It shouldn't really come as any big shock that Colt had a perfectly reasonable and normal and fairly uneventful first day at his new daycare. Fun, even. And it should come as even less of a shock that I was still a wreck most of the day.
I know. Kids go to daycare all the time. They meet new people – all the time. They don't really care as soon as they see that oh look, the new daycare has cool toys and books and things to climb on, just like the old daycare – All. The. Time. I knooooooooow.
Here's the thing. I had a MAJOR meeting Wednesday at work, so it would have been a mentally draining day ANYWAY. Add that to the fact that Jeff and I had to leave our little guy in the hands of completely new people in a room that doesn't look or sound or smell the same as Ms. Barbara's – and you have Mama Mess. Which I'm pretty embarrassed to admit. But whatever. First day, people. First day!
And he totally knew it.
Jeff always takes Colt to daycare in the mornings. But yesterday he got in the car with me. (Jeff and I both went for the big drop-off, but we're having a car issue – as in, we're down one because of the blasted hail a few weeks ago. Long story. Will wait for another day.) Immediately, Colt knew something was weird. He probably thought he was going to the doctor. Who knows. But he totally picked up on the break from routine.
We got there and he took one look at that room and clamped his little hands around my neck. Nuh-uh. We sat in the floor and watched the other kids for a minute, and he started to loosen up. He didn't cry, but he wasn't thrilled, either.
After a few minutes, he got brave and ventured over to a basket of plastic bottles – each filled with something colorful and noisy and fun. He proceeded to empty the basket onto the floor. About halfway through this process, he was starting to look very "at home". And I felt better. And the new daycare has something the old daycare didn't have – girls! Colt is already an expert at picking out the pretty girls. He flirts with waitresses, he wanders up to strange women at the swimming pool, he strains his neck to follow a cute dress with pigtails in a passing stroller at the mall — it's trouble. So he LOVES that his new class has several pretty girls.
Before Jeff and I had to leave for work, Colt discovered a play kitchen. He cleared the shelves of dishes onto the floor in no time flat, but found one of his favorite things! A waffle! The look on his face when he bit down on the hard plastic play waffle was priceless. How disappointing that must have been — he just looked at us all confused. What the heck is up with their waffles, Mama?
So he survived his first day of "real" daycare. And his second day, for that matter. They send home little report cards each day that tell us how he slept and ate and if there were any issues. Of the following choices – Well Fair Poor – what do you think they circled for each time food was offered? That's my boy.
Everyone humored my taking First Day of School pictures – which was nice of them. And I'm probably breaking some sort of ethics or etiquette rule by posting photos of other kids' names… I tried to crop the other kids' faces out of the photos… sorry new friends.
Here you go – the ride home – good, solid evidence that he made it to the end of the day in one piece. Friends, this is the face of one SERIOUSLY exhausted little boy. Exhausted. But happy to see his Mama.