An Ode to Daycare

This morning I wrote out our Very Last Check for daycare. There will be plenty more kid expenses in our future, but for the past three years, we have been paying the equivalent of a second mortgage payment every month and it’s pretty exciting to be stopping that. I have loved Frances’ daycare so much. They have been such a big and important part of our lives for the past 3 years, and this seems a good time to celebrate them!

Oh, daycare, I love you so. Let me count the ways:

1. You kept me sane. My first months home with Frances were filled with anxiety. Is my baby broken? Am I breaking my baby? Is this NORMAL? I cannot even explain the weight that lifted off of me when I dropped Frances off for the first time and realized that for the next 10 hours multiple people with years and years of experience with babies would be taking care of my child. If something was wrong with her, they would notice. If she needed something new, they would notice. BECAUSE THEY HAD DONE THIS BEFORE. Amazing. So helpful.

2. You taught me super useful stuff. Like how to get rid of cradle cap (olive oil on the head, comb it out). You told me, gently, that it was time for Frances to have shoes. (Babies need shoes before they start walking? Who knew?! Daycare!).

3. You taught Frances super useful stuff. Blowing her nose? I never taught her that!

4. You did crafts. Every day. I hate crafts. Thank you for handling that for me!

5. You fed her. After she started eating “regular” food, you made her breakfast, lunch and snack every day. From scratch. One less thing on my plate, for which I am so grateful.

6. You gave me friends. Other parents with kids the same age who I like spending time with. It’s so amazing to have folks like that who you can just hang out with at each other’s houses while the kids play. I do not take that for granted.

7. You loved my daughter, more than I thought it would be possible for someone not related to her to do. I feel so lucky, that every teacher Frances has had at daycare has been loving and nurturing and has thought my kid was the bee’s knees. (She’s totally the bees knees). What a gift to a child to know that there are adults other than their parents who care about them deeply. Thank you for being a part of our village.

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