difference. Fed, sleepy…out. It was nice. I would even drop by and see him for a minute and then run in the neighborhoods nearby because I could. (I cut this short due to PPA and the added stress of carving that time in my day but I digress.) But after his first birthday, I saw this was never going to work. I think I got my first glimpse when I had to go at lunch to give him eye drops. This did not bode well for my routine driven tot. It went something like this “YAY! MOMMY IS HERE!” and then when I left, he didn’t get it. He didn’t understand why he wasn’t going with me. He would lose it and there I was, the mom who left her screaming child 15 minutes until nap time. Oy. I am sure they shot me the finger on that one.
Ever since then, any glitch in the routine of daycare just drills home the point that I can’t just pop in for visits. Even getting there a teeny bit later due to a doctor’s appointment or something means drastic mood swings. We never know what we are getting ourselves into. Sometimes he sees his BFF and is off but then sometimes he is jarred by so many kids already being there (we are usually one of the first). It is always a ticking time bomb.
Honestly, I am kinda bummed. I think a lot of it has to do with our on site daycare. There, more parents can grab their kids for lunch and pop them right back in. No worries. I see them EVERY DAY. Families eating lunch together. A daughter getting so excited that she gets to have frozen yogurt with sprinkles with Daddy. A little boy stoked about his octodog and milk. I get jealous…but I don’t get crazy. I could do that part too…but then it would probably be melt down city when I pulled back into that daycare parking lot.
While I want everything to be fairly equal for my boys, I am kinda giddy that “Dolphin” will be in onsite care. I will be starting off nursing him at daycare from day one. Maybe my constant presence will help and once he is older, he can see mommy is RIGHT THERE and will be back in a few hours. I sure hope so.
Do you pop in to see your kids? How does it go? Am I overthinking this? Does it get easier with preschoolers and would I have a shot with Landon in the years to come?