Three days a week you go to a little daycare, two miles down the road from our house. It’s filled with women who have broad bodies and even broader smiles, and though I’d love for you, me, and Dad to stay home in an infinite cuddle puddle each day, if we have to send you to daycare, this one’s not so bad.
I don’t think the teachers are supposed to show preference, but you’re obviously one of the favorite students there. Every day when we walk in to pick you up, they tell us stories about how you’ve entertained them. Apparently you’re quite the joke-teller, in your baby gibberish, and you give great hugs. Also, they love that you nap for hours on end, but, of course, who wouldn’t?
Right now you’re in the infant classroom, where you started when you were 3 months old, but you’re no longer the littlest one there. The other day the teachers told us that as soon as there is an opening, they’re going to move you to the Toddler side of the room. The Toddler side has a crazy climbing structure for you to practice pulling up and climbing stairs. I’m excited for you. To be honest, I wish I could hang out on the Toddler side all day, too.
One of the things I like best about having you in this daycare, which we call, “school,” by the way, is that it pushes you to learn more than you would at home. Dad and I are always discovering new things that you can do, having seen them at school.
The latest and greatest of your tricks is your ability to clap, and you practice all the time. The dog walks into the room? Clapping. The cat looks your way? A round of applause. You found Riley’s dog toy and are licking the flavor crystals of saliva from it? A sitting ovation.
Sometimes your claps are even and smooth, but most of the time you leave one hand stationary and slap the other against it, like a drunken monkey cymbalist. It’s hilarious and I love it. Best of all, your ability to express your enthusiasm through these claps (and of course high-pitched shrieks), makes me remember how many things in this life are truly worth celebrating. Watching you learn about the world makes me appreciate its beauty even more.
Thank you for showing me the importance of the everyday, for reminding me again and again how much there is to applaud.
I love you,