Anja is at her first day at day care right now. The last time I checked in she was crying. So was I. This is the longest we have ever been separated. It is also the first time since before she was born that I have been alone in my house.
I'm miserable. I tried to capitalize on the opportunity for some extra sleep, but instead I laid there and wept. Even Manu the Cat is upset; he has been wandering around the house meowing which he usually does not do in the mornings.
If someone handed me six more months at home with her on a silver platter I would take it and ask for more. But when the Cadillac of day cares calls you a year after you place yourself on their waiting list to inform you that your child's space is ready, then you have to jump on it. It may not be there if you wait.
So off she left this morning with the sperm donor. Sperm donor, by the way, is thrilled. The Cadillac of day cares is located at his work. He gets to see her any time of day that he wants, just by wandering down the hall. Can you imagine what a stress buster that must be? To be able to wander down the hall after an especially taxing meeting to see your smiling daughter? That is one of the pros in a long list of pros about day care. Now, Anja gets to play with other babies and with different toys. When she gets a little older, they will help her learn to read, draw pictures, do tumbling. And she will get to make friends.
The one con on the list? (Well, actually there are two, but we won't talk about how much this is costing us) Mommy is a mess and doesn't quite know what to do with herself. I have this horrible image in my brain of my beautiful daughter playing with toys at day care and looking around for her mommy who is usually playing with toys with her. Yesterday, we were playing with her Fisher Price balls. I would roll one back and forth in front of me and she would scoop it up and put it in her lap. Then I would roll another one back and forth in front of me and she would put that one in her lap. The third ball kept rolling out of her lap (the lap is not very big yet) giving me the opportunity to take it back. But at day care, she will realize that mommy is not there and she will become sad and start to cry. This is actually happening as I type. So I feel like the worst mommy ever. I pointed at her heart before she left and told her that mommy is ALWAYS in there, then pointed at my heart and told her that Anja is ALWAYS in there. I think she might have forgotten that. She is only going to day care for half a day until I find a job (and hopefully after that too), but it's all I can do to keep from going right now.
We went to a Halloween party last night. Anja dressed as a ladybug. She was the cutest ladybug ever (although she could make a bag lady look pretty cute). I was talking with my friend about Anja going to day care and she told me that it was really hard when she sent her son to day care at first too. Then she said, "But at least she won't be the weird kid at school who eats paste." And I thought, good point. Anja will have friends, will be able to follow directions, may be even able to say please and thank you in a few years. She will have social skills. She won't stick a handful of glue in her mouth because she will have learned at day care that glue is not for eating. She will soon adjust to the new faces and the new surroundings.
While Mommy tries to adjust to the silence. It feels like my heart was put in the car seat with her. I look at my house with six months worth of accumulated clutter and I try to get motivated to do something about it. I think of all the places I go where I always think it would be so much easier to run into without Anja and the car seat. I think about going back to work and I cringe.
I'm confident there will be gallons of tears between Anja and me as we make this transition. If anything, it shows how much we love each other, how bonded we have become. It's something I think I have underestimated, but never will again.