After W's first full week at daycare, I think I'm ready to pronounce the whole thing a success.
He's doing well. Really well. He doesn't really cry when I leave in the morning, and when he does, he's done before I even get to my car. He and the owner always stand at the big picture window and wave bye-bye to me as I drive away. It's super cute.
He loves all the other kids, and apparently really likes to play with the "big boys." The majority of the kids at the center are in the 2.5-4 range, so all are slightly older than W. There are a couple of girls his age, but no boys. So W plays with the big boys. He chatters to them, runs around with them outside, and generally tries his hardest to keep up with them. Which leaves him exhausted by the end of the day. I mean, the kid took a FOUR HOUR NAP last week! Anyone or anything that can get such an extensive nap out of him must be wearing him out.
He has some eating issues his first few days, but seems to have gotten past those. He was hardly eating anything, which I attributed to his little world being all shaken up pretty suddenly. I finally got to the grocery store this weekend, so I took a few things in for him that I know he loves (oatmeal, yogurt, and yogurt-covered raisins). Even without that stuff, though, he's been eating better. The owner wasn't there for his first few days (apparently this was the first time she's ever left the center for a week), but she's been better than the other woman about giving him snacky-type things than actual meals. What can I say, the kid's a snacker, not a meal-eater. That's how I survived until I had to become a grown-up who has to eat real meals at scheduled times, so I'm not entirely surprised W eats like that, too.
The adjustment has gotten better for me, too. I've decided that I like the whole center concept. There are so many things I don't have to worry about any more. Like getting a text message at 7:00 AM telling me that the sitter's kids are sick and W can't come, or rushing to get to the sitter's immediately after work (today, I stopped at the grocery store before I picked W up. It was awesome), or screwing around with tax crap, or having to do tons of extra laundry because the sitter changed W's clothes multiple times a day (he hasn't come home in a different outfit than he arrived in yet). The only thing I was really sad about was not getting the random pictures texted to me, and the owner actually sent me one the other day. It made me smile.
All in all, this really was a great move for W. He already seems to be thriving in the daycare setting. And I'm already getting sad that we're likely going to have to find a new place for him and the baby before I go back to work after maternity leave. I know something will work out (hopefully in the direction of this center being able to take both boys), but the thought of making another change makes me sad. I knew this was coming when I enrolled W there, but I didn't think both of us would like such a hastily-made decision so much.
And that's the childcare situation. I'm very pleased with it so far. Not having to deal with those too immature to professionally run a business is just an added bonus.