Last week M moved to a new daycare/preschool. After months of trying to decide if we should stay at the previous place – a brand new facility where M was one of the first kids to start but staff turnover was high as they got their footing – we finally decided to move to a Jewish-based* facility with great teacher tenure and education levels. We made the choice to switch a few months ago and in that time the old daycare got it’s act together and M had a wonderful teacher for her last couple of months. It was hard for us to leave “Miss C” as she and M had a great bond, but we knew the new place would provide a more stable atmosphere for M in the long run. Miss C was sad to see M go and got her a slew of good-bye gifts including a wheelie Dora backback which M loves. We made the staff cupcakes and got her teachers gifts as a way to show our appreciation; they were all very caring and affectionate towards M and we tried to make sure they knew we were leaving because of management issues, not teaching issues. Miss C has offered to babysit and we will be calling her soon.
Moving to a new daycare is nerve-wracking for both the kid and the parent so the new place has a “transition period” that takes place over the first week. Basically, the child is there for increasing amounts of time as the week progresses. Day one: 2 hours with parent in the room, Day two: 3 hours with parent still in building, Day three: 4 hours and parent can leave, etc. In theory this is a great idea as it made for a gradual and easy transition and M adapted very well to her new class without any fuss or crying at all. However, most people send their kids to daycare because they have to WORK and need childcare! So last week I burned about 24 hours of vacation time to accommodate this kooky phase-in. Luckily we had some extra work on the past two weekends so I earned about 16 hours of flex time or I would have used up even more vacation time, which is rapidly dwindling.
So between working both of last two weekends, shuttling between the new daycare, work and home the last week was crazy. But, I got to enjoy some fantastic one-on-one time with my 2-next-week girl and I truly enjoyed every last second of it. She has such an amazing personality; she runs full-tilt towards everything she does, laughs easily and talks my ear off. We had honest two-way conversations, sang songs, took excruciatingly slow walks around the neighborhood, finger-painted and colored, and had a grand time together. Weekends tend to go by too quickly and are full of tasks aimed at keeping the house from falling apart so having last week was a real joy.
Today, I got some bonus time. Since Ike still had some oomph left as it passed through last night the new daycare was without power and closed today. I had gone in to work early to get a jump start on the backlog of projects and got a call from Mark at 8 telling me the news. Since he has significantly less time off then I do, I was back home today playing with our girl.
I have without a doubt had a blast playing SAHM these last few days, but I know I have a load of work waiting for me at my office. I was in the office a few precious hours last week and tried to get some work done in the evenings. Maybe tomorrow I’ll actually be IN the office to do some of it. I’m grateful that I have a boss with two kids of her own and totally “gets it”. I’m going to miss the “M time” I’ve had but I’m ready to get back to a normal schedule.
*We’re not Jewish and it’s not a religious school but they do teach the culture and history including celebrating the holidays and welcoming the shabbat with challah and juice on Fridays.