and the littlest one hasn’t quite bought into it.  Two months ago, our vivacious, athletic Smushie (with an impressive resumé of sports such as Slap Face, Dirty Diaper Sprinting, and Who Can Give the Meanest Stink Eye) performed countless hours of community service in the form of play vacuuming, Swiffering, and couch cushion fluffing, to try and lock in a spot at the nearby daycare.  Even with a 0.0 GPA, her physical pursuits capture the eyes of school administration and they had to have her.  A full ride scholarship was out of the question due to Smushie’s off-campus antics, but the school did offer us a multiple child discount for enrolling her!

This is the Closest I Could Get Them to Stand & Pose For a Picture...

This is the Closest I Could Get Them to Stand & Pose For a Picture…

Worm was going twice a week to daycare for half days until the spot opened up for the Mush Monster.  Steph and I had decided that once they both were in school, that they would stay there for the entire day, allowing the children time away from me to grow and prosper in ways that I just couldn’t provide.  (Translation:  I would get some free time to recover from the insanity of child rearing.)  We consulted Smush for acknowledgement or opposition to our plan and her response was to cram a handful of strawberries into her mouth.  We took that as an OK.

Smushie is still adjusting to life as a pre-pre-preschooler.  It’s been three weeks now.  (I know, I’m slow at keeping up with my blog!)  She has her good days and her bad days.  She wants to be held by the teachers often, which is out-of-character because at home, the Meatball is all over the place, not shy about anything, and slaps us if we try to hold her.

I’ve got mixed feelings about keeping her in school twice a week, but everyone I’ve talked to has insisted that the emotional scars of daycare will only last a few decades.  Worm was 2.5 years old when we put him in daycare.  Smushie is 1.5, a full year younger.  Is she too young to be away from me?  Should she only be at school for half days?  Does she feel abandoned?  Is she going to hate and resent me for this?

The deeper personal conflict is that I feel guilty for rushing her into daycare so soon.  But after 3 years of stay at home parenting, I need a break.  I’m burned out.  I’ve been noticing that activities with the kids in the past months have felt more like work than like fun.  Not all of them, but definitely more than I’d like.  And that’s no bueno.  I can’t give the kids 100% of myself right now and my performance is lackluster.  I don’t want them to think I don’t care, but I also don’t want to neglect my own needs, much of which I’ve been struggling to meet.  So this daycare thing is as much about me and my personal growth as it is about Mushie and hers.  I give myself a C+ in parenting 101 and have been for months.  I can only hope that this situation will improve as Mushie and I try to improve our lot…otherwise, we may both go crazy!

This is the First Day of Daycare Together! Someone's Weak in the Knees, Either From Fear or Excitement!

This is Their First Day Heading off to Daycare Together! Someone’s Weak in the Knees…Either From Fear or Excitement!

After rereading this blog, I must say that I have to give the Worm a point for this.  In the past 3 weeks, he’s been uber-helpful and has stepped up to the plate as a big brother to help Mushie get adjusted. 

Gavin – 33; Honeydaddy – 20 (I love you, boy! And I know Mushie loves you too!)