Letters to Holly

Wednesday, July 6

A Rough Adjustment

Your Sister remains an emotional shambles.

The sidekick, by all accounts, did just fine yesterday. I heard nothing from the daycare, suggesting all was well. She called me about an hour after I dropped him off, and I walked her through the morning. I arrived there again after work and turned a corner to find him in the large communal room connecting the classrooms. I saw him before he saw me, and he was playing with a ball. He seemed fine. I called his name, and we caught eyes, and his face slowly fell into an exhausted cry. I scooped him up, and he hugged me back (a new trick of his), and he was bouncing and laughing within seconds. One of the minders equated his reaction to the emotional release of seeing someone after their plane lands.

We got him home and fed him and bathed him, and she tucked him in, and he was out by eight. But she was wobbly. She had called the daycare around 4 to get the skinny, unable to wait until I got home to hear how he did. She broke down a few times during the evening in what can only be called despair.

I feel responsible for this. Whatever the truth is, I think I talked her into having a child in hopes that he would provide the kind of love that I can't. I am too separated -- filtered maybe -- from the world, and that makes me seem aloof. Even dickish. I was sure that a child we raised would be directed away from that kind of reflex, and so far it's worked. But I should have realized that I also introduced her to someone who could break her heart. That's what's happening. Her heart is breaking as he goes off, hereafter interacting with her in a much smaller daily window. I felt this months ago when I realized that I also would only be with him for maybe 90 minutes a day. But again, this is what's good for him. He has to go out into the world and learn how it works so he can conquer it when he's ready. If we wanted to coop up an object of love, we should have bought a bird. I think she'll be OK in a few weeks.

He awoke around 10:30 in a hellacious fit. He was wired, he was screaming, he was inconsolable. We suspect it was gas. I was able to calm him down by letting him play in the crib, and he was out cold a half hour later. I suppose he was processing the day in addition to his upset stomach. It was the closest to colic that he's experienced in months.

This morning, I again dropped him off with little fuss. I noticed that he was playing with a Sesame Street toy there last week. It plays a snippet of Cookie Monster's 'C is for Cookie' song. This morning over breakfast, I sang him that same snippet. He looked at me with a mix of surprise and confusion; maybe he holds the home and daycare worlds that distinctly. When we got there this morning, he hovered close to me until I walked him to that toy and played him that snippet. He was engrossed in it as I left, and I felt relief that it had gone well. I have to believe the drop-off will only get easier over time. He'll go again tomorrow and stay home Friday. I hope Your Sister is comforted by his ability to handle that new place and its social packs. He's learning. That's what we want for him.

Oh, hey, guess what happens the weekend you visit? MUTHAFUCKIN' ROLLER DERBY! You're welcome to come along. We might have a small gang meeting up.

Picture of the Day
See you in a few hours, sidekick.

No comments: