The Big Goodbye Redux

I was reminded of this post this morning when dropping off Younger Son and The Toddler at daycare today. The Toddler started at a new daycare shortly after moving into the new neighbourhood (two days a week, to give The Lovely Wife a bit of a break while on mat leave), and Younger Son* started up right when TLW went back to work this month.

As it turns out, we like the day-care more than we liked the previous place, but for obvious reasons, it wasn't very popular to The Toddler -- mostly because he knew that mommy and his brother were hanging out two days a week while he was at daycare. But in time, he got more and more used to it, and seems to have no troubles going there now for 4 days each week, especially knowing that his brother is somewhere in the general vicinity. Younger Son, however, still isn't keen on the whole idea of outside care. To wit, we hear the heart-wrenching howls when we leave him in the very capable care of the baby-room. After a month, the wailing lasts only about 15-20 seconds and then we move out of our hiding spots and stealthily out the door, knowing that he's comfortable with the arrangement.

This morning was a "daddy" day, meaning that TLW took the short walk down the hill to work while I dressed the kids and ushered them off to daycare**. The three of us entered the daycare without issue and proceeded to de-winterize The Toddler and give goodbye kisses and hugs (he probably doesn't get this sappy treatment from his mother, but I don't get to do this very often, so he just rolls his eyes and indulges me). Then, Younger Son and I walk over to the baby area and de-snowsuit the little guy and get him ready for the big hand-off, something I was sort of dreading.

He gives the daycare worker a serious look, then over at me. He sees her open her arms to receive him. He looks at me.

Then he leans in and plants a wet one on my cheek (he hasn't perfected the pucker yet), and shifts his weight to be taken off to the play area.

As I'm walking out, I smile to the centre owner and say, "Huh. Y'know, he could have cried a little bit!", to which she responded with a look of mild amusement. We agreed that it cuts both ways: either you're racked with guilt and pity for leaving them with someone else, or you're a little sad that they may not miss you. (But really and truly, it's better for them not to miss you than to think their little hearts are breaking as you leave them behind.)

*I'm really going to have to come up with different names once The Toddler no longer toddles, and... well, Younger Son will always be younger, but he could probably benefit from a name that's about him, not about his existence in reference to his brother. Suggestions are welcomed!

** I also threw some gel in The Toddler's hair to try and ameliorate the cowlick situation, but it didn't take. Now the daycare probably thinks that Dad's grooming his son to be some sort of metrotoddler.

Posted bythemikestand at 7:59 PM  

7 stepped up to the mike:

joy said... 9:06 PM, January 31, 2007  

oh boy--so know where you are. my son is 4, and he still throws a fit sometimes. but i know he loves it.
nice thing about sending my (gulp) 10 week old is that he has not gone through separation anxiety stage yet, so he's happy as can be.

corgimom said... 11:52 PM, January 31, 2007  

It takes a secure kid--at this moment/day/time--to kiss and let go, so you and TLW are doing many things right! The occasional relapse is just normal developmental stuff. As for the name thing...I suggest "OP" (pronounced Opie) for Older Progeny and "YO" (pronounced Yo) for Younger Offspring." Sorry, it's late. If anything better occurs I'll let you know.

Megan said... 2:36 AM, February 01, 2007  

Aww, they are so cute!!!
How about calling them just by their first initials?

sween said... 7:39 AM, February 01, 2007  

Great post. Favourite word? "Metrotoddler". Awesome.

Sassy said... 2:39 PM, February 01, 2007  

You put GEL in a toddler's hair? Wow. That's very VERY metrosexual of you...and yes "metrotoddler" should be added into the vernacular as soon as possible.

Christine said... 3:26 PM, February 01, 2007  

I must agree, it is a great word. I still think "prostitot" (slutty girl in grade 8 or less) is a give for the vernacular, as well.

Anyhow, find something that strikes you about each of them and go with it.

Lesley said... 12:34 PM, February 02, 2007  

Wait until they don't want to leave with you from daycare, because they are having so much fun! Talk about your mix of "I'm so glad he likes it here" and "Um hello? DADDY is HERE!!!"
I worked in daycare for 6 years before having my daughter, and those transitions always amuse me.

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