Monday, February 7, 2011

Leaving Henry at Daycare for the First Time

This morning I finally bit the bullet and left Henry at the complimentary gym daycare center.  I've been saying I would do it for months, but kept putting it off out of fear - fear that he would get terrorized by other kids or just feel abandoned.  I nervously prepped him all morning saying he would go play with new toys and make new friends while I went to exercise.  And I promised I would come back to get him.

As we drove to the gym I found myself driving unusually slowly.  Cars passed me left and right.  I was dreading the trauma he might experience being abandoned at an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people.  Upon arriving at the gym, Henry obediently walked holding my hand toward the daycare.  His initial reaction was:  "Go in there!" he urged.  He smashed his face against the glass gate ogling the toys.  He shouted, "lawnmower!"  The check-in lady swiped my gym card, and smacked a sticker on his back with his name and a barcode.  She instructed me that they would page me only if he needed a new diaper or if he cried for 15 minutes.  He walked in through the gate and never looked back.  I called out, "Bye bye Henry."  He didn't turn around.

I tearfully fled to the elliptical hoping he wouldn't see my stress.  He didn't.  I'm not even sure he knew I was gone.  For the first 5 minutes on the machine I perked up my ears waiting to hear my name paged.  During my 40 minute workout, 3 names were paged, none of them mine.  I thought, "Wow!  We did it."  As I collected my things from the locker room feeling a sense of accomplishment (for working out and for strapping on a pair re: the daycare), I heard another page.  This time, it was for me.  I walked briskly to the daycare.  Henry was in the arms of a sweet looking girl, who said he was playing fine and started crying for an unknown reason.

Henry immediately stopped crying upon seeing me, and said, "go home.  go home."  I asked him if he had fun at the daycare and he said, "uh huh."  But then when I asked if he wanted to go back he so, "No. No.  Go home!"  I suspect he was hungry, congested, or after 30 minutes realized I was gone and got nervous.  I hope it was the first or second suspicions.  Later today I asked him what he did this morning and he responded, "Crying."  Ugh.  Regardless, I won't give up on the daycare just yet!

1 comment:

  1. All babies cry some when they are left, and they all get over it! Promise! By the time I got to baby #3, I practically handed him over straight from the womb. It was never as hard as it was with the first child on the first day!