Most people if they think back to when they were a kid can remember at least one time being told, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” In most cases that was a load of bull. I can definitely attest to that. But in some cases, maybe it’s true.
I’ve been a very lucky work-outside-the-home mother. Azita has a generally sunny disposition, and not only does she have a natural attachment to me but she is pretty secure in that attachment. She’s always known that I will be there for her. There was a very brief period of separation anxiety when she learned how to crawl, but I expected it. Everything I read and was told had prepared me for this, and when it did occur it was so mild. It really only lasted about 4 days. Only 4 painful daycare drop-offs, and actually they were not so bad. She did not seem SO upset.
Something has happened in the past week, however. Azita still barrels into daycare. She still steals a hug from her daycare provider and makes googly eyes at her little buddies and still grabs the nearest toy she can find. But she does all of this with a careful eye on me and my movements. At the first sign of movement towards the door, it begins.
First she says runs over and gives me a hug. Of course I stoop down and give her a hug and a kiss and tell her that maman loves her and will be back soon.
Then she tries a different tactic — saying bye to everyone in the room as she runs to the door and tries to make her way out of there with me. As if she will make me believe it is really pickup and not drop-off time.
When she sees trickery isn’t working, she pulls out the big guns:
This isn’t at daycare, but you get the idea. To make matters worse, she does the holding on to my leg for dear life thing as I try to walk out the door. Now I’m trying to walk out the door as fast as I can because I don’t want to cry in front of her. And you better believe I cry. I cry as soon as we are down the street and beyond all sight lines from the daycare windows. And I continue to cry until we are within sight of my office.
Good friends and family remind me that Azita probably stops crying within minutes of my departure (and her daycare provider confirms this), and that in the end this really does hurt me more than it hurts her. I know this is true. But for now, I’m glad I always apply my (very limited) makeup in the car, so I’m a little less of a mess when I walk into the office every morning. The last thing I need to accompany the snot and remnants of Azita’s breakfast that usually coat my top is rivulets of smeared makeup on my cheeks.
And that concludes the glass sixteenth full portion of this blog. I will now return to my regularly programmed complaining. Oh wait. I was complaining, wasn’t I?