‘Twas the first day of daycare,
And all through the Byte house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a Nibbling mouse.
The CoHo squeezed into a pregnant PATH train with Nibbles snuggled in a sling that was designed by ergonomically sadistic morons. Miraculously, she spotted an empty seat amongst the Suits and she plopped her bulging 5 foot structure down, feeling 22 months pregnant herself. “Dream Company”, the unsightly workout bag screamed, and The CoHo hid her face in embarassment. She felt the need to justify such in-your-face advertisement of The Evil Street, “It’s the only bag that would fit all the snacks, clothes, diapers and other random stuff that my baby needs”. But she didn’t, of course, being the spineless CoHo that she was.
Zigzagging through the post rush hour toursity crowds, she proudly showed Nibbles the daily circus of her City. The caregivers at the Dream Company backup daycare seemed nice enough (don’t they all?) and stuck a huge name tag on the back of Nibbles’ t-shirt. The CoHo began rattling off his likes and dislikes, comfort techniques, pet peeves…
Miss W: Perhaps you should sneak out when he’s not looking so there’s less separation anxiety.
CoHo: You mean I can’t stay here with him?
Miss W: *rolls eyes as the CoHo tiptoes out when Nibbles seemed engrossed in a talking piggy bank*
Nibbles: *turns around and flashes mischievous smile* Byeeeee!
So much for separation anxiety.
Overall, The CoHo coped pretty nicely for the first day of daycare. She spent only 3 out of the total 6 hours at the center, carefully scanning all edges and toys whilst subtly shoving bits of food into Nibbles’ mouth when the caregiver wasn’t looking. She tried not to laugh too loudly when they suggested that Nibbles lie down in the crib during naptime and nursed him to sleep as always. For once, she was grateful that none of her co-workers had kids and were hence unlikely to be scandalized by a public boob display.
When The CoHo headed back to her desk, she kept verifying the signal strength on her phone. They said they’d call her if Nibbles was upset. She absent-mindedly downed her milkless tea, “It’s been 45 mins since he fell asleep so he ought to have woken up at least once to make sure I’m around…”. Bang on cue, the call arrived and she couldn’t help smiling as she rushed over to her baby. Her baby who couldn’t bear to be a second without her, her baby who wouldn’t eat a morsel unless she coaxed him, her baby who…who was happily climbing up the wooden slides and greeted her with a brief nod when she arrived.
CoHo: “Nibbles, mamma’s here sweetie”
Miss W: “He’s doing fine, just a bit cranky that’s all. But look what he made for you…”
*hands CoHo a colorful piece of artwork on sticky paper*
CoHo: *eyes welling up* It’s beautiful.
Nibbles dozed off in the sling, tightly strapped against The CoHo while she raced to avoid the rush hour crowds. Safe in their nest, The CoHo emptied out the uneaten boxes of his favorite food, all labelled with fluorescent green sticky tape. She cleared up the old magnets on the refridgerator and made space for the abstract masterpiece by Nibbles. It was just as she’d always pictured it…but not this early. As the first winter winds gushed through the windows, she scrambled to salvage the broken twigs and leaves.