Care Tactics

Ah, daycare.

A place where parents either begrudgingly or sometimes enthusiastically  drop their offspring into the hopefully caring hands of complete strangers.

If I had the choice to stay home, I would.

I never would have foreseen that as a fresh, wide-eyed college graduate, but now I could easily spend my days nurturing the physical, mental, and emotional development of our Squish.

But alas, I must earn an income to support our shopping habits, and ya know, food and stuff.

We were incredibly stressed in the weeks leading up to her first day of daycare.

Not for the usual reasons like separation anxiety and maternal yearnings, but because she suddenly and completely refused to take a bottle.

She could drink an undergrad under the table at four weeks old,  but a month of abstinence from the bottle left her confused and uninterested.

CUE PARENTAL CRISIS.

Buy all the bottles on the shelf at Target.

Furiously research the most natural products.

Scour message boards on the inter webs looking for information, suggestions, advice, anything. 

Order expensive bottles from Amazon and expedite the shipping.

Get into fight with spouse using essentially the same arguments but with different words.

Smell the fear on each other.

WHAT IF SHE STARVES AT DAYCARE?

Offer the bottle after every breastfeeding.

Play, cajole, dance with the idea of taking the bottle.

Literally dance trying to get her to take the bottle.

photo 1

After many unsuccessful attempts, P-Daddy and I formed a plan.

I needed to get the hell out of the house and he and Squish were gonna nip that whole nipple confusion conundrum.

A few practice sessions and some tricky bottle strategery later, P-Daddy had worked his baby magic and the Squish was taking the bottle like a champ.

An enormous sense of relief washed over me and I had no energy left to be anxious about any other daycare related concerns.

She would eat.

I could breathe.

I actually became excited about the idea.

At least, that’s the coping mechanism I chose to embrace.

I would get excited about all the positive impacts day care would have.

You’ll meet so many friends! 

You’ll get to play with lots of new toys! 

You’ll be loved and taken care of all day long! 

I was excited for Squish in the same way that I got excited for myself on the first day of school.

So I laid out her first-day outfit.

photo 2

Packed her bag.

photo 3

And spent all night tossing and turning in anticipation.

We woke up bright and early and took sleepy-eyed pictures before heading out the door.

IMG_1207

FullSizeRender-9

FullSizeRender-10

photo 4

Once we arrived at the daycare, we spent no less than 57 minutes telling the staff all about our Squish.

They waited patiently while we explained that she needs a vacuum to fall asleep, likes to sit upright while awake, and likes to explore different activities in frequent intervals.

They were so kind and understanding.

And with that, we were off!

We wanted to go to the bar, but settled on Starbucks given the time of day.

We sipped our lattes while sitting in uncharacteristic quietness when I got the first picture.

Squish looked exceedingly engaged in her new environment.

IMG_3022

By the 7th picture and several reassurances that Squish was not only surviving, but actually thriving in her new setting, it was already time to go scoop her back up.

IMG_3029

IMG_3024

We were greeted with several friendly faces and then our favorite face of all.

FullSizeRender-8

We did it!

FullSizeRender

Advertisements

Good Things Come in Threes

There’s a reason they call it maternity leave and not maternity vacation.

This is really hard work!

IMG_5830

There’s so much about being a Mom that I had heard but didn’t really understand.

share-2

It’s the hardest job you’ll ever do but the most rewarding.

Your priorities will change.

You’ll never be the same person. 

Things really do get better. Usually around three months.

And it’s all true.

I’ve never worked so hard in my life.

And I’ve never made so many stupid noises just to get that smile reward.

share-4

I didn’t know that biking, boating, cooking, and cleaning wouldn’t be my priorities anymore, and I was even more surprised that I (mostly) wouldn’t care.

And the hard things really do get better.

Just as we hit three months.

It still astounds me how naive I was about how hard it is to be a parent.

I thought everything was instantaneous.

(Pause to change stinky diaper)

Like the whole bonding thing.

I thought that was sort of automatic or at least occurred within the first couple of days.

Instead I’m finding that it’s like any other relationship.

It takes time to get to know one another.

Her quirks.

Like needing her Dad to Squish her cheeks to fall asleep.

photo-16

Her cries.

Like how she starts with a shriek before settling into a whimper. 

Her likes.

Sitting upright at “the office”

IMG_1068

(Pause for nap time)

And it takes time for her to get to know us.

To know that we will come when she cries, feed her when she is hungry, finally let her out of her straight-jacket swaddler.

IMG_1035

Each passing day, as we search for our rhythm, I understand a little bit better how becoming a parent is a process.

It’s a series of small changes filled with challenges, victories, and quite a few defeats.

And each day I feel a teeeeensy bit more confident about the process.

Except for last Tuesday.

Please send P-Daddy cookies for enduring the most wicked wifely hormonal onslaught this side of the Mississippi.

Thankfully, he has a sense of humor and he put me down for a nap and did a little bonding of his own with the Squish.

THREE MONTH MEMORIES

IMG_1109     

Sadie Jane……

Is working on rolling to her side

Learning how to put herself to sleep

Went swimming in the pool

share-3

Went on her first trip to Pennsylvania

IMG_1060

Has more gas than a Texaco Station

 Next month I will head back to work and Squish will have adventures in daycare.

I can’t even begin to process that

share