I’ve been thinking lately and this is what I’ve come to: day care does for me now what the gym did 5, 10 years ago.
Now, hear me out.
Day care pick-up and drop-off gives me social interaction with people with whom I have things in common – baby/diapers/poop/sleep/eating – oh yeah, and day care. And, back in college and the post-college days, I went to the gym to be around people who were interested in being sweaty and fit and healthy and skinny with toned extremities. And to talk to them in between getting more and more sweaty. And, we had the gym in common.
At day care and at the gym, you see the same people day after day. You find who you have timing in common with – drop off at 7:15 a.m. you see different mommies and daddies than you do at 8:15 a.m. Pick up at 3 p.m., you see different people than you do at 5 p.m.
The other day, picking up Elle, I was putting her into her car seat (which is stored in the pre-K room) and a Pre-K Dad came walking in to pick up his kid. He struck up conversation (sweet, meeting new people!) and was talking about how he and his wife just had a baby and it’s weird how they’re starting with the baby stuff all over again and asked how Elle was doing, sleeping, eating, etc.
I felt like I’d made a new friend – even though I didn’t catch his name or anything. It was kind of cool, we had something in common.
I see certain mommies every morning or afternoon when I’m picking up and dropping off and we nod and smile at one another. We comment on how cute the others’ kids are. It’s a social interaction that I’m evidently in need of.
And the gym was that for me.
It’s not anymore – though I am going to the gym pretty regularly these days and feeling pretty good about myself. But, no longer am I at the gym for any type of social outing. I’m strictly there to try and fit into my pants better. I actually AVOID conversation at the gym because it’s time away from my girl – I get in, get out and get on with my day.
But day care – that’s a different story. I linger there like I would at the gym a few years ago, to see who might showe up (not like for hours, but I like talking with the teachers, about Elle, about things they notice and learn about her).
So, this is the new Lindsay – where Day Care is the New Gym.