Back in September, Caroline had her very first day of school! She is in a Mother’s Day Out (MDO) program at a local church and attends a 4 hr “class” once a week. It is now January and we are almost halfway through our first year of MDO.
When we first started this adventure, Caroline was pretty easy going about the whole thing. I dropped her off and there were no tears in sight. She would get right to playing and hardly notice that I was gone. She did very well with the adjustment and even took decent naps while at school.
She typically naps for 30-45 minutes in a crib while she is there. They go outside on walks, they play indoors, listen to music and even eat lunch- all away from mama. Her teachers always report to me that she has a great time and eats well. No surprise there- Caroline can always put away a good amount of food! When I arrived to pick her up, she would crawl towards me as fast as she could in excitement.
Starting about 2 weeks before winter break, Caroline entered a new phase. Now when I drop her off, as soon as we enter the room, she starts crying. It is her loud, purple faced cry with tears streaming. She knows that I am leaving her and wants nothing to do with it. The teachers tell me that about 10 minutes after I am gone, she is fine and playing with the other children. I still get good reports saying that she has a good time, takes a short nap (most days), and finishes her whole lunch. When I arrive to pick her up now, she is content and in no hurry to get to me.
I am hoping that this crying phase ends soon, as it is heartbreaking to peel her off of me and leave the room. I know it is just that, however- a phase. I also know that this time is good for both her and me. She gets interaction with other adults and other children, and has an experience away from me. She needs to learn how to handle situations like this because she will be in preschool in no time! I want her to gradually get used to being away from me at times. I am looking forward to seeing how she handles the rest of the school year.
As for me, the 4 hours to myself each week is a much needed time. I catch up on my blog, schedule any appointments that I wouldn’t be able to go to with her in tow, and I am starting to meet with schools and libraries for my new book adventure. Last week, I even went and got a much needed massage. A little mama time never hurt!
Now, my challenge is to find a program for next year. The MDO program that Caroline attends, has decided that this will be their last year to offer the program. We are very disappointed, and are now searching for a replacement! This is proving to be a challenge, since Caroline turns two in November. She has a late birthday, and most programs want them to be 2 as of September 1st. Wish me luck!