I have the “good” job when it comes to daycare. I get to pick up. I get to see Ryan’s face light up when I sneak up on him and give him a big smooch at the end of a long day. Mike has the cruddy job. He has to leave him there in the morning. Oh well. Too bad for him. I’m not trading jobs.
But there is one small downside to being the picker-upper. I worry I won’t know which kid is mine when I walk through the door.
Ok, I know what he looks like. But… 5-7-month old babies all look remarkably similar. Short. Largely bald. Chubby cheeks. Gummy smile.
The first day of pick-up was the most nerve-wracking. What if I walk in, look around and can’t figure out which one is mine?? I haven’t even really met the employees yet, and they’re going to think I’m the worst.mom.ever.
I walked in, head held high, (fake) confidence oozing out of me, looked around and… Oh God, where is he?!
Ms. Jen pointed to a crib in the back. Ok, he was out of sight. Totally not my fault.
Sometimes I’ll take extra care to put the pickup card in the box just right to buy myself a few extra seconds to casually glance around and spot him. The problem is that he’s always in a different spot. Laying on an activity mat. Swinging in a baby swing. Chillin’ in a bouncy seat. (Maybe Ms. Jen and Ms. Kayla are messing with me?)
Every day there is a split second of panic: Where do I look first? How long is an acceptable amount of time to search? Why doesn’t my maternal instinct kick in and point him out with a halo of bright light or something??
I felt bad about this until a few days ago. Ryan was having a bottle when I got there, so I took over for Ms. Jen and sat down to finish feeding him. As I did, Caitlin’s dad walked in. (Caitlin is Ryan’s girlfriend. Yeah, my five-month-old is dating. And I’m told that she has like two other boyfriends. Floozy.)
I watched the dad scan the room, eyes finally resting on Yvonne, an older lady who lives in the nearby retirement home and stops by to rock the babies. She was gently rocking a little one back and forth, back and forth. The dad spent about 10 seconds trying to peek around her shoulder before he finally gave in and asked, “Is that one mine?”
Ahhhh HA! I’ve never had to actually ask which one is mine. I am SUCH a good parent, compared to THAT guy.