I left my daughter with a bunch of strangers this morning. Kind of an odd experience, but not as upsetting as I might have thought. The folks at the daycare seem to know what they’re doing, and the whole scene inspired confidence.
This is teacher prep week, so Xy’s not quite back at work full time yet. She was going to do the drop-off herself, but decided last night that she was too likely to burst into tears. So it fell upon me, as it will regularly once school starts. I strapped her onto my chest and walked the four blocks. Didn’t integrate the bike into the routine yet. It was threatening rain, so I wanted my hands free for the umbrella. Didn’t need it, though.
Daycare is expensive. I’ve rented whole houses for less than we’ll pay per month. It certainly does make one look twice at the possibility of one parent staying home to care for the child. Garvey says he and his wife manage it; coincidentally I read (in Parade of all places) about another couple (from Indiana of all places) who are doing the same thing. In both cases, these folks are making ends meet with substantially less salary and a bigger mortgage and they’re not going into debt.
I don’t know how they do it. We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle. By my calculations, even if we cut out all luxuries — no internet, no Netflix, no alcohol, never eat at a restaurant — it still doesn’t add up to that much. I don’t know what else we could cut.
Anyway, those calculations will have to wait, because we’re committed to our present course for at least the next school year. Xy isn’t the type to welch on an obligation; she’s said she’ll teach this year, and so she shall. That means our daughter will be in the hands of others for a good portion of the day.
And I think she’ll enjoy it. She seems fairly happy and comfortable with strangers, and I suppose there’s some socialization value even at this young age.
But the next month may be a difficult transitional period.