Now that Maya is older, the daycare webcam takes on a whole new meaning. When she was small, I loved to peek at her engaging with her teachers and parallel playing with her little friends because I missed her and just wanted to “see” her. Now, I still miss her, but when I look, it’s more to get a real glimpse into her life — far beyond the daily report sheet I get.
Usually I get to see really cool parts of her day. Last week, for example, I saw her hugging a little boy last week who is moving–without the cam, I never would have seen that sweet moment! If I happen to catch the cam at the right minute, I’ll see her laying out her nap mat and blanket each day, legs twirling in the air til she falls asleep. I’ve seen her in cahoots with her girlfriends playing dress-up, whispering together about who knows what. I’ve seen her chasing the boys all around on the playground, trying to keep up though her legs are much shorter. And I’ve seen her coloring alongside her friends after nap, when they woke up a little earlier than normal. Usually these things I see help guide our conversations about her day — giving me specifics to ask versus “how was your day?”
Sometimes she’s surprised Mommy knows so much; in many ways, school is her little world and sometimes she wants me to know things and sometimes she doesn’t and I respect that. (#threenager). But for the most part — for now, at least — she wants to talk about her day. Down to the nitty-gritty details, like sharing why a certain friend had a special snack that day (“because he had a bloody lip when he got an owie on the playground and couldn’t have oranges because they would sting his owie so he had cheese stick with his crackers, not orange like everybody else.”)
[Side note: During her parent-teacher conferences, it was noted how much detail she goes into in her stories — to no surprise of ours!]
Of course, for all the good I see, sometimes I happen to see something that isn’t awesome when I see the webcam. Like today, for example, when I peeked and saw all the kids in her class in the gym playing what appeared to be Simon Says. They were all running, crawling, skipping across the room — clearly following instructions.
But Maya was just standing there next to her teachers, not playing along.
A few minutes later, she was running and playing with her friends, as though nothing had happened.
Without the webcam — and this little sneak peek into her day — I might have never known to ask her tonight why she hadn’t wanted to play the game at first. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. She is entitled to play or not play — her call — and when she’s in kindergarten I won’t be able to see into her days, anyway …
But the fact that I WAS able to see her gave us a conversation starter for dinner. She told me she was tired and that’s why she hadn’t wanted to play; fair enough. I just feel grateful — for now — to have insight into her days. I know she won’t always open up — and can’t be expected to — but this time right now is so very precious, and I’m grateful for it.