after work, I pick up Mimi from her all-day day-care pre-school: "All Aboard"
(Mt Kisco NY). I park in a "15 Minute Pick Up and Drop Off" space;
I walk up the ramp to the front door; I enter the building; I walk the short entry
hall; I open a second door; I key in my security code;
the person at the front desk lets me in; I go through the security door;
I turn left and walk down a longish corridor where I can see different
groups of toddlers in their rooms thru the glass walls; I go thru another
door and down more corridor past a couple more classes. At last I come to
the door to Mimi's room ("The Ponies"). I open the door, and find
Mimi engaged in some activity with the other children and teachers, or
since the door is all glass, sometimes I see Mimi in the room before I
open the door....|
to leave. Sometimes, when Mimi sees me standing in the entrance to her
classroom, she spontaneously stops what she is doing and comes over to me.
Sometimes I have to say to her: "Come on, Mimi, time to leave!"
Sometimes it takes considerable coaxing to get her to leave....|
winter, so Mimi's preparations for going home involve at least putting on her coat and me zipping
it up, putting on her knitted hat, and pulling up the hood of her coat over her head.
This reminds me of an astronaut preparing for a space walk (Mimi's coat is
quite bulky, and just her hands and the round circle of her face
are visible once she is zipped up). After she is "suited up", Mimi expects and gets
her little Beany Baby stuffed animal: "Ginger cat" [See below], and her "Baba" (bottle).|
|Firmly holding on to her Ginger and Baba, Mimi
turns toward the door and begins walking forward (her "space walk"...).
I walk beside Mimi down the hall, opening the doors for her to walk
through, back to the security desk, then out of the building, and down the ramp to my car,
where Mimi temporarily hands me Ginger and her Baba, so that she can use her hands to help herself clamber up into her
car-seat. Once Mimi has got herself into her car seat, I strap her in, and give her back
Ginger and Baba. I get in the front seat, and we drive off from
day care, back home for the evening -- until Mimi will return to
day care either the next day, or if it's Friday, on Monday....||
I find this image of Mimi the brephonaut (brephos is Greek for: infant)
embarked on her spacewalk from day care to the car (embarking for her voyage from
All Board to our home...),
"symbolic", and "representative" -- and poignant. As Mimi sets off in her
coat like a spacesuit, with her Ginger and Baba, what does she think about and
feel? Does she summon up resolution to tear herself away from what she is doing
in school, to do what she now
has to do: to get on with "getting going"? Does she just forget that
her "school" world exists until she returns the next
morning (and forget about home during the day)?
Her Ginger cat and Baba may be, in Winnicottean terms,
"transitional objects", but they are also: continuity objects.
Wouldn't it be more secure and sensible if Mimi lived in a small communal
setting where several families raised their children in common,
and she did not have to "switch worlds" twice a day?|
in The Tale of Genji (ref. lost), it says: "Nothing lasts
forever in this world, where one season changes into another."
But it seems desirable to have as secure and encompassing a foundation of continuity in our
life as we can, on the firmest basis of which to face whatever dislocations we
cannot avert. Winnicott called this a "holding (also: facilitating) environment".|
"projecting" my own fears and disappointments, in seeing
Mimi, as she ventures forth from day care each evening, either as (1) a resolute
little trooper (brephonaut...), or else as (2) perhaps oblivious of or even repressing what is happening to her?
And, of course, not just to her, but to many of us in this society, each
day? (I daily shuttle between home and office.)|
||Mimi photo at top of page: About 7:30AM Saturday morning (22Feb03; Age ~ 23 mos.). Mimi is watching a
Sesame Street video: "Elmo in Grouchland", in which a nasty man steals Elmo's blanket (Elmo's "Binky" --
like Mimi's Ginger cat [See below]...) just because the man is nasty. Elmo is greatly distressed
at losing his Binky, but Elmo's friends finally help Elmo get his Binky back from the nasty man.
Thus emphasizing the importance of having good friends.