I’m kind of amazed how every morning at daycare is a little different. The basic routine stays the same, but every day I get a little anecdote that I carry with me for the rest of the day. Sometimes it’s things like how my son is now “tackling” the other children or how so and so’s mom brought Kale chips because apparently KALE is the new wonder food. Or how the new kid’s name is Valentino and he’s from South Africa, thus the name Valentino seems slightly more normal. Are you entertained yet? Because these little tid-bits help me through the monotony of cubical life.
This morning was a little special though…
I arrived promptly at 7. I’m proud of this because it meant that I had a shot at being almost on time to work. I bring Henry into his classroom and it turns out we are the first ones there. As in, the very first. There is no teacher in sight.
Henry and I start playing and soon a few more parents stroll in. Still, no teacher. All of us parent folk start feeding our kids breakfast and then Florence walks in.
Florence is a little bit of an anomaly at daycare. She’s probably in her 70’s and she has a habit of reintroducing herself to you many, many times. She’s what the daycare industry calls a “floater.” But not in the gross way! Like she fills in wherever she is needed.
I mean, come on guys. Grow up already!
Florence walks into the classroom and promptly announces, “Hello everyone! I’m Florence!”
Now every parent in the room has met Florence before. She’s cared for all of our children in some capacity since they were small, itty bitty infants. But every time, cue Foreigner in the background – Feels Like the First Time!
Then one of the parents asks what day it is and Florence says, “It’s the 10th. I know that because me and my family are doing estate planning right now. You know, estate planning is very important. You should all consider doing that. And you can’t wait, you need to do it right away.”
Florence is from New York so imagine all of this in a New York accent. She went on and on. It was both educational and unexpected.You don’t expect to get financial planning advice in the Joey’s classroom. You know? I think this is what the business community would call an “added value.”
I quickly make my separation anxiety exit, which consists of throwing some food at my kid, yelling I love you and scooting out of the door. This is also Dose #1 of Mommy Guilt for the day.
At the front desk I wait to get a receipt so I can apply for that pesky flex spending. While I am waiting, a concerned father brings up the American flag that is flying outside.
“Did you know that the flag out front has a tear in it?”
Front desk: “Really? Because we just replaced it.”
“Yes, there is a tear and that is illegal. Unless the flag has seen combat. I doubt that flag has.”
Front desk: “We will look into it right away.”
I don’t have anything against Mr. Patriotic. In fact, I envy that he had time to even look at the flag. My morning routine consists of balancing my kid’s back pack while removing him from the car seat and hoping that neither of us get run over in the parking lot. I also try not to spill the open coffee mug that rests on my console. Then comes the moment where I realize that I have not dressed my child appropriately for the weather. No coat? Pants, not shorts? Tevas with no socks? Dose #2 of Mommy Guilt coming at cha.
This morning, as I slid into my car, sipped my coffee and took off to work, I thought, “Wow – does everyone have these funny little daycare mornings?”