I get my son up every morning. There’s always a bit of disappointment that it’s me waking him up these days and not Daddy, as he is a daddy’s boy. We have breakfast. He makes my coffee by pushing the start button on the Keurig, and we sing songs and have our own little circle time. Then I let him play in the living room with the TV as a distraction so I can get some work done.
On most days, I can maybe get through a few emails and correspond a couple of letters in peace. Daniel Tiger and Elmo tunes hum in the background and then linger in my head for days after. A few minutes in, I will see a sippy cup appear over the top of my laptop. I’ll move it aside and see two huge brown eyes staring at me anxiously. “Milk! Milk!” Sometimes, I’ll get a book thrown in my direction. “Book! Book!” Naptime is when I’m most productive, for obvious reasons.
Like many parents, I am currently working remotely while having a child at home. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, we didn’t sign up for it. But we’re making it work. Or at least trying to. Some days are fine. And some are difficult. Like, feeling-like-a-complete-failure difficult.
There are many things about pre-COVID life that I miss. I miss my morning commute, where I had a blissful half-hour to read a book in peace. I miss my co-workers and having conversations with other adults all day long. And I miss our daycare provider.
When we were researching daycares, I knew we hit the jackpot with the place we chose. The search started while I was pregnant, as I read horror stories about waiting lists, lost deposits, and spots getting taken. Not to mention, finding something that was even affordable. And through our search, we found an in-home daycare about five minutes away from our place. She had been in business for a number of years and was highly qualified. When I saw the back room for the children and the big fenced-in backyard with a swing set and other playground equipment, I knew this was the place for our child.
My son has been going to this in-home daycare since he was 4 months old. And our provider and her family have become like our family. He loves going there and seeing all of his friends. The children in her care are all happy, well-disciplined, and, most importantly, cared for. While he’s stuck at home he is not getting the same kind of stimulation and experiences he would at his daycare — and I feel guilty about that. But I have to remind myself that this is something far beyond my control at the moment.
During this time of social distancing, I miss my family and my friends. But I also miss my son’s daycare provider. We have Facetimed with her, which has been nice, but it’s not the same. I look forward to the day when he can go back and resume his daily routines of finger painting and playing outside with his friends. And I will be bringing him back with an understanding and appreciation of how important daycare providers are.