It’s like taking your sweet little baby and dumping him into the woods with the bears.
Okay, so that may be a little dramatic. Don’t judge. But when I took my little toddler (the baby that I snuggled close to my heart for two years) into that daycare center…I cringed. I felt that in that moment he just became a boy and was no longer a baby. Add to that the daycare factor and I was not well.
You see, I ran a family daycare for ten years. I worked in a very large center with kids his age for a year. I know the differences between the family center and a larger group center much better than most. I know every one of the pros and cons. Corey and I weighed them all and decided to wait until he was older to send him to the larger center. If I had my druthers, he would not have been there for another year.
But things happen. Your sitter gets another job and you have to do what you have to do. It is good for her—she will be teaching (which is where she wants to go with her career). There were absolutely no hard feelings. It was just hard to lose her because Logan is like family to them. He attached to them quickly and he even talked about them on weekends. It was a perfectly happy little scenario for us.
But Logan’s mommy had to put on her big girl panties yesterday morning.
He kept talking about going to “big boy school” from the time we broke it to him. Of course, he had never been so he didn’t know what he was in for that day. He was just rolling with it and trying to figure out what we were talking about.
I made Corey go with me because I didn’t know how I’d do. Forget about Logan–I was a nervous wreck. That. is. my. baby.
Logan was really hesitant to walk into the center. It’s intimidating. All of those kids everywhere and all of them running circles around you—staring at you wondering, “hey, who is the new kid”? That can be pretty scary to a little guy. He hung to Corey and I like we were walls surrounding him, but once he got into his room he did well. He went right to the toys and started to play. We hung back watching, hoping that he wouldn’t come running back to us.
We said goodbye and he practically ignored us. He was just like, “okay whatever…bye guys”. So we left. I sighed a long sigh as Corey and I walked out the door of the center. Corey put his hand on my back and said, “See? It’s fine. He’s fine”. It did go much easier than expected. I was happy for that. There were no tears shed, people! I done GOOD! (Intentional improper grammar, don’t email me.)
All morning at work I kept thinking about him. Was he fitting in? Was he scared? Was he sitting there in the corner crying? Was he making friends and playing as he should?
I had to go see him at lunch. I couldn’t help myself. I walked in and there he was…laying on his little cot with a blanket and perfectly fine. I didn’t disturb him for fear of causing a scene. I just watched him as he looked around at the other kids and tried to make himself go to sleep like they were doing. J
I talked to the director as I was leaving. She said that he did freak out once about five to ten minutes after we left him there. Apparently that is when he realized that we were gone and that he didn’t go with us. He started crying for me and I wasn’t there. Of course, that breaks a mama’s heart. The director said that they just redirected him to something else and he calmed down after about five minutes or so. She said after that he was fine.
When I went to pick him up, the teacher was sitting with the other kids singing songs. Logan was behind her playing by himself with a fire truck. This sort of concerned me as to why he was by himself, but I’m sure that she just didn’t want to push him too much with it being his first day and all. I’ll pay attention to that today when I pick him up again.
This morning he was asking to go back to “big boy school” (as he calls it). He was eager to go into the class today, so that is a very good sign that he likes it there. The teachers seem really sweet and they really watch the kids closely. They interact with the kids well, the center was clean, and the kids were happy. Three of the most important things to check for when starting a child in a new center? Check.
All in all, things went as best they could have. I am grateful for that. I’m dealing with it emotionally. It’s fun for him. It’s good for him. He needs to be around other kids his own age. I’ll keep telling myself this every day until I believe it whole-heartedly.
But don’t even get me started on kindergarten.