Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Daycare ch-ch-ch-changes

R's last day at his current daycare is tomorrow. This change has been sort of traumatic for me and I don't really want to write about it yet, but I've left daycare in tears every night this week. I think I need to cry it out tonight so I'm not a complete, ugly-crying mess tomorrow. So here it goes...

As you may or may not recall, W's first babysitter dumped us with almost no notice and without giving any reasons when I was eight months pregnant with R (and, no, I never did find out what happened there. She and her husband divorced a few months after that (and it went through my court. Ha!), and if I ever run into her ex I plan to pump him for information because I STILL wonder about what I did to cause that). I was super pregnant, hysterical, and panicked about finding a new sitter because I didn't have any time to take off due to my upcoming maternity leave and my inability to go any significant period of time without a paycheck. So finding daycare immediately was essential. A law school friend suggested that his center might be taking new kids, so we checked it out. It ended up working out nicely.

I still remember visiting for the first time. I hadn't told J, the owner, over the phone about being pregnant because my friend told me there probably weren't any infant spots available for R when he was born. I didn't want to jeopardize my chances of getting W in, though, so I kept my mouth shut. I figured this would be a temporary solution and I could spend some time really looking for a good daycare option during my maternity leave. As long as W could start there less than a week later, I didn't care. One of the first things J said to me that day was, "Oh. I didn't know you were expecting..." Luckily for us, she bought my pre-rehearsed "I can move him in three months, please, please, please let him come here on Monday!" speech. Even luckier, she ended up with room for R. I found out the day I was induced, and I was ecstatic.

The boys and I were very fortunate with this daycare center. It's a small place, with about 20 kids and 6 adults, and everyone became like family. The women who work there love my kids like their own, and it shows. I know all the other kids and parents. There are only a handful of kids still at the center who are older than W, so I've really watched all of these kids grow up. Not saying hi to them every day is going to be hard. Not knowing for sure that R's new teachers are going to love him like he's their nephew/grandson is going to be hard. Taking R away from his little girlfriend/best bud is going to be hard (he's going to miss her so much).

I moved W to a new daycare in February because it specializes in kids with sensory processing issues and sounded incredibly beneficial for him (it has been). Pulling W was difficult, but I was fairly confident in my decision because the new center promised so much for him, and I knew that I'd still be taking R to the current place every day. This is much different. You see, I'm NOT entirely sure this move is best for R. He's doing pretty well in his current place; he's really starting to come into his own there. He has friends there. He loves his teachers. Even though I love the place, I've been wanting to move R for a couple of months for (what feels like) purely selfish reasons. Our total daycare cost is going to drop by $20 a month (hey, savings is savings); my morning and evening commutes will be reduced by approximately 20 minutes; I won't have to make two stops twice a day; and I won't have to keep track of two separate sets of customs, rules, and expectations. The plan was to move R when I got the job I interviewed for (and didn't get) because then I would have a good reason to move him - our current center would be WAY out of the way and no one could justify keeping their kid there under those circumstances. I'm not sure what, but something finally made me pull the trigger last week. I think I was just so fed up with the extra drive time, the extra traffic, the extra construction, and the extra stops. Whatever it was, I told J we were moving R. And I've been regretting it ever since.

I keep thinking this must be a a bad idea because I can't even think about the move without crying. This is so HARD for me, and I can't quite pinpoint why.* R is going to be fine. He will adjust fine, he'll make new friends, and he'll have teachers who love him just as much as his current ones do. Actually, since the new place has in-house speech therapy, R will actually be getting the speech eval he's had an order for since April...I haven't done anything with it because I hardly have any time off accrued (curse you, Crappy Health Year!) and can't sacrifice two or three hours a week to get him to and from speech appointments, particularly when work, daycare, and providers are all in different cities and the driving alone takes up over an hour and a half. This move has also prompted me to get him more of his vaccinations that he's still behind on. One more round of shots in a month, and my kid will be fully vaccinated for the first time in his life. Woo!

So. Tomorrow is R's last day. It's going to be awful. I'm going to miss that place so much. I devoted much time and mental anguish to figuring out the gifts to give R's current teachers. I wanted something special, but not terribly expensive. I finally decided on taking breakfast for the workers, writing each a nice card (six cards took me an hour and much, much sobbing to write), and giving each a set of magnets the boys painted (idea stolen from here).

Mommy gets crafty!
They turned out cute, and were actually really easy to make, though I did learn that writing a backwards 2 is far more difficult than anticipated. Methinks I have a Christmas present for the bazillion teachers at the new daycare I'm supposed to buy presents for...

Anyway, I'm also giving the owner a book for the center and a stone sculpture thing from a local artist. I was thinking about a restaurant gift card, but that felt too impersonal. J has a bunch of these sculpture things already, so I'm hoping that means she likes them, not just that clueless parents *ahem ME* give them to her all the time. If not, I just look like a jerk. No biggie.

And that's my story. But I don't think I cried enough writing this to make sure I'm not a bawling mess tomorrow. Catharsis FAIL.

* Small update. Since typing that line a bit ago, I've discovered that a certain visitor decided to arrive early this month. That explains soooooooo much of the past week.

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