Mondays are always problematic when it comes to the whole childcare transfer thing. Over the weekend Margaret gets very used to spending time with us. There are long trips to the park and other outings. I’m with her more or less constantly and Daddy is always there when we’re home. I’ve gotten used to leaving to the sound of crying on Monday mornings. By Friday she’s pretty indifferent to my departure, and not necessarily ready for her all-day play date with Jomkwan to end when I get home. What Margaret had gotten used to over the past three months is the idea that Daddy does not leave the house without her. Warren has been spending his days mostly at home managing his investments and dealing with the huge backlog of stuff we weren’t getting to over the past three years when we both had day jobs, such as a long list of home improvements and buying life insurance. As far as Margaret knows her Daddy never left the house without her.
In light of this you can imagine the sense of betrayal when this morning Daddy put on his shoes and hat and coat and left the house without her. He wasn’t taking her out for a drive in his sports car or for a walk, he was just going and leaving her at home with a pajama-clad Mommy. She stood on the second floor landing and cried for a good solid fifteen minutes. I know it can be tough for Dads. Like most kids her age Margaret prefers that I do most of the childcare tasks and is not at all shy about expressing a preference. While it was upsetting to see her so very very upset, it was gratifying to see the proof that she cared so very deeply that her Daddy was leaving without her. I’m pretty used to seeing the beginnings of such a demonstration when I leave on Mondays (and sure enough, once 9:00 came and I had to leave the tears started again), so I knew she’d get over it. No doubt starting tomorrow we’ll go back to a more normal schedule of me leaving first followed by a transfer to Jomkwan. Of course that will only last a few months until Baby Brother arrives to shatter her view of the universe once and for all.
In other news, I finally set up my screen saver of my current computer to randomly cycle through the folder containing all the pictures of Margaret. This was the first time Margaret had really noticed pictures of herself and she kept saying “baby” with each new picture. (She often says ‘baby’ when we come across a small kid at the playground or on the bike path, which I find hilarious when the baby in question is clearly older than she is.) I have no idea if she recognizes herself or not. She certainly is my baby and will always be my baby no matter how big she gets or however many other babies I manage to have.