This week, my boys made the transition from the home day care they’d been at the past year to a day care center. Big change for us all. We went from a place with just one or two other kids to 30 and I was really nervous about how the whole transition would go. Would the boys feel safe? comfortable? would they get the love and attention they need with so many other kids needing the same thing from their caregivers and finally, would I be able to handle making them lunches every day?
I was having more than my fair share of anxiety over the whole thing but we are slowly figuring things out. There is definitely a lot more to remember but it seems like the boys are adjusting well. My 4 year old has been excited to go for weeks now and he dove right into the setting and structure right away. This is a far cry from the timid little 3 year old that cried every day for months when I dropped him off in the mornings.
My 2 year old was a bit of a harder sell. He loves having his Mama around but even more so, he adores and needs his big brother around. The center they go to now is split into to halves and thankfully, both boys are on the same side so they do get to see each other during the day and can play together during free time but Mr. O. wasn’t as happy when the kids broke off into different age groups and he couldn’t play with his brother. It made me sad to think of him without his favorite person but at the same time, I know it’s good for him to get used to being without his brother. We’ll see how he does in the coming weeks.
Part of being at a daycare center is that I now have the choice of whether to pack a lunch for them or pay for the center lunches. Though I was very tempted to pay the extra fee and not have to think about it, part of me wanted to take on this task myself. One of the first things I became painfully aware of was how many products in my house are nut-based or may have come into contact with nuts. Both are absolute no-nos at daycare (and most school I imagine) so this was definitely a challenge for me. I’m not balking at the rule by any means. As a parent, I’d want absolute assurance that if my child had allergies, that every possible precaution was taken to protect them.
Thankfully, my first attempt was a success!! Not only did the kids like their lunches (with the exception of the veggies, which Mr. O. predictably neglected to eat), the staff commented that I packed very good, colourful lunches for them. Swish! Now to see if I can keep this up for the next two months until I go on maternity leave again.
Your Turn: Did you have to switch your kids’ childcare? How did everyone manage the change? What was the hardest part for you?