As the Daycare Turns

October 29, 2010

Eric and I have often said that even if we could afford a private nanny (which we emphatically cannot), we’d probably still opt for daycare – Lorelei seems to really enjoy the interaction with the other kids (and adults), and it’s just highly entertaining for us.

She’s not quite at the age where she can physically knock me out of the way to get to someone else she prefers more, but we’re nearing that point with the main teacher I drop her off with in the mornings.

As soon as I bring her inside, she starts scanning the room for Dee-Dee – when she hones in on her location, she begins grinning at her in a most engaging way, trying to lure Dee-Dee away from whatever else she’s doing. There are, needless to say, no tears when I depart. (I’m not entirely certain Lorelei even notices that I’m gone.)

I realized the other day just how many more waking hours Dee-Dee spends with Lorelei during the week than I do, and it made me a little sad. Then I remembered how many more dirty diapers Dee-Dee changes during the week – Lorelei has obligingly timed most of her massive blowouts between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm – and felt a little better.

Eric and I missed the parents’ welcome night back in September, so we never officially met any of the other parents, but we’re starting to know them regardless, if not by name:

  • Truck Dad: Drives a massive pick-up truck from which three energetic toddlers burst out of, clown-car style, every morning. He’s very nice but looks like he hasn’t slept at all in the better part of three years.
  • Hummer Dad: Much less endearing than truck dad. Screams in and out of the parking lot at breakneck speed; is generally on the phone, drinking from a vat of coffee, or both.
  • Monkey Face Mom: So dubbed not because she has a monkey face, but because this is how she refers to her toddler daughter (as in, “You ready to hit the road, Monkey Face?”). The daughter, it must be noted, is adorable and in no way resembles a monkey, which is why this endearment is cute rather than disturbing. Seems like a very cool person. (We have a fear, as yet uncorroborated, that she goes with Hummer Dad.)
  • Mom In-a-Hurry: Perpetually running late. Leaves the car running, cockeyed in a parking space-and-a-half, as she dashes in with her toddler and shoots back out in record time. There must be a teacher with a huge mitt standing by to catch this kid every morning; I have no idea how she’s in and out so fast.

We know the names of a few of the babies in Lorelei’s class, but not all. The others, like their parents, have acquired nicknames.

One looks exactly like a Muppet. Another (The L’il Prisoner) is fond of standing up and gripping the wooden bars that divide the two halves of the infant room. And another one is brand-new, both to the daycare and to the world in general. I always see her tightly swaddled in a thin white blanket, chilling out on one of the various motion machines small babies are so fond of. We’ve dubbed her Doobie in a Swing.


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