So, as I mentioned, this week Callum started two-day-a-week daycare. Our whole childcare situation has shifted pretty drastically from the nanny share that we started last summer, but I think it's a positive change. We plan to start Callum in preschool in the fall, and while we loved the convenience of having a nanny for us, and loved the German-speaking aspect of it for Callum, as he got older we started to feel like he might benefit from a bit more of a structured environment with a large group for socialization in a somewhat less formal setting (compared to preschool) before we just dropped him unawares into a preschool. And, we found this amazing nanny who is American but lived in Germany for almost 20 years and speaks perfect German who was available part-time. So, the wheels started to turn and we decided to attempt to capture the best of both worlds and have the nanny come three days a week and send Callum to daycare the other two.
We had a couple false starts with finding a daycare, but now we've found one that we feel good about, and the transition seems to be going mostly OK. The first day was great--Callum didn't even cry at dropoff, and the teachers said he did really well all day (including a two-hour nap) and went on about how sweet and gregarious he is. He did burst into tears when I arrived to pick him up, which I was expecting because he always does that when I leave for awhile... holds it together the whole time I'm gone and then melts down as soon as I get back. But he only cried for a minute and was not at all in a rush to get out of the school... he kept lingering and watching the other kids gather for circle time, and then when we were about to walk out of the classroom the teacher asked the kids to take off their coats so Callum took his off too. Ha.
Yesterday was his second day and it was a little rougher. He didn't cry when we got to the daycare, but he did cry when I left, and when I called to check in at 12:30 I was told that he was having a bit of a fussy day and had eaten almost no lunch. He did nap, apparently, and did somewhat better after, but still when I came to pick him up pretty much everyone I bumped into at the school mentioned that he had had somewhat of a rough day. And of course he again burst into tears when he saw me at pick-up. But, again, he recovered quickly and wasn't in a rush to leave, and even blew the teacher a kiss goodbye when we left. And everyone at the daycare assured me that the second day is usually the worst, which is what I was expecting as well because he knew what was going on and that I wasn't going to reappear at any minute.
So! Overall, I'd say it's been relatively successful so far, all things considered, although Callum might not agree. And our new part-time nanny has been great, extremely engaged and Callum really likes her. Plus we managed to be smart enough to not roll out a double transition at once, so we had the new nanny come a few times before we left for Germany so that Callum would get used to her, and that seems to have worked out great, because now he's not confused and upset when different things happen different days and it's all new and different. So yes, pat on the back to us for thinking ahead in that regard.
And, our previous nanny has a new full-time job with a family that seems nice, and the little girl we were nanny-sharing with is also in a daycare situation that her family is pleased with, so it seems like so far all of this has worked out pretty well. And even though the transition time with daycare has been a little tough for Callum, seeing his excitement about the other kids and his interest in the classroom setting and activities and his seeming liking of his teachers already tells me that this was the right decision for him. I can already see him thriving, and that was the point of this whole shake-up.
It's been interesting, because when he was a baby we thought we wanted a nanny until he started preschool, and as he got older we started realizing that a nanny situation wasn't necessarily the best thing to meet his needs, even though it was super convenient for us since we both work from home. Just another example of how things change as a parent and you have to constantly reevaluate and evolve with your kid. So. New things, busy things, tough things, but good things all around.
All that's left now is to wait for the daycare germs to infiltrate our home...
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