Day 18: The Daycare Pick-Up that Wasn’t

I collected Katie and her backpack from her daycare room and we walked down the hall, hand in hand, towards Maddie room. Maddie spotted us as soon as we walked in.

“Hey, toots!” I said, happy to see her face after a long day.

“Mommmm,” Maddie whined. “I just got all set up.” I looked at the carpeted floor and saw the elaborate Palace Pets neighborhood she had designed. “I was going to play with Addie.”

“Oh. Well, I’m sorry.”

“Can I just stay? Can you come back in a bit?”

“I guess…” I replied.

“Not fair!” Katie interjected. “Then I want to stay too!”

So, I brought Katie back to her room and got back in my car without either of my kids.

I suppose you know you’ve found a good place to care for your children when you find yourself sitting alone in the car in the parking lot, wondering what to do now.


Thirty-one stories in thirty-one days as part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.


21 thoughts on “Day 18: The Daycare Pick-Up that Wasn’t

  1. Wow. That must make you feel happy and sad all at once. I really admire that you said yes after a long day when all you probably wanted was to get in the car with your children and head home.

  2. I always remind myself of the same thing when my kids are reluctant to leave daycare. My daughter hid when I showed up yesterday, and I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to wait for the read aloud to end in my son’s room before he’ll leave with me. Sharing your kids with teachers who create an environment our kids love too much to leave is such a blessing, isn’t it?

  3. I remember when that started happening to me. I used to feel all this guilt and race to get to after-school every day… and then they didn’t want to leave. You know what I did? Stopped going early. Instead I ran an errand to make our weekend easier or went home and started dinner or met a friend for coffee or went for a run — take that time and recharge. It is good for you and good for them. They are happy.

  4. Dana,
    The good, the hard, and the sad! I remember how guilty I used to be when I was “late” for pickups until I was finally smart enough to change my pickup time. Out the door and race didn’t work for me. . . For you, open a book and read. Enjoy the brief few minutes!

  5. My kids do this all the time…well usually more my older son. I always feel a little bad when they are just getting started with something and then have to leave. I have left him and gone and picked up my daughter from her room but never went back to the car! But that’s not a bad idea 🙂

  6. Oh, I know this look all too well. However, we usually need to run out for soccer practice or gymnastics … But I always tell them that I missed them too and want to spend the evening with them. It’s a long day apart. It does make my heart happy that they feel safe and loved and enjoy the after school CARE program.

  7. both girls have a place where they are happy and feel safe and comfortable. It was a hard decision to make on your part, but an important decision for the girls. Hope you had a good book that you could spend some time with.

  8. My children go to the school where I teach. I send them to after-school care every now and then. I feel guilty, but they love it! I get so much done in that hour when they are having snacks, playing with new friends, doing crafts.

  9. That is lucky — good daycare and a little time to yourself perhaps? I love your dialogue. It informs us so much on the relationship you have with your girls. “Toots”. Smile.

  10. The thing is, moments like this are so unpredictable so it’s hard to pace yourself. You never know when they’re going to want to stay longer, or not. And when they’re not willing to, you’d better be there…on time! A mother’s dilemma which you handled with grace. You deserve a gold star.

  11. There are many wonderful things it this post. First, your girls advocate for themselves and are fiercely independent! But also, your day care center has allowed your girls to grow and learn at their own pace and to choose their play. This post makes me happy for your girls….even if you had to sit in the car and catch up on Facebook!

  12. I love it! My daughter did the same thing to me – “come back later, Mommy.” I hope you were able to enjoy a cup of coffee during your reprieve! In “wondering what to do now” I had to laugh, because there’s always something to do as a mom, especially when she works outside of the home as well!

  13. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one!
    I learned to not even try on chess club or kickball nights.
    A responsible me would have used that time to grade. I am clearly not there yet in life.

  14. I love that your girls enjoy their child care so much. My kids had that type of place as well and it really does make all the difference. I’m still really impressed that you said yes! I always felt like I needed to hustle them out and into the car so we could get on to the next thing on the evening agenda. Nicely done!

  15. This is great! So often I have arrived to daycare and had my kids complain that I’m there…they’re not ready to go yet. It is definitely the blessing & the curse of having a good daycare!

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