more rambling – childcare update

Hard to believe it’s been almost 6 months since The Babysitter of the Year told us she was quitting. Closing. Whatever.  That was truly one of the hardest things we’ve been through as parents.  Stressful. Unexpected. Struck fear in my heart and opened me up to a world of uncertainties and insecurities.  On July 1st, we took them both to a new in-home sitter and on August 7, Theo started attending Montessori pre-school three days a week.  

How’s it going? 
It’s going …. good.  The transition was hard and it took longer than I expected but I can say confidently now that things are good.  Am I glad now that it happened this way?  Not necessarily, no.  The boys still miss her. I miss her. I miss her kid. The boys still talk about her.  The current situation is that Dexter goes to the new sitter every day and Theo goes there on Mondays and Fridays.  Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday he is at school.  Not too long ago, after a day at the sitter, Theo was going on and on about his day and the fun that he’d had.  I asked him if he liked school and he said yes.  I asked him if he liked the new sitter and he said yes.  I felt my heart grow warmer as a peace settled over me.  Then, like a moron, I asked him if he had to choose, where he would go every single day. 
He paused, and then said “I would go back to E’s because that’s the best place for me.  I know that’s the best place for me.”  
And then my heart about shattered into a million pieces.  Months later, he’s still missing her and wishing he could go back.  Me too, son.  That’s not to say that I don’t love his school.  I do. We do.  We all love his school.  His teacher loves him and has great things to say about his growth there.  I have noticed him growing up, acting older, since he started there.  I don’t know if that’s always a good thing, but I guess it was bound to happen one way or the other. I do believe that it’s been good for him to be the youngest kid instead of the oldest.  He’s learning about social cues and rules and expectations.  He’s growing more independent.  It’s been amazing to watch him change in a short time.  But it’s still sad.  
Theo was having some behavior issues before this transition and I now deeply believe that it was due to being the oldest and possibly under-stimulated.  E suspected this and told me this the day she said she was closing.  I didn’t want to hear it but the simple truth is that he’s had a handful (or less) of issues since the switch.  Because of Theo’s wacky antics, I really thought if anyone was going to struggle, it’d be him.  He can be downright rigid and stubborn and I knew how attached he was to her. I can only assume that Theo’s ability to verbalize his thoughts and feelings helped him in a way that Dexter was not able to process. 
Dexter really struggled more (visibly) than Theo and much more than I expected.  There was a lot of crying every day at dropoff, clinging to me, and not wanting to go. Crying on the way there and begging not to go.  Saying he didn’t like it there. Crying when I picked him up.  I spent quite a few of my drives to work in tears myself, thinking THIS SUCKS.  Stomachaches, wishing for nothing more than to be a stay at home mom.  I have nothing but kind words for the two ladies that care for him, but it’s not the same personal experience that we had with E.  As soon as things started to settle initially, Theo started going to school and we had to go through a transition all over again.  The roughest part lasted about two months. But now here we are, almost 5 months into this and Dexter absolutely loves going there. 
This morning, on the way he says: 
No, that’s not J’s house.
No, that’s not J’s house.
No, that’s not J’s house.
No, that’s not J’s house. 
YAY! That’s J’s street!!
No, that’s not J’s house. 
No, that’s not J’s house. 
No, that’s not J’s house. 
YES! That’s J’s house!! 
I pulled in the driveway and reached into the back to unbuckle him from his seat and put his coat on before getting out of the warm, cozy car.  As soon as I unbuckled him, he hopped down from his seat and said:
That’s okay, I go in by myself. Have a good day, mommy!  
Excuse me, two year old child?  I think I will continue to walk him in for a little while longer.  Anyway, about 3 out of 5 days a week I don’t even get a hug from him because he’s too busy running off to play with his friends and doesn’t have time for me. I’ll totally take that over the alternative.
xo,
~C~

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