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tales of something simple - September 2012

i believe

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

all types of chaos

i should have known that daycare was a shitty idea

I have known for the past several months that if I went back to work outside of the home (*worded carefully because “going back to work” would not suffice…if you think that being a stay-at-home-parent is not as demanding, challenging, exhausting and rewarding as an out-of-the-house career than you have either never tried it or you are an asshole) that we would probably need to send Marley to daycare.  A nanny is expensive, and let’s face it, I’m not entirely into the idea of being confined to my own house everyday with an adventurous and energetic toddler-to-be, let alone asking someone else to do it.  I like the idea of daycare, but without the whole notion that it is babysitting a bunch of runny noses who bite and eat cheerios all day.

Through much research and a list of about 36 questions (including my favorites like, will you cloth diaper?  What cleaning supplies do you use?  How do you handle discipline for this age group?  How often do you wash your hands per school day?  How long can breast milk and/or formula sit out before it is garbage?) I found, I hope, two care centers that didn’t seem totally horrifying.  After much deliberation we chose a daycare (I say “we” collectively but really it was just me and my husband nodding, saying “whatever makes you feel most comfortable darling”).  I was confident in our plans and told the director of “School A” that we were all systems go.

And then I had buyers remorse.  I asked if she could start the week before I returned to work, just for half of a day to see how things went and they agreed.  By that evening I was sick to my stomach.  This continued for three nights. I cried more tears than a geisha (and gawd did that bitch cry!) and wept to my baby Daddy/husband how I was unsure of our decision.  I demanded we buy a co-sleeper to attach to the bed or spend our small savings on a king sized mattress and we would sleep in the living room snuggling all night because it was the only time we would ever be able to spend with her (I am not dramatic, this daycare/working shit is serious, people). I even did a Facebook poll asking other parents if we should send her to the daycare closer to my work or closer to home.  I didn’t WANT her going to daycare and I wasn’t entirely sure I WANTED to go to work (have you seen my child?  She is friggin’ a-dor-a-ble).  In the end I selfishly (sort of) chose “School A” near, close to my new office, which entailed a 40 minute commute one-way without traffic.  My thought process was that she would supposedly spend less time in daycare and have an extra 80+ minutes with me a day…which I am sure in the mind of an 11-month old is super exciting when you watch the world in reverse, are confined to a reclined seat with no “good toys” or solid snacks. I had this magical idea that I would pick her up at lunch and we would have a special Mommy-daughter outing and she would happily return to her classroom excited for a nap and wave an excited “bye bye!”

Yeah.  Right.

So this morning, despite my hesitations that “School A” was the best option, I got up early, got us ready and out the door.  I had a movie downloaded to the iPad ready for her viewing pleasure and a cold beverage (water for her, mine vodka mixed with Xanax…JUST KIDDING).  We even took pre-pre-pre-pre school photos outside before we left to capture the bliss…

She was so cute in her leopard print dress, University of Florida gator shoes, cardigan and perfectly matching headband.  Surely she would be the hottest thing since banana flavored puffs in class.

About three minutes into our commute we ran into a massive accident right where we needed to get onto the highway.  Awesome.  I should have turned around and gone home then.  In this particular spot there is never traffic and never an accident.  This was my sign to go.the.fuck.home.

We detoured.  Ten minutes later, back en route to school.

Fifteen minutes after that we hit a red light and it occurs to me that my car reeks.  Like, roll down the windows and complain loudly “it smells like shit in here everyone!” reeks.  I look back in my mirror.  Marley is innocently glued to “Letter factory” and I smile to myself praising my choice of film for the morning as she quietly goes “Buh-buh-buh” in the back to the letter “B.”  My child is a god damn genius.

By the time we got to the letter “P” in the movie the smell of poop was quite fragrant.  I look back in my mirror again.   This time, I see a different picture.  My cute baby doll of a daughter has black stuff on her face.  I squint hard into the mirror.  I think…

I DID NOT GIVE YOU A SNACK IN THE BACKSEAT.

I hang a left into a collision center (pun not intended).

I park the car and brace myself for what I am about to see.  I open the trunk, imagining this would be a nice little area to change a soiled diaper.  I walk to the passenger door and open it.  And there smiling is my daughter wearing, flinging and eating her own shit.

Go ahead.  Go vomit into the toilet because that’s where her shit should have been.  Or in her diaper at the very least.

Normally we are a cloth diapering family.  Those beasts are padded, fat and bulky and can handle a shit storm.  Target’s disposables were not up to the challenge today.

