Last week was rough. On Monday, Little Man started daycare. This, after a year and half of being cared for by his grandparents. But while the grandparents could care for a baby cooing in a crib. their achy knees don't allow them to run after a shockingly fast toddler. Plus, Little Man needs to be around other little kids. Or so we tell ourselves.
And so, I dressed Little Man in a crisp white shirt (rookie mistake) and his navy blue Chuck Taylors with the Velcro straps. We took a picture before leaving. Me, trying to hold on to a baby who is clearly no longer a baby. And Little Man trying to escape my arms to continue running around the table. In the picture, Little Man looks mischievous. Mamma looks mussy and tired. In short, business as usual. And yet, the moment felt somehow more significant than the hundreds of Mamma and Little Man moments that make up each day.
As soon as we entered the daycare, Little Man knew something was wrong. He turned right around and tried to march right outside. The determined attempt to leave was followed by a death grip on his Baba's leg followed by plaintive cries, "No mamma, nooooo." No amount of pointing to the blocks and the carefree kids eased his anguish. The daycare instructor gently took him and simultaneously ushered us out the door but that one second was enough to see the terrified and disappointed expression in Little Man's eyes. Little Man thought we were abandoning him.
And walk out we did. Except I spent the next ten minutes crouched on the porch, in the rain, hearing Little Man continue crying inside. At some point, the Hubster ushered me to the car where I continued crying. And I cried on the train to work. I may have had to rush out of a presentation because I was about to, you guessed it, cry some more. To the colleague giving the presentation, it wasn't you. It was clearly me. I was a hot mess and I'm sorry.
The sadness was so overwhelming, the only thing left to do was bake. And so at 11 p.m., I baked these mini banana muffins. And because I'm a firm believer in the healing powers of chocolate, I added some chocolate chips to the muffins. Oh, and some peanut butter cups because well, we needed extra healing this week. And the next morning, Little Man and I shared a muffin for breakfast as my way of reassuring him that we'd always come back for him. And we went through the same grueling routine again.
Every parent who has gone through the daycare transition tells me it will get better. That there will come a time where he will hop out of the car and run in to play with his friends without so much as a backward glance at his Mamma. But that day was not today. It most likely won't be tomorrow or the next either. And so, I'll continue making muffins. And he and I will share them for breakfast. And after I drop him off, I'll sit outside the daycare in my car, shoveling muffins in my mouth while tears run down my face. And though I know we'll get through this week with or without muffins, I'm glad it's the former.
Yields 30 mini muffins.
3 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanut butter cups
Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and mix. Add chocolate chips and peanut butter cups and mix (mixture will likely be a bit lumpy).
Line mini muffin pan with liners. Pour mixture into each muffin cup (I like to fill each cup heaping full so the muffins bake up with a nice domed top). Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Adapted from Simply Recipes.