Last week was filled with many emotions – more bad than good, unfortunately. Emily was scheduled to begin her first week in daycare while I went through a training program with my real estate brokerage. The night before our start with daycare, Emily, Daniel and I had one of the most sleepless nights in recent memory as Emily developed a bad cold overnight. The next morning, Emily was in no shape to go to daycare. Her little eyes were puffy and watery, her nose was a non-stop mucous machine and her usual vibrant personality was gone. I made the decision to cancel my training over the next couple of days in order to take care of our little sickly baby.
Towards the end of the week, Emily began to feel a bit better. I phoned the day care and they advised me that as long as Emily wasn’t running a fever, she could come to daycare. I decided to drop Emily off at day care for a couple of hours for the next two days. The guilt that I felt as I left my baby behind was indescribable. The first day wasn’t so bad as Emily had no idea that I was going to disappear after a few minutes of play. However, she quickly caught on the second day. As I made my way toward the door, her eyes widened, tears began to form and she dashed as quickly as she could after me. As one of the daycare workers scooped her up in her arms, she started to wail. I hesitantly waived and left.
This is our second week of daycare and leaving her each morning is not getting much easier. People always say that the daycare transition is more difficult on the parents than it is on the babies. Every day after guiltily leaving Emily behind, I hope that this statement is true. I know things will get easier and before I know it, Emily will look forward to her day of play and my guilt of leaving her will slowly diminish. Until then, Emily and I will both try to be strong and get through our days apart.