My genius child managed to fit her hand into her diaper and pull out most of her crap and stick and smear it against ever crevice of her car seat buckles, snaps and straps and every piece of clothing she wore down to the socks and shoes.

I love my kid.  Love her to pieces.  But I didn’t even want to touch her.  It was the epitome of nastiness.  It was on HER FACE.  It was in HER MOUTH.  I shake my head as I write this.  I have failed as a parent.  My kid ate her own shit.

Luckily we were GOING to a daycare so I had a brand new box of wipes in the car…which was good because we used about 75.  She found this hilarious…

Post clean up

I called her father (notice how now that she has eaten her own feces she is his child) and relay the mayhem.  He instructs me to bring said child home for a bath.  I proceed to put my naked baby (nothing but a new diaper) back into her seat where she proceeds to throw an epic tantrum until we get home.

On the car ride home I thought about two things: first, she was not going to the daycare that required a long commute.  Second, I really hope she doesn’t put her hands in her mouth for the next 25 minutes.  If I needed a sign that “School A” was not the right choice, THIS WAS IT.

A bath of Clorox, a new outfit and almost two hours later we pulled up to “School B.”  This was our (my) second school option that is only a mile from home.  Good ‘ole Christian folk who will play with her, love her, teach her and let me call four times a day to make sure she is happy, fed, changed and well behaved if I want.  My husband was happy about her going to a church pre-schoolish program, however I am not sure why because I don’t think religious people are anti-baby stealing, but whatever makes him sleep better.  We are agnostic ourselves so I hope they send home lyrics to hymns or verses to what they read in Bible Circle because otherwise I know when Christmas and Easter are and that’s the extent.

Marley and I even prepared a letter to her new teacher to give to her upon arrival.  Seen here (the bold is hidden meanings Miss Lisa should have taken away from this lovely note):

Hi Miss Lisa!

I am excited to join your classroom.  Here is a little bit of info about me so that we can get to know each other better (I expect you to remember all of this and reference it daily until you know my child as well as I do)

I am used to taking two naps a day so be patient with me as I adjust to this new schedule (I might cry for two hours and not let any other kids nap either).  I might need a couple of extra cuddles while I get used to not having Mommy around all the time.  I really love my sock monkey which I will bring every day…he is so cool and snuggly (do not forget this crucial detail.  I will not sleep without the damn monkey)!  I have recently learned how to high-five, clap, point and say words like “hi,” “mama,” “daddy,” “dog” and “no.”  At home, Mommy and Daddy are working with me on the sign for “more” and “all done” especially at mealtime (hint: you should teach me stuff).  I love when Mommy sings, “You are my sunshine,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “ABC’s”  (you should sing to me).  I am really into Sesame Street lately too.  Just so you know, I put EVERYTHING I find in my mouth, including the tiniest bit of dirt or paper on the floor so watch out for that (keep your classroom clean lady, she’s gonna inspect the dirt level on my hands and knees when she picks me up)!  I am starting to use a fork and spoon, but I am less messy with the fork.  I am working on not throwing my utensils, bowls and plates on the floor when I am done or do not want something.  Mommy also says I should eat the healthiest parts of my lunch first, and the snack last.  When it is time for nap, tell me “it’s time for rest” so I know it is time to lie down.  This might be hard for me at first but I hope to learn how to sleep at school soon!

Call Mommy if you need ANYTHING, even if just to say I am having a great time (you should call her in an hour).  She worries a lot (she’s fucking psychotic, man).  She will be working 45 minutes away but Daddy is super close by in Quakertown if I need to be picked up in a hurry.

Thanks for having me join your class!  I can’t wait to learn new things, read stories, sing songs and do lots of art projects (Mom and Dad are paying enough to have me here so I am supposed to get smarter by the week)!

Love,

Marley

She cried for a moment as I left and I hid around the corner like a predator listening to her and watching her push a toy across the room happily with me out of sight.  I felt relieved.  I felt proud that she was the cleanest child in the county.

I only called twice.  They were nice enough to fill me in on what she had done/was doing and assured me she hadn’t bitten anyone, found scissors laying around or accidentally had someone else’s sippy cup of breast milk.

When I strolled back in five and a half hours later I stopped by her cubby which had a new little bin with her name on it that was decorated with foam shapes and glitter adorned with crosses and signage that said things like “God loves me.”

Yes sweet girl, God loves even little girls who eat shit.  Praise Jesus.

Post-school pickup, in a more relaxed attire that involved SHORTS.


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