Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Long Good-Bye

As I head into daycare to pick up Munch, I make sure that I have my phone, my keys, and that I don't need to pee--because this will not be a run-in, run-out situation.

Over the past several weeks, Munch has wanted more and more to "hang out" when I arrive at school. I wonder what other parents think of me as I sit on the rug in his room as Munch puts me in Circle Time and points at the ABCs poster and sings.

Most kids, when their parents arrive, run to them and then head for the door.

When I arrive, Munch smiles and hugs me, then tells me to go sit on the bench in the hallway, while he goes into "teacher mode," playing in his room and periodically sticking his head out of the door to make sure I'm still there. Eventually, I'll be invited in and we hang out in his room, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes, until it's time for his teacher to go home.

Most parents, when they arrive, swoop their kids into winter coats and hats and skedaddle with nary a look back, hardly a wave at the teacher. In and out. Gone. Places to be and things to do.

And I get that. Some nights, I too have places to be and things to do, not least of them being getting dinner done.

But more often the not, the place I'm whisking us off to be is home, and what does it matter if we get there a bit later than normal? Hubs usually doesn't get home until about 2 hours after I do. Thus, those 2 hours can seem like we're "on pause" waiting for Daddy and for the night to really begin (when, really, the night is nearly over, poor Daddy).

I don't mind the extended pickup. In fact, I'm grateful for it. I am not "offended" that Munch seems content to stay at daycare. I'm so relieved that he's comfortable and happy there. Putting him in daycare was an extremely difficult decision and transition for me, and the fact that he likes it is a blessing.

And, I see it as a way for Munchkin to share his day with me. He's bringing me into the world he inhabits for 8 hours a day. He's showing me how he spends his time and he's also "pretend playing" teacher. This is one of the most joyous aspects. He's "playing school " at school. He takes over his teacher's chair and she gives him the pointer she uses and he "teaches" us. The teacher even joins me on the floor as a "student."

I see this as "showing up" for him. It's a simple thing we do, but I think it fulfills something in him. And it definitely fulfills something in me as I get to hear him say "A is for apple, V is for violin" and sing the daily songs. He's growing up! And I'm getting a peak at all the things he's learning.

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