Cubby is 22 months now and almost 2 years old. You can definitely see the changes in her. She is active, running everywhere, laughing really loud, saying “NO!” to everything, adventurous, daring, and inquisitive. She really is a lot of fun right now (not that she wasn’t before. LOL!). Cubby climbs up and down the stairs, goes down the slide at the park, hates the swings, loves playing “catch me” where you chase after her, enjoys reading books, dancing and singing, and … is still not the best eater. She is a bit over 22 months and weighs between 19 and 20 lbs on a good day. Getting Cubby to eat has been my one ongoing challenge. She has done better as my mom and my mother in law have been watching her since September so she will for the most part eat with them. When it comes to Cubby and I one on one, it is a standoff to get her to eat. I finally got her drinking some chocolate almond milk and when I say drinking, I mean maybe 10 sips out of the straw.
The moms have done such a great job with Cubby since they have been watching her. She has blossomed into the little busy bee that she is today. However, I can see that the more active Cubby is getting, the more tired the moms are at the end of the day. In the past few months, there have been some health related issues with both moms (eye surgery and severe arthritis in the thumb) making it difficult for them to watch her. My husband and I have been discussing Cubby’s care and felt really bad that it is taking a toll on both moms (although they never complain). Also, as Cubby hits her “terrible two’s” just around the corner, it will be good for her to be around other children her age and have a structured day at day care.
About a month ago, my husband and I started looking into day care centres in the area and visiting them. There were some really good ones and some not-so-great ones. And boy are they expensive! We finally decided on one that we could both agree upon and took Cubby there for a visit. She enjoyed her time and lasted about 20 minutes without us while we toured the facility (which hopefully is a good sign!). My husband and I watched Cubby play and interact with the other children and not look back at us and we both actually had tears in our eyes! When did this happen, we thought? When did she get so big? I made a mental note: Cubby is never going to school far from home, and she is not living on campus. I don’t think I could deal with the separation anxiety! (Haha, she will probably kill me when she is older for saying that.) Moving on, so we signed the day care forms, dropped off a deposit and are anxiously awaiting her first day: May 21, 2013. I am so nervous. I really like the day care centre, I love her classroom, the teachers are great and the menu/food seems wholesome and nutritional. But, like any other parent, I am worried about her eating enough at day care, sleeping when she is supposed to be sleeping, contracting illnesses, and if she falls and has an accident. I know that these things are all a part of life and growing up, but Cubby has lead a pretty sheltered, almost spoiled life up until this point with constant one-on-one attention. It will be a big change for her and us, but I think it will be better in the end. (I hope so!)
I have donned my organizational hat again and I have been busy getting stuff ready for her for day care. I already ordered the cutest SkipHop owl backpack to put her things in. I want her to be excited and think happy thoughts about school when she sees her owl school bag.
I have been reading her a Dora the Explorer book about going to school/preschool for about 2 months now to introduce the concept of school and what happens there. My mom has been prepping her about what she will do at school and how her day will go. She knows the word school, although when we say “Cubby are you ready to go to school?”, she always replies “No!”.
I ordered the Camp Combo from Mabel’s Labels, which consists of labels (2 sizes), shoe labels, labels for clothing and 2 bag tags all adorned with an adorable little cat and her name. (See example below) http://www.mabelslabels.com/products/limited+edition+camp+combo She will be so excited when she sees her name on everything! I already put a bag tag on her backpack, so we will know that it is hers.
I think that I am physically prepared for her to go to a class of 15 children, but I don’t know if I will ever be mentally prepared. I know that this is just one of many milestones to come in Cubby’s life. I know the other ones will be a lot harder to deal with than this one!
For you experienced moms out there, any other tips for transitioning your child to day care?