Today is Ryan’s last day in his first daycare.
He’ll get to hang out with Grandma for a couple of weeks and then he’ll start someplace new.
We know it’s the best decision, the right decision. Now that we’ve moved to a new house, we needed a daycare that was closer to home. And this new one has the all-important good vibe. (And it’s a little cheaper, which certainly doesn’t hurt.)
But I’m struggling with the switch for one main reason… We are essentially eliminating more than half of the most important people in his life right now – his teachers.
I am trying not to think of it that way… but it’s true. We don’t live near family, so the people he sees most, day in and day out, are his parents and his three daycare teachers. He loves them. (Sometimes he even prefers them to us.)
He doesn’t know or care that they’re not family. To him, they are. They rock him to sleep when he’s exhausted. They get excited when he eats three helpings of blueberry pancakes. They laugh at the fact that he thinks finger-painting is gross.
They know his “I want Cheerios” whine and that sometimes a big sippy cup of milk is the only way to snap him out of a bad mood. They know he hates noodles and loves beans and sometimes will only eat lunch if he’s spoon-fed. They know he loves to swing outside, in the fresh air.
I try to remind myself that he would be leaving them soon anyway. That he’s outgrown the infant room and is on the verge of being whisked off to the other side of the daycare to be with kids his age. That if we have to switch him, now is the perfect time to do it. When he’s about to make a change regardless. Before he’ll truly be aware that it’s happening. Before he’ll remember.
But that might be the saddest part. That he won’t remember any of it. That he won’t remember how these ladies, for the past 9 months, have worried about his ear infections, have tried over and over to get him to nap better, and have probably taught him a whole host of stuff we don’t realize he knows.
I’ve even heard one of them tell him she loves him. That one has asked if she can babysit him occasionally when we need a date night (to which I answered, “Um, YES PLEASE.”) And I know the other two love him, too, and are going to miss him. The greatest gift you can give a parent is to love their kid, and so we realize how incredibly blessed we’ve been to have these people in his life.
I’m just glad I’m not the one picking him up today, for the last time. (Sorry, Mike.)