Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nary a Fleshwound

This is a picture of Thor on the morn of her first day of daycare. This was a day to remember and I’m proud to say she didn’t bite anybody’s ear off nor did she scratch anybody’s face off. In fact, I am quite sure there were no flesh wounds of any sort inflicted on anybody, larger or smaller than her. Whew. As anybody who has met her can attest, our little Thor is a fireball. She is a very confident person and does not suffer fools (a fool being anybody that dares cross her). Now don’t get me wrong. She is a very loving and kind child as well. She gives kisses and hugs and shows empathy for those that cry (even when she’s the person that made them cry). She can even be a darn fine sharer of stuff. However, she has also been known to leave a trail of stolen teddies, broken dreams and destruction in her wake. That is why we were so very very pleased to learn that she did not unleash the demons on this, her first, day of daycare.

Researching daycares is tough. Honestly, I didn’t visit as many as I would’ve liked. For a few reasons: Many of them are totally full, with waiting lists so long that they chuckle when you suggest that there could be an opening at some point before our daughter is old enough to be employed there. Others have websites that make them sound so sincerely smug that I couldn’t envision bothering them with the rigors of taking care of my child. I mean, when they say things like, “Disposable diapers have no place in our facility” I felt like gagging. Yes, we use cloth, but it is because I know what an incredible pain in the ass they can be that I sympathize with people that have chosen to not go that route. I suppose folks have referred to us as being smug (what with the whole recycling, cloth diaper, tree-hugging ethic we’ve got going on), but on the grand smug spectrum, we’re just not that far (remind me to post on the whole smugness thing, because I’ve got a few choice words on that as well). Oh yea, daycares....we didn’t research others because of their location or because, frankly, I just ran out of time. Yes, just one more reason I should be nominated for Mother of the Year.

Considering I’m a heinous and neglectful mother and probably didn’t research enough daycares, I’m pretty happy with the one we chose. Thor is in a “classroom” with about seven other kids between the ages of 18 and 26 months (they call them “wobblers” in daycare lingo) and there are at least two teachers. Her main teacher is native Chinese and she’s worked at the facility for 17 years, which is virtually unheard of in the daycare realm. She’s kind of like a Chinese grandma. How perfect. She even speaks Chinese (not sure if it’s Mandarin or Cantonese) and I’ve asked her to feel free to occasionally chat it up with Thor in her native language. The room has lots of light and there are just loads of things for them to play with. It’s about three blocks from my office and they are amazingly flexible. I can bring her in or drop her off at any time and the place was highly recommended by others that I work with. So, for now, we’re happy. And I think Thor is too.

Dropping her off was uneventful. Thor was immediately swept up in the fun of it all, Eric and I doted, then we slipped out. She never even noticed. I cried, of course, but, actually, it felt fine. It’s the right thing for us...for now. Today she was only there for a half-day and I came to collect her during naptime. Most of the other children were dozing soundly while Thor occupied the teacher with her curiosity. When I tip-toed in the door Thor didn’t notice me. Probably because she was thoroughly engaged in what her teacher was showing her. They were having a moment and that made me happy. But when I walked over to her and said softly, “Hey, Thor” she looked up at me and made a stone-faced beeline for my knees. When I picked her up she gave me *the biggest hug ever* then pulled back, smiling, and patted my head again and again. Like she was thinking, “It’s’s you, I’m just really happy that it’s you”. Yea, it was one of those indescribable Mom moments.

The teacher said that Thor did great for her first day. She only cried when they tried to change her diaper. Understandably. That was probably the point at which she began to wonder, “just who in the hell are you people anyway?” But she ate like a champ (no surprises there) and she didn’t make anybody cry.

As Thor and I were leaving, the other awake girl approached her and I got a little worried about the interaction that would ensue. But, rather than fisticuffs, the little girl kissed Thor, then Thor kissed her back. It was just the cutest dang lovefest you’ve ever seen. The teacher was relieved as well and said, “That makes me so happy to see that, she can be quite the bully”, referring to the other little girl. Ha. Kindred spirits I suppose.

So it was a good day. A very very good day.

And here’s a picture from Christmas day. Remember those kilts I bought in Scotland for that day....someday...when we’d have our little girl (I don't know how to link to the post, but it was in August 2006)? Well, finally getting to wear them made for another one of those special moments. Life is just full of ‘em these days.

Happy New Year everybody...from the home of the God of Thunder.