This past weekend I visited my brother and sister-in-law for a chance to have some baby love from my newest niece, Alaina, who is nearly three months old.
In a conversation with my sister-in-law, I asked her when she was planning to go back to work. She said, within the next two weeks and then sighed.
We talked about daycare and that no matter if the baby is six weeks old or six months old, it is still hard dropping your brand new baby off at daycare.
I remember the first time I had to drop my son, Mason, off for the first time at nearly the same age as Alaina. It was the hardest thing at that point I had ever accomplished. I was convinced that no one could take care of my baby as well as I could.
I had two fears; one was that he would never adjust to daycare because they don’t do things my way (keep in mind this was my first child.) The second fear was that all the toddlers would gouge my son’s eyes out or at least blind him for life.
Thankfully, neither of those two things happened.
Mason was quite the ladies man at an early age. Every morning when I dropped him off a crowd of little girls would gather around him and mother hen him to death. Of course I couldn’t get out of the door without a barrage of questions either; usually pertaining to where I worked, what time I usually dropped Mason off and picked him up, how old he was, his name. Ya know, the usual things little girls of ages three-to-four usually worry about.
The questions stopped coming around the first month, with Mason’s and my statistics store securely in their little minds.
If I was a little late or a little early, the girls—and their questions—were back.
One day I was walking up to the building to retrieve Mason when a little girl on lookout alerted the others I was on my way.
“Mason’s mom is coming,” she shouted into the room. My pace quickened as I wondered why they were especially interested in my arrival that day. Mason was content in the arms of a worker surrounded by little girls who were talking to him as he grinned ear-to-ear.
From that day forward I was known only as “Mason’s mom,” a name that suited the little girls, and myself, just fine.
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One day I was making my way through the maze of little bodies to get back to the infant section when I heard one little boy asking a little girl who I was.
“That’s Mason’s mom,” the girl replied.
“Who?” the little boy asked again.
“Mason’s mom,” the little girl repeated with a hint of impatience in her voice.
“Who is Raisin?” the little boy asked with the most sincerity I have ever heard.
To think that all the work I went to when choosing a name for my first born which would not be the focus of ridicule was in vain. I’m happy to say that nickname hasn’t stuck.
I became used to being known as “Mason’s mom,” but that didn’t satisfy the curiosity of everyone. Some time later another little girl approached me and requested I make myself known before taking my son home.
“I’m Mason’s mom,” I answered proudly before she could even ask the question.
“No, what is your name?” she demanded most matter-of-factly, and stood in the way until she was absolutely sure I could be trusted.
It’s never easy to drop your child off at daycare for the very first time. But clearly these kids are a family of little people and anyone who is one of “them” remains in good care.