Last Day of Daycare

Lexi And William,

You just finished your last day of daycare and your hormonal mom is a tid bit emotional, very similar to your first day, but for very different reasons.

Growing up, I always had a negative connotation of daycare. Most of my cousins and my friends grew up with stay at home moms and the kids that did go to daycare weren’t always the most well-behaved. I’m sure there were other reasons for this, but I had always made the connection that it was because they went to daycare (I know, not very logical!)

So when the time came for you to both go to daycare I really struggled. Lexi was 2.5 and very shy, timid and reserved and I was so worried about her feeling abandoned and lost and not being able to make friends. William was 4 months and was just sad he wasn’t going to get to bond with Daddy in the same way Lexi did.

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My fears about Lexi were spot on. She experienced all of those things and would scream and cry every morning before leaving. There was bribery and me trying to distract her on the ride there (airplanes in the sky, the tunnel, trains, and lots of listening to twinkle twinkle) to help make the situation better. I set up playdates outside of school so she could become more comfortable with friends in her class. After many talks with the teachers, we figured out she really struggled in the transition moments–going from group time to activity time or to lunch time and pinned it down to her not knowing what to do in those moments and probably feeling lost and confused. As a result, every night we reviewed our day from the beloved daily connect app to look at all the fun she had and review what her schedule looked like each day. We also talked about it every morning on the ride in to help her learn what to expect at each moment throughout the day. In general, I felt like it was a pretty tough transition and took several months.

However, after that transition, some amazing things started to happen. Lexi started to recognize her name and then she could spell it and then she could write it. She started to make friends on her own and discovered her love for art projects. Her confidence grew, she learned how to tell stories, participated in group time, talked to people she didn’t know and learned about complex things for a 4-year-old like symmetry, ecosystems and the world’s wonders. And William, your time spent there was different, but it will impact you in different ways. You know how to stand up for yourself and don’t let other kids push your around. You’re independent and insist on doing everything yourself as that is really what the teachers encourage. You can put your pants/shorts/shoes on and off by yourself, do really really well drinking from cups and using adult silverware and kicking and throwing balls.

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Not only did you both thrive, I loved having you be so close to me throughout the day. Being able to nurse William instead of pump was a Godsend. I loved the lunch dates I had with Lexi. As maddening as it was some days, majority of the time, I loved spending 2 extra hours with you in our car rides. You would tell me about your days, what made you happy and sad, what you learned about or the books you read and would often play games like ‘I spy’ and ‘Is this a truth or a lie?’

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The teachers you had were so amazing and dedicated. They did such a great job of pairing up personalities to have one teacher that is a little more firm and lays the law down with another who is a little more affectionate to play to the different things you need throughout the day.

Overall, I’ve realized that daycare can be an amazing thing and you have both learned and developed in ways that you never would have at home and am so grateful for the wonderful experience we all had.

Onto out next phase which I’m sure will bring equally amazing opportunities

Love,

Mama

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First Day of Daycare

To my two little munchkins,

Today was your first day of daycare and you two blew away my expectations. To say I was nervous was a complete understatement. I was nervous about waking both of you up in the morning and how difficult it was going to be to get out the door. You both woke up super cheerful and were cooperative in getting ready and out the door. The drive in was a little long as there was some bad traffic due to an accident, but the carpool lane was A-Mazing and reduced our ride in by at least 15 minutes. I will gladly take that perk!

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Once we arrived to school, we dropped William off with his teachers and Lexi was very shy, just looking at the floor and hugging giraffee and not really talking, which is what made me so nervous.

Lexi, you are such a shy, sweet and timid little girl I was scared you were going to be terrified that I was leaving you alone, that you wouldn’t make any friends and would get plowed over by the more aggressive kids as I’ve seen happen at parks or with other kids. I was literally a blubbery mess all morning while dropping you off. You totally blew my socks off with how brave you were and how quickly you adjusted. Initially, you clung to my leg a little but you got comfortable really quick and were OK while I left to go check on William.

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Little William, although you are my little baby, I was only worried a pinch about you. You are such a happy and content little dude, I knew the teachers would love listening to you talk and die over you huge and frequent smiles. I was a little nervous about how you would do with the sleeping as we have been swaddling you for the past 4 months and they aren’t allowed to swaddle at daycare and you can get pretty worked up if you’re over tired. Fortunately, you did great and will just need to slowly ease into the new sleeping arrangements. Also, I need to mention how awesome it is to get messages throughout the day letting me know what you’re doing and when you’re hungry and I can just come down and feed you and then head back. I’m really hoping you start to get on a more regular routine so I can block my calendar to come down and feed and not have to pump! When I came down to feed you the first time, you saw me and instantly lit up and gave me a huge smile and it was the best feeling ever. It was just the reassurance I needed after I had been a nervous and crying ball of emotions for the past 4 hours.

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No exaggeration here. After I dropped you both off and went to my car, I sat and tried to make myself presentable but kept welling with tears at every thought of you two kiddos. I finally managed to walk into the office, only to well up 7 more times as I thought about you or someone asked how I was doing. Honestly, couldn’t even get words out. So I went downstairs, got a mint hot chocolate, my fav., and worked on this post until I was able to feed William.

After feeding William, I peeked on Lexi quick and she saw me and excitedly yelled, ‘MAMA!’ came over and gave me a big hug and was jumping up and down and telling me all the fun she was having, which again made me feel 1000 times better. After a quick hug, Lexi sat down for lunch waved goodbye and were as happy as could be.

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Those were just the interactions and reassurance I needed to help relieve some of my anxiety and quit becoming a puddle of tears.

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The end of the day was just as good. Lexi was overjoyed to see me and was bursting with energy for the rest of the evening talking about the fun things she did.

I pray that tomorrow and the next several days go as well as today did.

Love,

Mama