The jig is up.
Over the past month, our caretakers have been slowly exiting the scene, like visitors at a wake. My father-in-law is sick. My mother-in-law avoids our calls. And my mother recently confided in my brother that she’s burnt (thanks, mom for telling me! thanks brother, for sending me a panicky Facebook message at 3 am instead of picking up the phone and calling me the next morning…next time, just post it on my wall–much quicker).
It’s not that I blame them. Watching K is like what I imagine it must be like to be married to Joan Crawford. But now daycare, which was an abstraction for so long, is becoming a reality.
And I am freaking.
I’m not sure what to expect. In no particular order, here are all of my unfounded and idiotic concerns:
1. Another child will steal my K’s beloved marker, which she carries everywhere and at various times of the day serves as a spoon to feed her stuffed animals, a doctor tool to examine their eyes, and a brush to comb mommy’s messy hair. She will quickly learn that other people are mean and this experience will deeply impact her ability to form attachments later on in life. Plus, I will want to beat up this marker-stealing child’s mother. And I’ve never been in fight, so these negative feelings will simply bubble beneath the service until I snap at a nice clerk who can’t help me find mangoes at Foodtown.
2. K will steal everything not tied down, including other children’s prized possessions. Popular Toddler Head Cheerleader with cult-like toddler following will influence the other girls to stay far away from my kleptomaniac, doesn’t-know-how-to-share little peanut.
3. Daycare snack break room will serve double duty as creepy place where uncredited workers take pornographic photos of babies, similar to those described in vague detail in two-part episode of Diff’rent Strokes.
4. I will pack organic homemade meals for K, but she will be lured into the temptation of eating Hostess Cupcakes and Cheetos, all of which will be readily available at daycare. Naturally, pot and cocaine will follow.
5. She will cry uncontrollably when I leave in the mornings. She will cry and cry all day and wonder why I abandoned her.
She will not cry at all and wish me gone. She will refuse to leave with me in the afternoons and call her daycare provider “mommy.” I will smile and die a little death each time.