By the doors to the restrooms in E’s daycare room there is a small chair, blue with yellow legs and arms. With its slightly reclined back and arched seat, it looks almost like an Adirondack chair. It would seem likely the teachers put the chair there to provide children waiting for the restroom a place to sit until one realizes that the name of the group is “Toddler 2,” which means every child in the room is around two years old: not many children that age likely are using the restroom by themselves. Perhaps it’s a timeout chair.
The Boy, however, made his own unique use of it last week, his first week in daycare. Because we wanted to slip him into the new routine gently, K took him to the facility in the morning then came during her lunch break to take E back to the house and Babcia, where he napped, lunched, and played until I returned. K’s arrival always coincided with the preparation time for the children’s nap. As the children pulled their mats into place and arranged their blankets, all with the teachers’ help, E sat in the yellow and blue chair and waited for K.
This week, however, he’s been going full days. Two days down, and things could be going better. What a stressful experience for a little kid, and K and I both feel a little guilty for putting him through it. We justify it to ourselves: he’ll be stronger for it; he has to go through this at some point; he’ll soon be enjoying it. We justify, but that doesn’t do much when the teacher tells us that every day at nap time, E still trundles over to the yellow and blue chair, sits down, and waits for K.