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.
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.
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?’
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