18 April 2008

Who's your mommy?

Yesterday it happened: the moment all working parents dread.

When I dropped the kids off at "school," Riley pinched his hand in the gate between the playroom and the kitchen at the daycare. I'm sure it hurt like the dickens, so he cried, swiveled his head left and saw me, swiveled his head right and saw his caregiver, and reached right out for her. Not me.

Ouch. Riley wasn't the only one hurting.

I'm truly glad Riley has such a strong bond with R. The twins have been in her care for eighteen months now. She loves them like her own, and I trust her with them completely. She and Riley have always had a really special relationship, too, and I'm grateful for the patience she has with him. In fact, I've learned a lot from her about how to deal with Riley.

But it still hurts. As has been well documented on this blog, I struggle with how to be a good mom to Riley, and to feel like R. is somehow better and soothing Riley's hurts is a bitter pill to swallow. Oh, I know intellectually that I'm his mom and there's on one else who can fill that role, and I know that we were in a context where R. provides the comfort, so it was natural for Riley to reach for her, and I know it's a good, good thing for Riley to love R. so deeply, but it still hurts.

On the flip side, here are some great things about today:

1. I closed my eyes at 11:00 p.m. last night and opened them at 6:05 a.m. this morning. No crying in the night! Yeah! And I awoke to cheerful Ri-chatter. Good stuff. Also: the twins fell asleep chatting last night, including a few rounds of Maddie singing "Twinkle, Twinkle." So sweet.
2. It's really sunny and warm. No jackets today, and I'm wearing capris.
3. It's Friday!
4. My best friend is in town for a wedding, and she's coming over for dinner tonight with another one of our friends.
5. I'm meeting some former coworkers for lunch.
6. I have an interesting and fun project on my desk to get done today at work.

All hail the arrival of spring!


Tracy said...

I think because he looked at you, his first impulse was that he wanted you to comfort him...but like you said, because of where he was, he knew it was R.'s time to comfort. I'm sorry...I'm sure it stung.

Cat said...

I know the feeling! Dropped off my daughter at school one day and at the gate she tripped and fell down two stairs, just to run past me into the teacher's arms to cry. But I know that I'm still the one she calls at night when the scary monsters arrive.

Catizhere said...

My biggest fear is when either Maggie or Will doesn't want to GO HOME at the end of the day.
It's torture to drop them off in the morning, then when I get there at 5-ish they're too busy playing and having fun to go home with Mommy.

mlg said...

Isn't it truly amazing what a night of good solid uninterrupted sleep can do for you? It is like a joyous suprise each and every time it happens.

Isn't it funny how we want so much for the kids to be well loved when we are not around and then when we get proof we have a moment of sting. The good news is that the next time you leave the twins with her over night you will be able to not worry so much knowing that she is able to comfort them whatever the situation..

Becky said...

Been there. Hurts like hell.

BethGo said...

My feelings would be hurt too.

But it really is the context of where he was.

But I'd still be a little sad about it.


Have fun with your friend.

so-yun said...

oh man. my almost 1.5 year old son started daycare 3 weeks ago and i am dreading the day that i go to pick him up and he doesn't run to me... or doesn't want to go home. maybe i'm just being overly worried but does this ever even happen? anyway, although i WANT him to LOVE his daycare provider, i want to be loved more.. oh the desires that pull me in two different directions!

BrooklynGirl said...

Oh yes....

The Boy is on spring break from his school for 2 weeks. Every morning he asks if he's going to school, and every morning I tell him that he Gets To Spend The Whole Day With Mommy! And then I watch his face fall.

cadiz12 said...

ouch. but i'm with tracy; he probably realized you were off limits at that time.

Kizz said...

Oh, Snick, ouch.

Lisa said...

Yeah, if you allow me to put on my geeky child development hat on for a second...that was more about context than anything else. If you were dropping him off and he knew you were leaving soon, he is smart to figure out who is going to have the time and patience to give him the comfort he needed. (Which is a great thing, because it shows he knows how to take care of his own emotional needs to some extent.)

If R had stopped by your house to drop something off, say, and the same thing had happened; I'm guessing he would have gone to you.

But I can see how it hurts! My mom used to talk about how sad it was when she would come pick us up from daycare and instead of running to her we would say, I don't want to go home! Again, from child development standpoint, its good. The running to mommy is more about the insecurity of being without mom while with someone else. The "I don't want to go home" is about knowing mom is always going to be there so can't I just finish playing this game I'm engrossed in?

In short, I think you are still probably number 1!

tousquireste said...

I probably shouldn't comment, as I don't have kids. But still, it must have stung - I recently saw a mom get on the bus with her 3 or 4 year old *screaming* about wanting to go back to daycare and my heart went out to her, as it does to you!

culiex said...

My mom takes care of Alex during the week while I work and MANY days he physically pushes me out of whatever room he's playing in because I'm the meanie killjoy who ultimately announces that it's time to stop the fun and go home. He often says "No go home! I want to stay here!!" but because he's 2 1/2 and he's been So.Freaking.Hard lately, and we've got that late afternoon edgy temper going and nothing but a food battle, bath battle and bed battle ahead of us, I'm very tempted to grab my keys and say "Okay!!! I'll pick you up tomorrow then!!!"

But ya, it hurts when they're hurting and they don't choose you to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to say...it's very painful to have your kids crrrrryyyying for you when you walk out of daycare and you just can't stay & comfort them any more. My son was a little more needy than most kids and he had several months where he just couldn't let me go to work without sobbing, no matter what I tried to do to make it okay. (Even though everyone said he stopped soon after I was out of sight) It stings either way!

I love your blog...


Amy said...

I agree with Tracy's analysis. Riley was in the place where R. comforts. And while I admit I too would have felt hurt I would have also felt darn grateful he feels such a connection to her :) He is loved.

I wish my weekend ahead was as full as yours! Enjoy.

moo said...

I know the feeling and ouch is right.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Angela said...

I agree with the other commenters in that it was in the context of the moment, he was at daycare and it was drop off time, he normally goes to R. so that is who he went to this time. But I know it still hurts, and I am so sorry.
That's great that they had a great night and the weather is great. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

buddha_girl said...

Ouch is an understatement.

I'm glad you were able to take a deep breath and distance yourself from the pain.

I've run into similar scenarios with Buddha and Lorna. It hurts but then reminds me that my kid's surrounded my love he feels tangibly.