Daniel has been in daycare full time for 2 weeks as of today. We think it’s going well. We still have teary drop-offs in the morning, and Daniel wants me to carry him to his room. The teachers have been great about distracting him, though, and I’m sure that a minute or two after I leave, he’s fine. He still keeps asking to see “Ama” in the morning, but I respond by talking to him about all the fun things he will do at “school.” He’s learning the names of his classmates and his teachers tell me that he’s starting to be a little free with his hands and bumping into his classmates intentionally (too much Thomas and “bashing” perhaps!), all signs that reassure me that he is starting to feel comfortable there. He even asked to go to school on Saturday! Here are a few other things I like about daycare so far:
- Lunch. Our daycare doesn’t provide lunch, so we have to send it. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked that because did I really need another task in the evening? I can barely make my own lunch every day. However, I really like that we pack his lunch now. I like having control over what he eats and y’all, he’s eating it too! Veggie puffs! Ham and cheese wraps! Wheat crackers! Yippee!
- Naps. Daniel is starting to nap again in the afternoons. I don’t know if they blow ether in the room at nap time, but it’s working. He may not nap every day or for the entire time, but more often than not, he’s napping. It’s a great development because now we aren’t as rushed and stressed in the evenings, and he’s less prone to meltdowns.
- Vocabulary. It seems impossible, but I swear Daniel’s vocabulary and speech have improved over the last two weeks. He is using more complex sentences, and his speech is clearer.
- Less time in the car. Our previous commute was 1.5 hours every day, and Daniel spent all of that in the car with me. It takes me 15 minutes to get from our house to daycare in the morning and then 15 minutes from daycare to our house in the afternoons, so he spends an hour less in the car each day. The drive to and from daycare is also scenic, so it must be nicer to see houses and yards instead of asphalt and cars. Plus, there’s less opportunity for mommy to swear at the other drivers.
- Me time in the car. I now have almost an hour to myself in the car each day. Before, I met my MIL in the parking lot at work for pick up and drop off and had to immediately segue way from mommy to employee or employee to mommy. Now I have time to transition mentally. While the time is nice in the morning, I really appreciate it in the afternoon when I desperately need to decompress before putting on my mommy hat.
- Starbucks. Really. There previously wasn’t a Starbucks easily accessible to me on my way to work. Most of the time, that was ok, but sometimes I really want a decent latte. There just so happens to be a Starbucks 2 minutes away from daycare. I can hit the drive thru and be on my way to work in minutes!
So, yeah, the first two weeks have gone well.
Now for something spooky…Until recently, every time I asked Daniel who he played with at daycare, he said the same name. I thought it was a little bizarre because I didn’t see a cubby with that child’s name on it in his classroom, but he was so consistent that I doubted he was making it up. Then one afternoon at pick-up, I heard one of the teachers call a child that name. He does exist! It turns out that the child used to be in Daniel’s class but moved up the same time Daniel started. Apparently he is in Daniel’s class at drop-off and pick-up. I didn’t think anything more about it other than being glad he wasn’t imaginary until last weekend.
We took Daniel to the bounce house yesterday, and all of a sudden, it clicked. That child at daycare, the first child whose name Daniel learned, is the child in foster care we met on our last visit to the bounce house. The child whose phone number I wish I had gotten. I couldn’t believe it, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was correct.
Wow. What a small world. Sometimes when you throw something out into the universe, the universe answers.