6:05 A.M: I’M OFF and in the lead. Following Davis dad, Paul, I head for the shower, hoping Davis will give us a 20-minute head start.
6:20 a.m. All bets are off. Davis is up. There are lunches to pack, breakfast to be made, clean clothes to pack for daycare, and time to sit around the breakfast table and chatter with our one-and-a-half-year-old. Davis is practicing his words as we show him pictures: apple, doggie, truck, snow, please, you’re welcome, boots but his chatter stops me in my tracks when he drops the F-bomb. He even uses the right emphasis on the newly discovered word. Oops! His Dad and I try to convert the no-no word to frog.
8:15: Time to take Davis to Shaheeda, Davis daycare provider. We arrive, but I’m going to be late for work again. I want to take time to talk to Shaheeda and have a little cuddle with Davis. The cuddle is for me. He couldn’t care less running into the house, excited and eager to meet his friends, without a backward glance to me. Wow, does that hurt!
When I first went back to work, I went through the usual ritual of guilt when I took Davis to daycare but now I’m okay. I know that Shahedda is full of love and patience and cuddles. My child is in caring and careful hands.
9:20: Late again! And my day timer reminds me that I have a full day of meetings, calls and putting out fires.
Noon: After a quick lunch, I stop in at the supermarket to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables and take advantage of a sale on wipes. The savings on the wipes justifies why I pay a little more for the fruits and veggies already washed and cut up. Anything to save prep time at home.
5:10 p.m. Got through the day and heading to daycare as its my turn to pick up Davis. He runs to greet me and, after a quick cuddle, turns around and runs back to his friends. Why doesn’t he want to see me as much as I want to see him? Shaheeda tells me that this is a game that most children play. He wants me to chase him, but his apparent disinterest tugs at my heart.
5:45 p.m. Pull into the driveway and feel overwhelmed. We should have planned dinner last night. Whats in the fridge? Why didn’t we put a load of laundry in this morning?
Davis is watching me as I try to convince him that broccoli is sooo yummy!
How does a child, just 18 months old, understand nuance? He can raise an eyebrow and give me a look that says, You’re kidding, right? Sometimes I feel that hes thinking that I just fell off the turnip truck, but hes prepared to be patient.
I add up the pluses and the minuses. The pluses: Davis is highly social. You know the expression, You cant take him anywhere? Well, Davis motto would be Take me everywhere- NOW! He says hello to everyone and is very offended if they don’t respond. He laughs a lot. Meanwhile, his parents are moving ahead in their careers. The minuses: We missed his first step and his first word. Our loss, not his. And were tired, most of the time.
Paul and I agreed that its not all my job to shape and love Davis. Its also Paul’s. Its daycare and the kids at daycare. Its his older sisters, aunts and uncles and grandparents and friends. But do I still struggle with guilt?
Sure I do. But did we make the right choice when both his dad and I returned to work? For our family, we did. It takes a village, and we are all in it together, raising Davis! PC