My daughter was in in-home daycare since she was 10 weeks old. She loved where she was and absolutely loved her daycare provider. But after she turned 3 we started to feel like she should be somewhere with kids her own age (she was the oldest where she was). We agonized over the decision, quite frankly, because she was so happy and we knew she was really loved. How would she handle the transition? How would we handle the transition? In the end we felt like the benefits of moving her to a pre-school environment outweighed any perceived challenges. So just about 2 weeks ago she started “school.” And in this short period of time a few things have already become clear.

1. I worried for the past month for nothing. Talk about anxiety, for the month between when we officially signed her up to when she started I imagined all kinds of possible scenarios. One of those scenarios was that on the first day of drop off she’d be clinging to me, crying, not wanting me to leave. I kid you not, in reality she actually was like “OK mommy, see ya later!” I had an emotional moment in the car after that, not out of sadness but just at the realization that she’s truly growing up. We’ve had a few tough drop offs since then but so far she’s doing really well with the transition.

2. This kid is beyond tired at the end of the day. At her in-home daycare she wasn’t really tired at the end of the day. I think her days there were much more leisurely than they are now. She had time to sit on the couch, take a nap in her own separate room and it was much less stimulating because there weren’t as many kids. At her new school it seems like there’s always something fun to do! She’s always doing arts and crafts, having music and circle time and playing with her new friends. She also doesn’t nap as well because there’s a bunch of kids on cots in the same room as her so let’s just say our weekday evenings are…challenging. I know this is totally normal and that she will hopefully get use to this new activity level but holy cow, my patience is really being tested at night. She’s either really whiny and throwing tantrums over nothing or is completely off the wall wacky.

3. I now understand Elise’s confession: “You know the 1023497 pieces of “artwork” that come home from daycare/school? I throw it out.” Ummmm the first day she came home with “artwork” I thought it was super cute. Then she started coming home with like 3 pieces a day and the novelty has worn off. I keep some of her stuff but most doesn’t even make it into the house.

4. On a more serious note, I’m also seeing that you really have to advocate for your kid. This might seem like a minor thing but my daughter ran out of nap-time diapers and they didn’t tell us so yesterday they put her down without a diaper on and she had two accidents. My mama bear came out a bit when my husband told me this so now I just need to follow up with them and ask for better communication about certain things.

5. Little kids wearing backpacks might just be the cutest thing ever.

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