The Nugget Chronicles: The New Status Quo

This week was a big week for our little family. For the first time in her four months existence, Nugget has been placed into the care of others for extended periods of time. Gone is her ability to cuddle up with someone, knowing that either I or HawtWife would be back in, at most, two hours. Now, for part of the week, she’s away from our care for over eight hours in a stretch. Ah yes, we’ve reached the point where, because both HawtWife and I are working, we need to put her into daycare.

Admittedly, today only marks the third day of her sojourn into this new world, but Nugget seems to be taking to it like a duck to water. According to the daycare providers, she’s been a pretty content little baby, and is developing nicely. She’s making friends amongst both the staff and the other children, and is definitely enjoying the learning experiences. Naps are progressing without much of a hitch (one thing she inherited from her mother is the ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat). Even better, Nugget seems to be pulling herself off of her self-imposed bottle strike, and is eating during the day. This is a much better situation than previously, where her main tactic was to take enough milk to curb her hunger slightly, and then fall asleep, confident that she’d be able to get her food directly from the source shortly after waking up.

This new change for our family has also created a bit of a pattern for us all, as HawtWife is responsible for dropping Nugget off in the morning, and I pick her up in the afternoon. Admittedly, I feel a slight pang of guilt over this, as HawtWife has to be the one to leave Nugget behind for those extended hours, where as I get to be the one to reunite her with her family, but, well, given our sleeping schedules, this way we’re able to maximize her time at the daycare, and truly get more bang for our buck. Besides, this means that I get to see her first at the end of the day, and I’m the first one to see her smile. Given that she’ll still resort to mom when we are all at home, I’m going to take what moments I can get.

Naturally, this change has been an interesting one for our little family, as, while Nugget is clearly adaptable and is taking to it just fine, HawtWife and I are having a bit more of a struggle. Don’t get me wrong, we’re very happy to be doing it, but there are definitely moments throughout the day that are going to be hard. Couple that with the knowledge that she’s probably now going to end up experiencing a lot of firsts away from our watchful eyes, and, well, you can see how this might be stirring up feelings. Here’s a few things I’ve thought of doing to help ease the transition.

1. Get a doll that looks vaguely like my daughter; put it in my cube at work.

Sure, you can claim that this is creepy, and it probably is, but it would give me a feeling that I’ve got her nearby. Besides, if I get one of those talking dolls that wets itself, then I also get the joy of middle-of-work diaper changes!

2. Get pictures of Nugget; affix them to the inside of sunglasses.

It’s been clinically proven (note: I’m not sure if it’s actually been proven) that staring at a computer screen for too long is bad for your eyes. I haven’t even had my laser eyes for a year, so I want to keep them in good shape. As an added bonus, I get to see my child every time I go outside. Admittedly, this plan may not work when I’m driving during sunny days, but, come on. I live in Minnesota. How many of those am I going to get?

3. Keep the daycare on speed dial; call them repeatedly asking to speak to Nugget.

Take THAT, attachment parenting! I mean, all I’d be trying to do is read my daughter a story, or sing to her, or let her know that Daddy’s always watching. Actually, yeah, scratch that. That’s just creepy.

4. Take comfort in the knowledge that this is the right thing for our family; cherish the moments with her.

Sure, this is probably considered the most “sane” of the options I present here, but, come on. I clearly haven’t leaned to much on the side of sanity for most of my life, so why would I start now? Besides, if I keep a little bit of crazy in my life, hopefully that will just allow my child to also hold on to those aspects for herself. There is such a thing as being too normal.

As long as she doesn’t start to think I’m a crazy stalker. I really want to save that for her teenage years.

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