Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No place like home?

Yesterday I wasn't feeling well. Monday's slightly scratchy throat evolved into a blocked nose, stomach ache, fatigue, and an uncontrollable desire to watch The Price is Right. I don't believe I had the swine flu, though I must say I did have a heightened craving for bacon. I have had this kind of illness before; it's the kind of thing that happens when I don't get a good night's sleep for 11 months, and I'm running around all day following a kid whose crawling speed is starting to rival that of a NASCAR driver.

Days like this do present a predicament, besides trying to figure out what daytime soap I should be stuck watching. We have a little boy who has needs I can't exactly attend to. Our closest relatives live four hours away. Most of our friends are at work, and those who are home have yet to experience the horror of a dirty diaper. That means, on days I'm sick, we have three choices before us: 1) Jennifer stays home during this weak economy and threatens her job security; 2) we send Kyle off to daycare; 3) I stay home with Kyle and keep him in his crib all day, stopping by occasionally to feed him, which would entail dumping baby food on him and hoping I hit his mouth (I won't get into how I'd change his diaper). Needless to say, we went with option two.

Daycare can be awfully traumatic for a child such as Kyle, who spends all of his days at home with parents who love him very much. He is suddenly thrown into a new environment with new faces, and his daily routine disappears. His mom and dad, who are always there whenever he cries out for them, are suddenly nowhere to be found. Kyle, who is used to getting all the attention because right now he's an only child, has to share a room with other children his age, all of whom have their own needs and demands. As you can see from the pictures taken at the daycare center, Kyle had a very difficult time adjusting.

This was just the second time Kyle had gone to daycare, though it was his first time at this particular facility, which is closer to Jennifer's work. The first daycare experience was more than a month ago, too, and there's a chance that Kyle doesn't even remember it. I certainly won't forget it. I was there, filling out all the necessary forms in triplicate, dropping off all of Kyle's food and diapers, and reporting our son's sleep habits, feeding habits, and favorite rock bands. After all that was done, I turned to my son for our big good-bye, as we were about to leave him with strangers for the first time in his life. Jennifer and I became a little choked up. Kyle already was busy playing with some toys on the floor, and he didn't even look at us. I guess he's not one for sentimental good-byes.

When it was time to pick Kyle up yesterday, we received a "report card" from the daycare center, describing how our son did that day (Eating: B, Interactions: A-, Astrophysics: C+). Kyle did seem to have some fun there: according to the report, he apparently was too excited to drink his snack-time bottle, or sleep much (nap time lasted all of ten minutes). The report card also said that "Kyle had a wonderful time exploring a new environment and making new friends." It then went on say that our little guy befriended a girl his age, and was hoping to see her again sometime, maybe for a cup of coffee or something.

I am thrilled that Kyle seemed to overcome his anxieties and found a way to not hate daycare. He must be relieved to be back home today, following his routine, sleeping in his own crib, and making silly faces with his dad (who's feeling much better). Unfortunately, Kyle probably will have to go to daycare again for one reason or another, and I'll have to brace him for it. We'll deal with that later. I'm sure eventually Kyle will learn to love whatever time he spends at daycare, though I know it will never be as much fun as the time he spends with his mom and dad at home.

Right?

1 comment:

erica said...

Heh, that's pretty cute. I'm so glad Kyle had such an easy adjustment-- Kent was the exact opposite when he was that age and we started him in day care two days a week. I hope Kyle is always so outgoing and adventurous, except when, you know, safety is involved. ;)