the daycare shuffle

Over the past week, Amy has transitioned from the toddler room to one of the “big kid” rooms at her daycare. It’s a pretty big step. They jump from a four-to-one ratio to an eight-to-one ratio, and when they go outside, they are in the big play area with four other classrooms, instead of in their own enclosure with the infants.

We were able to get her into a new class that they’ve just set up. One with eight kids instead of 16, and the teacher was one of Amy’s original caregivers when she was on the infant side, so she knows her. The daycare had to apply for a licensing variance, and it was accepted.

Friday was her first full day in her new class. It was a bit of an emotional drop-off, both for me and for Amy. She wanted to go into her own class and started crying when I took her into her new class (the doors are unfortunately five feet away from each other). I had gifts for her old teachers, women I truly care about, and I was feeling sad about the fact that they would no longer be part of Amy’s day.

I ended up leaving her with one of her old teachers, and she was going to take Amy to her new class. I left feeling a bit teary, but then got into work mode and mostly forgot about it. Early Friday afternoon (right before I went into a meeting), I got a call from Elliot’s daycare saying they had a space for Amy, as soon as I wanted it. The plan has always been to get Amy into the same daycare as Elliot, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen this fast. The timing really was terrible — if they’d called a couple of weeks ago I could have just left Amy in her old class, given my month’s notice, and then moved Amy on November 1st. I did call Amy’s daycare to see if she could move back for a month, but it would affect too many kids. It was a long shot.

So Greg and I were left with a few choices: don’t take the spot, and cross our fingers that another one would come up in the next six months (which is the timeline I was thinking of), take the spot, and transfer her on November 1, or take the spot and transfer her now.

Since we really want the kids in the same daycare, option 1 wasn’t really an option. Option 2 isn’t really fair to Amy — she’d be going through two transitions in a period of a month, and that would be hard on her. So we’ve decided to go with option 3 — move her now. It means we pay for two spots for her for a month, but in the end it’s just money.

We’ll be able to do a slow transition with her due to Greg’s current hiatus from work, which is good, we’ll be back to doing one drop-off, the kids will be in the same daycare, and the daycare is a few blocks from the school that Elliot will attend next year. So it’s all good…but I’ve been feeling pretty emotional about the whole thing.

I feel sad leaving the old daycare. We moved Elliot because he wasn’t happy, but they are a great group of women, and they truly care about our children. And it all feels very abrupt. I picked Amy up on Friday not really knowing for sure if it was going to be her last day. So I didn’t really say good bye. Nor did she, but in the world of a two-year-old, I think that only matters to her mother. Not to her. And then on the way home she kept telling me how happy she is in her new class. (I actually know she was a bit weepy in the morning, but most of the day was good.) I feel like I’m wrenching her away from a woman she knows, into a brand new place where she knows no one but her brother. And yes, that is what I’m doing, but better to do it now before she re-attaches herself to this teacher.

And I guess another part of it is that, despite the fact Elliot is doing well at his new daycare, I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about it. Yet. Greg has been doing most of the drop-offs, so I haven’t interacted with the teachers much, and whenever I do drop-off Elliot is pretty tentative (he’s not when Greg drops him off). But that will come. I just need to spend a bit more time there.

And I can’t forget what I told myself when we moved Elliot. If Amy isn’t happy at this new place, then we’ll do something different. But I’m crossing my fingers that this works out.