December 15, 1914. "New York Municipal Lodging House. Some of the babies." View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. http://www.shorpy.com/
The last thing I did before we left the house yesterday morning was tuck a tissue in my purse just in case I started sobbing. Oh, and get the baby bottle out of the refrigerator (thankfully JD reminded me in the elevator that we'd need to bring a vessel to feed our child at his daycare center). Can you imagine? First-time parents bringing their baby to his first day of daycare with no food? Embarrassing. I'm sure it's happened before. I'm sure there's not a whole lot they haven't seen before.
Of course, John's first day would take place on one of the hottest, blazing days of the summer, making our walk downtown fun for all, as at 9:30 in the morning it was already close to 90 degrees. At JD's insistence, we stopped into a Banana Republic to break it up with a cool blast of AC in the name of "Just shopping for Fall clothes," which is how JD replied when asked if we needed any help. Yeah. Like we can afford clothes for ourselves let alone togs from Banana Republic. Please. Get a life.
John fell asleep in his stroller on the block of the daycare center, just as we were about to roll into the front door. Once you open the door you're sort of smacked in the face with a light scent of pee pee. Though the center is reputable, tidy, and clean--as clean as a place full of slimy, drooling, sticky children can be--it's tough to erase the smell of dozens of dirty diapers no matter where they're contained. Lord knows that at home, if we've got one too many "dipes" in the Genie you can't escape it. The good news is that once you're inside the joint for a few minutes, you don't smell it anymore. It's human nature's way of helping you cope, I suppose. Visit any nursing home, and you get the drift.
Anyhow, once we unhooked John from his stroller and he woke up, we met with the Director and the teachers, all of whom were very friendly and eager to meet John. He was in a smiley and curious mood as he joined a group of already assembled babies ranging in age from 4-11 months, the majority bouncing in their little colorful saucers as others were crawling around on the play mat amongst the toys and books. Almost all seven babes were grinning and content. Two immediately crawled up to John to make friends once he was settled in his saucer and playing with the doo-dads on the side of it. Since John was handling the transition so well, I didn't feel the need to weep, only beam with pride (mixed with a little trepidation). One baby (a newbie) however, was crying. And another newbie, a big 11 mos old fella just "rescued" from his crib by one of the teachers, was screaming bloody murder as he was being consoled. No luck: completely inconsolable. JD called him later-- affectionately, of course--the Resident Wimp (RW). And not so affectionately, other words which rhyme with "little witch" and "foo-see.
Unfortunately for RW (and everyone else in the baby room and within ear shot of the baby room), he'd been with Mom and Dad soley for his entire life before being flung into the "real world" and was clearly not handling the separation well, which is heartbreaking, for sure. Apparently RW had been wailing non-stop since his first day (the day before) causing one of the teachers, "Barbara," to jest that she almost resigned because of his inability to chill out. As I tried to have a conversation with the teachers, filling them in on John's routine and asking questions about their schedule for the children, I wonder how much Barbara was actually joking. I'm sure constant screaming is detrimental to everyone's demeanor, crying in babies can be contagious, afterall. Barbara also told me that it'd be easy for me to remember her name because she's not named after a flower like the other two teachers, but I think I'll remember it because she's the only one with a beard. B is for beard.
We picked up the baby from "skool" two hours later after killing some time at Dunkin Donuts just as the group's afternoon nap started, because it's suggested we "phase him in" instead of dumping him all day for his first day, which made complete sense and causes me wonder if RW had a proper phase-in. Barbara said John did well as she carried him out to us, but that he had a tough time sleeping because of RW's howling. This isn't surprising, as I have a difficult enough time getting the baby to nap at home in the relative peace and quiet of Midtown. Today John had a longer day and JD didn't collect him until after naptime ended. I don't have all the details yet, but a few words via text message have it that John had another banner time despite the fact there was "no improvement" in RW's disposition.
RW's got to get his act together. He's throwin' off everyone's mojo.