Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Boy, Can She Dance!"

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. :)

13 comments:

Nitsirk said...

Good for you and for Moana. Jack loves daycare and I think it is so good for them to be with other kids. It's also good for you to get some alone time. I don't know how stay at home moms do it. You are awesome! I took today off from work and am sending Jack to daycare just so I can catch up on my house. Amazing what you can accomplish alone :)

Laura said...

Oh I'm so happy for you to have a day...I don't have one yet...but am so looking forward to doing something like that...In fact a really close friend took one look at me yesterday, and said you need to clean today don't you? (I clean to get all the crazy out!) Funny that's what Mum's do when they have time alone...get the workout done...and then CLEAN! I have to say the vacuum moves much easier without the 2 and 3 year old sitting on it! Hope it continues to go well!

cherelli said...

Oh that is awesome. One of my close friends is really struggling with the guilt of leaving her screaming, crying child at daycare while she works. What a relief that Moana is so adaptable - and obviously enjoys the larger dance audience :)

Kathy said...

What a great set up. You love hanging with your sweet little girl, but you're going to really love your Thursdays too, I predict.

Running and living said...

SO you have a well adjusted kid, securely attached. That speaks tons about what a great mother youa re. Daycare is usually harder on the moms, so you did great:)

Lizzie said...

I agree with 'running and living' - her character speaks a lot about how great you are! One of my best friends worked at a daycare and took her daughter there as soon as she could get her in. It worked out great for both of them, except the one day when her daughter got conjunctivitis and my friend only noticed it (getting more obvious) when she arrived at work. She had to drag a kicking and screaming baby back home who didn't care about her runny eyes and just wanted to play with the kids!! :) What a great set up for both of you!!

Angela and David Kidd said...

That's awesome. Zach loves, loves, loves daycare and I think he gets so much out of it. And I think a big part of his developing so quickly is that he is always hanging out with older kids. I do have to say I am SO jealous of your 6 hours at home alone. I get excited just thinking about what I'd do with 6 hours.

Regina said...

Trust me, that is great! I remember sitting outside the preschool classroom for a week (school's rules) in case my son had separation anxiety. I never saw that door open for me and the first day he was like, "see ya mom, don't let the door hit you on the way out".

I love his independence. I did feel guilty thought leaving him there too, but I quickly got over it...ah freedom.

Rebecca DeWire said...

Sounds like a great situation for both you and Moana! Glad that it is working out.

N.D. said...

That's great!! :)

kerrie said...

it's nice to have some time....i have a sitter come over every other friday so i get some time to ride and don't have to do it late at night. it makes the rest of life flow a little easier. glad moana did so well!

Kiersten said...

We were fortunate to find an amazing daycare when my daughter was born 7 years ago. My son now attends full time. They are a husband and wife who both have MBAs, teach CPR, and are all-around some of the coolest people we know. My kids love it, and I feel better knowing they get the socialization and I get to go to work guilt-free. My daughter is in school now and my son goes to preschool in the fall. We are going to go into total withdrawal when we don't have a child there anymore.

Clare said...

i still took andra for a few hours a day when i was off for spring break. yeah, i spent a lot of that time cleaning! it's awesome to have a fun place to send the kid so you get the no-guilt time alone.