"I'm the decider, and I decide what is best." - Former President G. W. Bush
You know when a decision just doesn't feel right, down in your gut, even though most people in your life are praising you for it and reminding you of the good things coming out of your choice? Even when most of the people around you have been doing the same, for ages, and everything has come out fine for them, but it still sits wrong with you and you can't shake it? Yeah, that's what the drop-off has been like for me.
Here's what my gut is telling me. Maeve would do very well, I think, with a nice 9am drop-off, noon pickup type situation, like most kids her age do. It's these hours that are defeating the two of us. 2pm is spot-on in the middle of her afternoon nap which it turns out she still really needs. So in order to get her to her drop-off and me to work on time, I have to wake her half an hour into her nap, get her dressed, and hustle her into the car, all the while reminding her we're about to say goodbye for 5 hours.
No wonder both of us were miserable last time. And yes, she did okay while I was gone, but she refused to eat or use the toilet for 4 1/2 hours, and that's not a great sign. It's the timing. Afternoon is Maeve's absolute worst time of day, behavior-wise. It's the time of day when I try not to talk to her too much, because every little thing sets her off. Things are much better if I just let her play quietly on the porch while I watch, until dinner.
I suddenly felt in my gut last week that trying to teach the child to do the drop-off thing at this hour, without a nap and for such a long stretch, was setting her up for failure. I want her to be able to learn to leave me and get me back under the best timing and conditions of the day, not the worst.
So I've been working on a plan to be able to leave Maeve with a friend who is about to move much closer to us and will be home during the day. Making this arrangement has meant that I don't feel the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach every Wednesday night, and that says a lot.
I keep trying to do things for Maeve that line up with what kids her age "should" be doing, and it just doesn't always work for her. And I'm the mom, it's my job to make these calls, to sit up and take notice when the status quo isn't right for her. So I'm doing that again.