When I switched Tori to a big daycare center, I expected to worry about the quality of care she was getting. I knew I’d worry that she wasn’t getting enough attention. I thought I’d have to work to erase bad habits she picked up there.
But I didn’t think I’d worry about being judged. But you know what? I do. By the teachers, the other moms, even the front desk staff. It’s silly, I know. But here are five things I worry about nonetheless.
Tori’s appearance. Tori has plenty of cute clothes. Tons of adorable dresses. But at 7:30 in the morning? Her outfit usually ends up being whatever is closest. Her clothes match…usually. But her socks? Almost never do. Which wouldn’t bother me if it weren’t for the immaculately dressed baby doll that shares her room. The moment I see that kid’s shiny shoes and starched shirt, I shrink inside.
Tori’s temper. Just about every other day, I get a call from the daycare center that goes something like this: “Hi. Just wanted to let you know Tori threw a temper tantrum and hit her head on the floor so hard that she got a little bump. We put ice on it, and she’s fine, but we just wanted to let you know.” But you know what I hear? “Ummm, yeah. I don’t know what you’re doing wrong, but your daughter has some serious anger management issues. Keep it up and she’s bound to become a serial killer.”
Tori’s bruises. My daughter? Runs first, looks later (much like her mama). As a result, she often has colorful bruises—most of which have unknown origins. In fact , she currently has a black eye. I have no idea why. But I’m sure that the daycare people are evaluating those bruises and slowly building a case against us. If I suddenly get arrested? It’s not because I’m a child abuser—it’s because my daughter is a klutz.
My disorganization. Everything Tori brings to school is supposed to be neatly labeled with her initials. But I? Almost never remember—until I’m stashing things in her cubby. Then I realize her favorite blankie is in danger of getting put in the wasteland of unclaimed items. When the horror of this eventuality sets in, I start rooting through my purse, looking for some kind of writing utensil.This sometimes ends up being a half dried up pen, or a pencil, or worst of all, an eye liner pencil. I’m sure her teachers roll their eyes when they see Tori’s latest set of smeared initials.
My parenting style. Should I let her walk, or carry her on the way in? Should I hurry off or wait to see her settled? Do I say good bye correctly? Do I talk for her too much? These are just a few of the questions that go through my head every morning. Which the independent woman of the world in me knows is just a bunch of B.S. But the insecure mama? Worries,nonetheless.
I think I’d better toughen up before she hits kindergarten. Otherwise, we’re both in for a rough twelve years.