Lindsay Gill: Transitioning at daycare

Friday, February 28, 2014

Transitioning at daycare

I thought that writing a post about what is going to happen tomorrow might keep my anxiety at bay.  You know, talk myself through this whole thing.  Luke is "moving up" from the infant room (Chickadees) to the next room (Parrots) at "school."  You may remember my post on his first day there.

We went to visit his new room last Thursday and Friday.  All of the kids were eating in their spots, and looked up to check out the "new guy," Luke.  Luke put his arms up to us and wanted to be picked up.  He, too, was uncertain about this transition.

I know this is great practice for both of us.  For Luke, trying new things and meeting new people without mom and dad.  For us, letting go a little bit.  Still, I can't help but worry.  "But he can't eat with a spoon on his own...but what if he doesn't do well with his new nap schedule?"  The truth is that Luke is ready for learning and is soaking in every new experience.  There is no benefit to me suggesting that he "can't" do something.

I think it's really hard not to "project" your fears onto your kids.  I observe my patients and their parents each day as an Orthoptist.  While some parents stay quiet and attentive, others stick their nose in their cell phone, tweeting away.  Others take photos throughout the whole exam for their scrap books.  Occasionally, a nervous parent will make the exam way harder than it should be.  They walk in and pronounce "he's really scared!  He doesn't know his letters so the exam might not be right.  He doesn't understand what you're asking him.  Good luck getting the drops in!  He's scared of all doctor offices.  He's been nervous about this appointment all month."  None of those statements are helpful, but I know they stem from the same emotions that I'm feeling.

I want to learn from these parents and be the best support for Luke that I can.  I want him to try his best and meet every obstacle with confidence.  A friend said, "who cares...he won't even remember."  Maybe you're thinking the same...that I'm making this into a bigger deal than it is.  But I disagree.  No, he might not remember the day that he transitioned from the Chickadee room to the Parrot room.  But he will remember how his parents make him feel.  How he feels about his classmates.  His attitude towards new situations and having independence.  I think we are setting up patterns right now for how things will go in the future.

Needless to say, I'm going to be really anxious tomorrow.  It doesn't feel natural to me to drop off my angel in a new place, and drive away.  My husband reassures me that this doesn't have to be permanent.  Maybe it won't be a great fit, and we will find another place.  The feelings of separation anxiety and wanting to shield my little angel, though, are permanent.  I can just imagine his first day of Kindergarten, Middle School, High School, and all of his other firsts.  But I'm going to put on my "strong mom face" and show Luke no fear!  ( least that's the plan.)

Did you have anxiety with dropping your kids anywhere?

Update:  Day care said Luke transitioned beautifully!  Can you believe he took a 2 hour nap on a cot? Look at these pictures from the day! I am so proud of him.  He met new people and teachers, played with new toys, and tried new foods!

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