You all know that I talk to my neighbors a lot... I like to pick people's brains and learn from them... One of my neighbors takes her 2 year old to an at-home daycare down the street and she has just been raving about it and how great it is... blah blah blah... so I checked into it. I'm still waiting to hear back officially from Coffees Of Hawaii about the job so I may or may not be needing regular day-care, but I wanted to be ready if it turns out I'm going to be working part time outside my home.
ANYWAY, on Monday I took Moana over to the gal's house. Her name is Kirsten and she used to be a pre-school teacher before she had her own daughter and started her at home day-care business. She is awesome. And to say that it went well on Monday would be an understatement. Moana and I just hung out there for maybe an hour... The other kids are all just a little older than Moana and seemed like really good happy kids. And Moana fit right in. In fact, after about 40 minutes of chatting with Kirsten and watching the kids play outside in her yard, I said to Moana, "Ok. You ready to go home?" She looked at me briefly and then shook her head and said in her sweet little voice, "No."
I left there thinking that this could be a really good situation... I felt good about allowing Moana the chance to socialize with other kids and thought that even if I wasn't working, letting her hang out there once a week would be a win win for everyone. So I talked to Scott about it and we decided that I could bring Moana once a week for now.
So today was the big day. Moana's first day in day care! I took her over in the morning and immediately she started just doing whatever the other kids were doing. Playing with puzzles, washing hands, eating breakfast, running around outside... it was super cute! I told Kirsten that I would stay until it seemed like Moana was really comfortable, though in actuality, Moana was comfortable within about 10 seconds of entering Kirsten's home. I still stayed for about 45 minutes. I don't even think Moana noticed when I finally left!
I drove away and thought that I should feel guilty or something- ditching my kid like that at this woman's house... but you know what? I didn't feel guilty at all! Moana was clearly very happy, and now I had 6 whole hours all to myself to do whatever I wanted!! The freedom was such a unique feeling.
So of course the first thing I did was go ride my bike (I've got the tan/burn lines on my back to prove it!). Then I spent the next 3 hours scouring my whole house. I mean seriously, when is a stay-at-home mom supposed to clean the toddler's bathroom? That is not a task that can be done when said toddler is home. I can't remember the last time cleaned Moana's bathroom, but it's clean now! And I vacuumed. Upstairs. I cannot remember the last time I did that? And shh. Don't tell Scott... but I threw.stuff.out. My husband can be quite the pack rat and isn't a fan of me throwing stuff out. But I find it very therapeutic. Normally I cannot clean at a level that I did today because either Scott is home or else I'm chasing Moana around the house. But today was like sheer bliss- I was alone. In my own home. All afternoon! And now there is less stuff in my house. I swear Scott will never miss it.
So I went back to get Moana a little earlier than I needed to- just because I figured 9:00 to 4:00 was a long first day. I walked in the door at 3:30 expecting her to squeal and run right to me... but there she was, sitting at the table eating her snack with the other kids. She just kind of looked at me and smiled but then pretended I wasn't there. Might be some foreshadowing into what the high school years will be like? Like, um, mom, don't embarrass me here in front of my friends...
Anyway, I let her finish her snack and then asked her if she was ready to go home, to which she replied sweetly, "No."
Kirsten gave a glowing report about how she's been doing this for years and has never seen a kid adjust so well to day care. She said Moana just blended right in with the other kids and got the routine down right away. And then she said, "Boy, can she dance!" Apparently Moana was showing off her moves to impress her new little friends today. What a ham.
Moana and I both are looking forward to next Thursday. :)