Well, luckily for you I've put together this handy step by step guide on how to get through the day. You're welcome.
It's all about being prepared.
- In the week leading up to day care, make sure to mention how much of an awesome time the child had the previous week. Try a sing-song voice, use jazz hands and interpretive dance to convey just how amazing it really is.
- Run around like a man/woman possessed at 11:48pm the night before because you have only just remembered you need to label the thirty pairs of shorts and jocks you're sending along with your newly toilet trained toddler.
- Act like a clown on crack on the morning of the big day. Happy, happy, joy, joy and all that shit. This is going to be The Best Day Ever!
- When you arrive and the kid starts whingeing that they no longer want to go, despite having jumped for joy at the prospect mere moments ago, forge on in. Skip if you must.
- Take the obligatory "first day photo". Wonder when your kid got so freakin' big.
- Promise you'll be back, promise extra big cuddles, a trip to Disneyland, whatever it takes to make your spawn put away his quivering bottom lip. No matter what, KEEP IT TOGETHER!
- Follow the lead of the carer who suggests your child wave over the fence as you drive off. Bolt to the car and burst in to floods of tears. Drive off tooting and waving like a maniac.
- Come home and lay on the couch feeling like the worst parent ever despite the fact that this is going to be really good for the boy.
- Do ALL THE HOUSEWORK. Make a mess preparing a massive casserole, drop some on the floor and pick it up and eat it - the floor is cleaner than an operating room right now so might as well.
- Watch the clock. Wonder how soon is too soon to call and check.
- Have a cup of tea. Marvel at how it tastes so different when consumed hot.
- Call the day care centre. Fret when it goes to message bank four times. Finally get through and hear that your spawn has been whingeing a little bit for mum but not crying and easily distracted with ALL THE TOYS. On hearing that he is asleep at noon, feel sure that they must have drugged him.
- Watch the clock some more. Clean some more. Put music on with swear words just because you can.
- Cave in and pick up the kid half an hour earlier than you said you would. Find him sitting with his peers eating afternoon tea.
- When he sees you and his lip quivers and he flops in to your arms with an "oh you DID come back" sigh, burst in to tears in front of the staff. They've seen it all before and will just ignore it but the other toddlers might think you're weird though... it's best they learn now anyway.
- When your child hands you their first piece of "day care art" feel immensely proud despite the fact that it is just a box with red paint slopped all over it. Proceed to get teary again like the giant sap you are. Then feel a bit weird and wonder how long you actually have to keep it for.
- Listen to him describe how he called "Mum! Mum!" as you drove off tooting the horn. Die a little bit inside.
- Go home and give your kid an icecream and ask him if he wants to go back to day care next week. When he asks "Will you come back?" cry floods of tears again and promise that you will always, always come back for him no matter what.
Were you a wreck on the first day of day care? Exactly how long do I have to keep the art work for?