July 29, 2009

Daycare Transition

PK starts daycare in less than 2 weeks. This week, I began her transition into the daycare. Normally this is done one week prior to the child starting there, but because I'm working part-time, I can only do it on my off days.

I managed to get PK to the daycare at around 9:30am, thanks to PK waking up early today (much to my dismay, I might add, as I was hoping to "sleep in" until 8am). Anyway, this timing worked out because it gives me an idea of how early I need to wake up to get her to daycare for 9am.

When we got to the daycare, we were greeted warmly. I was introduced to the caregivers in PK's classroom. The staff are very nice there, and gave me tons of information. The day is fairly structured, with singing, crafts, and naptime. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided. Technically I don't even need to feed PK breakfast before I leave. That being said, I'd feel kind of guilty dumping her at daycare without getting to spend quality time with her in the morning. I guess I'll have to play this one by ear.

I was rather impressed with the level of hygeine there. The caregivers wipe the change station after a diaper change, and use gloves to change the diapers. They even wash their hands after disposing of the diaper. Adults aren't allowed in the classrooms with outdoor shoes on, and I noticed that at least one of the caregivers changed into a different set of clothes and into a pair of Crocs when she arrived there for work. Naps are twice a day, and they go out for walks on a daily basis. A menu of the foods given to the kiddies are made available to the parents, and parents are given a daily report of how the kids ate and if any supplies need to be replenished (e.g. diapers, wipes, etc. - these are provided by the parents).

Overall the place looked good, but I couldn't help having this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I stood there watching PK play. This is it. It's the end of this phase in our lives. In less than two weeks, I'll be totally done with the stay-at-home mom gig, and will be fully into the working mom gig. The thought of that was just suffocating and awful. I wanted to cry. I DID cry, after we left the daycare. Even though PK's daycare is close to my workplace, I won't be there all the time. I won't be the one teaching her new things. I won't be the one with whom she'll spend most of her day. I will be a novelty. Now I know how the hubby feels when he leaves for work every morning.

I think that this daycare thing ends up being harder on the parents than it is on the kiddies. I'm sure PK will be a bit weirded out by it initially as well, but she'll probably get used to it before I do. I'm just glad that my mom will have her for one day a week (we had to reduce it down from 2 days a week since it's too tiring on my mom and she messed up her achilles heel, making walking quite painful). It's hard to wake up early when my mom takes care of PK, but they have such a great time together that it's so worth it. This bonding time is important. There is something so special about grandmothers. I think of my own grandmother when I see them together and I really hope that their bond is as special as mine was with my maternal grandmother.

So back to the daycare thing. I have a few more transition visits before PK starts daycare, the next one being on Friday. That day, I leave her at the daycare for a whole hour without my being there. Yikes! I hope she has a good time while I'm away. I've never left her with strangers before. We'll see how that goes. Wish us luck!

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