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Daycare blues.

2007-02-07 - 8:06 p.m.

People, I am back at work. Itís odd to be here Ė where so much has changed in the last year, and yet, everything is exactly the same Ė and not at the beck and call of a 2 Ĺ foot tall dictator.

Yes, I miss Grommet. And no, she is not adjusting well to daycare yet, where sheís spending 3 days a week. And yes, I feel bad for her Ďcause this is a tough time in a near-toddlerís life, when they have to realize that the universe includes other kids that take attention away from them, and that said universe does not, in fact, rotate around them.

Sheís had good days and not-so-good days in the time sheís been there and I donít think sheís turned the corner yet. She started out okay, then got progressively worse and hit bottom on her third day. The fourth was a little better but then she was with us from Friday to Monday, got a cold and I stayed home with her on Tuesday (where I tossed the ďteach her to be independentĒ rules out the window Ďcause she was sick and needed some extra loving). So, now sheís back there and totally unhappy again. Sheís a lot better than she was but sheís still got the cold, plus she had us wrapped around her little fingers for the last 5 days again, so itís totally to be expected. Still, it kind of sucks for her. Poor munchkin.

At the same time, I know itís good for her to be there, learning how to interact with others. She has to learn how to play with other kids, how to consider other peopleís feelings, how to be gentle, how to function as her own being instead of as an extension of me. People keep making references to how bad they know I must feel, but the fact is that I donít feel that bad. Sure, I feel bad for her, but not overall bad like Iím a bad person or mother. I am utterly confident that Iím doing the right thing for her Ė even after only 5 days sheís already learning to eat more foods than sheíd accepted at home and is making progress on learning to fall asleep without me Ė so itís kind of like how I feel about taking her to the doctorís for a needle: Iím subjecting her to a necessary evil and itís the right thing to do. It also helps that J can go and pick her up in the early afternoon if sheís really having a bad day.

For my part, Iím wearing nice clothes and jewelry again. Iím having conversations with people that understand me and answer back in full words. Yesterday I went for coffee and gossiped about whatís been shaking around here. Of course, I also showed off pictures of Grommet.

Iím not sure what my job will entail in this new position Iíve come back to, but I do think Iím kind of glad to be back. Maybe not glad-5-days-a-week glad, but I was definitely getting cabin fever, what with the minus 30 below freezing and lack of car rendering the Grom and I housebound for the last little while. Iím glad to be back where my mind will receive some exercise and Iím valued for my intellectual capabilities. Iím looking forward to getting back into the swing and rhythm of the office.

Now if I could just keep myself from looking longingly at the button on my phone where Iíve programmed the daycareís number in.

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A tip: If you are still breastfeeding when you return to work, but are at the tail end of it so you're not pumping, you might want to reconsider that button-up shirt that fits so sleekly in the morning. At the end of the day those buttons just might be straining across the chest and holes might have started gaping between them. I'm just saying.

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