We hit a big milestone this week: D's first day of preschool!
Now D isn't quite 3 yet, but he's definitely very ready for a new environment. Let me tell you a bit of my saga.
I went back to work 6 weeks after D was born. At the time I taught from 8:45-12:15 so I was barely part-time. I also had the opportunity to leave him in the loving arms of my good friend Mary. She watched him like he was her own, held him when he was fussy and even bought him extra diapers when I forgot to pack enough. After about a couple months, my brother came to watch my son. I was afraid it would turn out awful (he was a 24 years old at the time) it was anything but. My brother developed a bond with his only nephew that is so special. He read mommy blogs to learn more about mid-day napping, feedings, and diaper changing. Then at the end of that school year I had 2 and a half months off! It was the perfect first year.
At 1 year old, I began teaching full-time. I had an ok babysitter who enjoyed D. The year was taxing with several students with severe needs but manageable. Summer couldn't come soon enough.
The following year D went back to the same sitter and my very first day back to work she spanked him. Yep. That's right. I should mention that we live far from any family that could help. My parents live 2,500 miles away and my mother in law about an hour. So we've kind of always been on our own out here. Anyway, after the spanking incident (and much crying and cursing) I called the sitter to talk it out. I very firmly stated she was not to spank my son ever (ever, EVER) again because he's not yours (duh). Thankfully, D was talking more and I was fairly certain he'd tell me if anything was going on.
Unfortunately, the year that followed was full of phone calls for the most ridiculous reasons.
D bit a child when he was in the playroom alone. (Why aren't you watching a 2 year old?)
D pulled all the VHS tapes out of the cupboard when he was in the playroom alone. (Same response as above.)
I don't know what's gotten into him. He used to be our favorite. (I'm sorry, what? File this in Things Not to Say to a Parent)
D has a runny nose. (As children do.)
It's still runny. (Yep.)
A parent said she kept her kids home because of his runny nose.
My response to the last was that if that was true it was the dumbest thing I'd ever heard. At that point, I'd taken D to the doctor, had the doctor write a note stating that t was just a runny nose and that he wasn't sick, and had even sent extra boxes of tissue (passive aggressive, I know). I basically said unless the mother was a doctor, I didn't want to hear it.
I was pretty much receiving these complaints 3-5 times a week while I was at work. The stress of having that each day became overwhelming and I knew he couldn't go back. I had already chosen where he would go when he was old enough and finally in May I was able to confirm his spot at our University's Child Development Center.
Two days in, and he loves it. He is a super active almost 3 year old and needs constant engagement. This does the trick. They are painting, building, playing, exploring, singing, and learning all the time. I did some field work there as a student and am so thrilled to have my son in their program with a teacher who a) is watching him all the time and b) is giving him new and enriching experiences. It makes my heart so happy to see him happy and the peace of mind at work is priceless. Especially when you are trying to do the same for other people's children!
Have you ever had a bad babysitter or childcare experience?