In Canada you get a year off when you have a baby. Yes, that’s right, we get, an. ENTIRE. YEAR. OFF. For 52 weeks you get to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week taking care of your bundle of joy. I am so thankful for this, I have no words. At about 6 months in, you start having panic attacks AND you start thinking about daycare. You start applying and investigating. Going on waiting lists. Talking to other moms, dads, people at the grocery store, the local school, some guy on the street. It CONSUMES you. This is MAJOR. They are going to be taking care of your most precious thing in the world! I think I still have a folder on “daycare” on my desk upstairs. Yes, I made an entire folder. It is serious business people! The questions will begin hammering out of you to random people. Have you heard of this daycare/person?? Have they ever been investigated? Closed down by CAS (Children’s Aid Service in Canada)?? How many kids are going to be there? Where is my prince going to sleep? Is he going to sleep? What are they going to feed him? Will he eat it? OMG, he’s not going to eat or drink anything all day and get dehydrated!!!!! AHHHHH!! OMG, OMG, OMG, someone get me a paper bag!! Let’s just say. It’s stressful. Then you’ll decide on a place or person and then the “visits” begin. Or the “acclimatization” as I liked to call it (that’s the nerdy scientist coming out in me). Twice a week you start with 1 hour, then 2 hours, then mornings, then afternoons, then a WHOLE DAY. Then one day you drop them off and they run off without saying goodbye or evening blowing a kiss and tear, you have to call them back for a hug. And you’re happy, well kind of, in that I’m happy you told me you put crayons in the toilet but unhappy that you tried to flush them……..AND you wish you weren’t dropping them off in the first place.
So my bottom line here is that you THOROUGHLY investigate and examine your daycare, interview, do visits to make sure it will work. And then 3 years later……You let complete strangers take care of your children. Or, as many people like to call it, THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Personally, I still call it, the “days” when complete strangers take care of my most loved thing in the whole world. I began having panic attacks when my son was 2 years old about him going to school. Here’s the thing that bothers me. I have absolutely no say or influence or control over who cares for my child. AND I don’t get to talk to them at the end of the day. I’m still paying them BUT through a third party (aka our wonderful government). And it’s hard, I’m not going to lie. So be prepared. Yes, I like my son’s teacher, she “seems” nice but what about the other kids at recess, the bus, OMG, OMG, OMG, someone get me a paper bag.
And I’ll be honest, HA! When am I not? Dexter’s first day and well his entire school experience so far, has NOT gone well. His first day was terrible. And I was organized folks. I had Dexter’s first snack labelled 1, lunch 2 and last snack 3. I had sent a chocolate chip cookie (marked 2+) for his “dessert” after lunch and………he was informed at first snack that chocolate chip cookies were unhealthy. So he believed he should never eat them again. Then, he forgot to take his water bottle out of his bag and had nothing to drink. All day. How the #$%& did no one notice he had nothing to drink at a) first snack b) lunch and c) last snack……….????? I’m sorry, yes, you have ALOTof kids……but guess what, I’ve thrown numerous parties with 15 kids + 20 adults and guess what I say at mealtime, DOES EVERYONE HAVE A DRINK?…….HELLO?!?! It’s that easy. Dexter was very sad as he got off the bus and said very little. Then we got through the door, he sat down at the table and bawled his eyes out. A) because he believed he should never eat chocolate chip cookies again and B) he was dying of thirst. Have you ever seen a camel out in the desert for 3 days? Uh huh. So even though it was 30 minutes to suppertime I let him eat his damn chocolate chip cookie, BECAUSE I HAVE A HEART and he consumed 2 glasses of water. I was ok and not overly angry because I realized, oh yah, the water fountains! Didn’t you get a drink there? And this is where I may have lost my cool. Dexter said, I tried but when I was drinking they said, 1,2, that’s enough for you!…………Oh what a cute rhyme, isn’t that just #$&*ing sweet?
As Dexter went to bed that night I tried to be as positive as possible and said, it was just your first day, and all your classmates first day, blah, blah, blah. It will get better. And…..it has…..but at the slowest pace I’ve ever seen. We’ve still had many bad days and numerous mishaps but we’re only 2 months in, so there is PLENTY of time for improvement. As of 2 weeks in, he quit crying the night before AND morning of school and at 4 weeks in, he quit crying at home in general. So we’re making progress! But let me tell you it’s gonna be a LONG 14 years!!
And how am I coping? Well, I always have my 18 month old twin girls to take my mind off my troubles……..?????? And as for the days when “complete strangers take care of my child”, I tend to consume an entire bottle of wine that night. School is stressful. Just you wait.