After we moved and had to leave Margie, we transferred to a big daycare center. I felt a little braver this time, largely because our experience had been so positive and I was used to being away from Truman for the day. The center is equal in distance from work and home and also Mike’s work. It takes about 6 minutes from either job or home to get to any of the other locations. That helps when you are a one car family. I toured the facility, met with the director and the teachers and felt like it was a good fit.
Truman started in the infant room and I decided to visit him and nurse at lunch for a little while. I did that for a few weeks, but he started crying when I left him and I felt it was harder on him to see me, make him think he was coming home, and then leave him a second time. When I cut out the lunch visit, he was a much happier baby for the second half of the day. His teachers, Seritya and Miriam, adored him and were not shy in telling me so. They kissed him, they cuddled him, and they told me how much they liked me! He thrived. I felt warm and fuzzy. It was a good deal. He started transitioning to the Monkey Room, which was for 1 to 2 year olds, and became interested in walking finally. He didn’t really walk on his own until he was almost 19 months old, but not for lack of trying on his teachers’ part. They updated me daily on his progress and shared in my joy at his triumphs.
I was nervous again when he transitioned into the Monkey room full time. The kids were all mobile and they looked ENORMOUS. They kind of had free rein in there, all jumping and running and playing with each other. I worried about him not being snuggled all day. Then I met Mary. She ran the Monkey room and already knew (and loved) Truman. She told me that she heard how nice I was from the ladies in the baby room, which made me feel great. She talked to me every morning at drop off about all kinds of stuff, not only the kids. We got to know each other pretty well and she would fill me in on all kinds of behind the scenes gossip. Truman quickly became a star and everyone, from the director to the janitor, knows him by name. He walks in like he owns the joint!
When Grant was born, Truman left daycare for the duration of my maternity leave. In that time he turned two, so he would no longer be in the Monkey room with Mary all day upon his return. Eight weeks flew by in a blink, and now I was leaving a tiny baby all over gain, in addition to leaving a two year old who got used to being home with his Momma. Double drama. I walked Truman to Miss Edna’s class for 2 and 3 year olds on his first day back and felt the same way I did leaving him in the Monkey room. The kids looked huge, there were so many of them and it seemed they would eat my baby alive. He cried. I cried.
I dropped Grant off in the infant room, where he would be in Sandy’s care, since Seritya and Miriam were no longer working there. I had very little fear about leaving Grant there. Sandy was sweet and funny, and put me at ease immediately. I took my time, I fed him and snuggled with him that first morning, and every morning for the first two months and he has adapted wonderfully. Truman took two days to get back into the swing of things, and now LOVES going to school. He comes home with knowledge that astounds me. He sings songs I didn’t know he knew, recognizes letters and shapes that I didn’t know he could recognize. He counted to ten by himself when I thought he only knew a few numbers here and there. He talks about his teachers constantly and hugs them every time he sees them.
We are getting ready to leave Nevada and will have to start this whole process over again in Michigan. I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to the wonderful ladies who care for my babies every day. I have a little anxiety about finding a new place, but no where near what I’ve felt in the past. I firmly believe that the good humans outnumber the bad humans in this world. We worry about poor care, when poor care givers are actually quite rare. While leaving your babies is sad, it is also necessary for some of us. With a little research and careful selection, daycare providers can become a very positive part of your child’s life!