I heard the familiar call from Caroline’s room this morning, “Mommy!” (briefest of brief pause) “Mommy!” I wiped the sleepies from my eyes, opened her door with the customary thump of her “C” banging back against the wood, and she greeted me with the biggest smile. How do they do this? How can she be just so excited to see me walk into her room each morning? Does she know that it is the brightest moment of my entire day? AND it doesn’t stop there, her smiles are usually followed by gleeful jumping, all before 7am. Lord knows I adore Steve, but my customary wake up to him is usually limited to “turn on The Today Show.” Not even a PLEASE or THANK YOU.

I always pick her up, snuggle her onto my shoulder, rub her back and ask her what she dreamed about. This is a natural follow up to my very last statement to her when I tuck her in each night, “have sweet dreams bubba, see you in the morning.” I am waiting for the day when there is actually an answer to this question because the stories we already hear about alligators biting her hand can only mean that this little one’s imagination will be on the side of extreme!

This morning when I laid her on her changing table to get ready to face the day she totally stole my “routine” and announced that she was going to school today and she started counting off the people she would see on her fingers. “See Eric. See Sara. See Sonny.” The “see Sara” comment still throws me.

I searched McCashew high and low for a post about the incident that resulted in Sara’s departure, but I could not find one. I breezed through my twitter archives.

Daycare drama! Texting with Sara, caro's favorite, about her untimely exit. I am just so sad.9:02 PM Mar 31st from Twitterrific

Some background:

Sara and Michelle were Caroline’s team teachers from the very first day we brought her to daycare. They both demonstrated good judgment, excellent communication, and a pleasantness that is comforting to a new parent. That is where their similarities end. Beyond the children and their dedication to their positions, they are polar opposites. Michelle the clean freak completely dominated the room while sloppy Sara often found herself being ordered around by someone with less seniority. It quickly became clear that while these two women both cared for Caroline with equal sincerity and affection, there was no love lost between them. Caroline preferred Sara to Michelle hands down. At home it was all “sara, sara, sara.” Sara snapped one afternoon, used profane language in front of the children and she and Michelle were no longer on speaking terms. Sara left Caroline’s room, but snuck hugs and kisses in during pick up/drop off. Eventually their own differences spread throughout the center – Team Sara and Team Michelle – which resulted in Sara leaving. I am pretty sure that I am not supposed to know ANY of this, but I do.

I’ve kept in touch with Sara via text message and she offers to sit for Caroline often. The thing is, Caroline has never referred to Michelle by her own name. She has ALWAYS called her Sara. She STILL does. This grates on Michelle. This thrills Sara. So this morning, “See Sara,” really meant, “See Michelle.” I don’t know how to respond to this beyond repeating back, “Yeah, you get to see Michelle today.” My heart sinks a little when I do that though because beyond the absolute unforgivable flagrant use of foul language, Sara was always my favorite too, and I don’t want Caroline to forget her.


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