A few months ago, I started to feel like Elliott needed a change. He had been attending, twice a week, the same home based daycare since he was 6 months old. We kept him there even after I was laid off from my job. We loved the caregiver and over the last 2 years–he has blossomed and learned all of the basics of toddlerhood.
As his 3rd birthday approached and his energy levels took another step up, we realized that he was ready for a change. He needed a place with more kids (and different ones), and a space that had more room to run around. We also wanted him to be closer to home, as his previous daycare was 15 miles east of our home. Now that I stay home, all the unnecessary driving was beginning to take its toll on me. It also disrupted Spencer’s nap schedule as he would always fall asleep in the car on the way there and on the way home.
There is a preschool that many of the Stroller Stride Mom’s in our neighborhood send their wee-ones, so we checked it out. Of course, we loved it and Elliott started this morning. I think I was way more nervous than he was. I was totally worried we were going to be late and felt the stress of having to get my kids somewhere on time. It was a preview of what is to come when they are both in school. Arrgghhhh.
We did a quick walk through of the school on Friday so that both my hubby and Elliott could have visibility of the toys and expectations. And so that everyone was on the same page verbally about what the school had. The drop off this morning went great. He was nervous and clingy for about 10 minutes and I stayed with him during that time. Then he started to get curious and was looking around the room himself, testing some of the toys out. Next thing you know…I was kissing him goodbye and leaving my sweet first born son all on his own at his big urban preschool.
I was loading Spencer in the car seat and I saw Elliott running in the play yard from tricycle to bike. He was clearly so excited about each toy that he couldn’t decide what to play on first. When I picked him up a few hours later he was playing happily with another boy, totally engrossed in the cars and the car ramp.
He ran up to me, gave me a big smile and a huge hug. He seemed to enjoy his day! His teacher gave me the art he completed that day, and we said our thanks and goodbyes. I only wish that he stayed there longer. His previous daycare was 8-4pm!
I feel like this is our first big milestone. It is bittersweet for me. I want him to learn and grow, to become more independent and confident, and to experience other kids and various teaching styles. But, our jobs as parents are also to coddle and nurture our children as well as ensure they aren’t growing up to quickly. I am excited, based on this first day, that he seems to have adjusted well. I feel like that speaks to his personality and his self confidence. Only time will tell how it turns out.