I’ll never forget the first day I dropped my son off at daycare. He was fast asleep in his car seat- the 10 minute drive from home to daycare knocked him out cold. I leaned in and kissed his cuddled up face and left him in the hands of his caregivers. I didn’t lose it right there, but I did about 30 seconds after pulling out of the parking lot. I cried pretty much all the way up 84 East to my office in Hartford.
Drop offs improved from there on out (for me, not Jake). Jake could not be happier around a room full of other tiny babies. One thing that did not change was that big fat kiss I would plant on his baby forehead before I left for work. As he got older, I would give that same big kiss, and now he would reciprocate, along with a huge hug from a tiny little toddler boy.
When our family welcomed our second child, Olivia, this past September, I stayed home with her for twelve weeks before returning to work. Her first day at daycare was quite a blur. Instead of dropping off just one little tiny baby in a car seat, I was now trudging to the door with Olivia in one hand buckled up in her car seat, and holding Jake’s little toddler hand in the other. Jake ran right to his classroom to find his friends while I tried to keep from dropping all of the tiny baby accessories that accompany the first day of daycare dropoff. I unclipped Olivia, handed her to one of her caregivers, Jake found his way into Olivia’s baby classroom for me to unzip his jacket and to give him hugs and show me around. I was pre-occupied with Jake and before I knew it, I hugged him, signed the kids in, and left.
As I was entering the highway on my way to work, it hit me- I hadn’t kissed Olivia good bye! Did I even remember to leave her with a bottle and formula? Hell, did I remember to PACK THE DIAPERS???? You want to experience a whirlwind of craziness? Forget the Black Friday shopping at midnight, try dropping off a two and a half year old and a 3 month old at daycare without losing your shit.
That first week of dropping of the Twosome was pretty much a frenzy, but one thing that truly stuck with me was how I had forgotten to kiss Olivia good bye. That first day without a kiss left me feeling a little lonely for her during those long 8 hours of going back to being a working mom after 3 months of being Olivia’s constant support system. It’s amazing what such a small little detail of a gesture will do to your soul. I’ll never forget that feeling of loneliness as a result of leaving Olivia without planting that big strawberry lipgloss kiss on her forehead. And since that day, I never forgot to leave for work without doing that same little ritual to both of the Twosome. It’s good for the soul.