When I asked Blaise to run upstairs and get dressed while I made breakfast, this wasn't exactly what I had in mind...
Keith has started back at school. Well, there's nothing really "back" about it, other than it is still school. He has transferred to the local university to take a few more prerequisites before he applies to dental school.
Keith going back to school means that Blaise must head back to daycare.
It's been six months since Blaise has been in daycare. Before the Big Move, he was home with me after I graduated medical school and had a little extra time home. For a month after the Big Move, our entire family was home together. An entire blissful month. Residency started in July. Meaning Blaise has been home for nearly two months with Keith.
We started looking for daycares nearly as soon as we moved to Iowa. We wanted the chance to get one we really loved.
I know. A daycare you love. Next to impossible, oxymoron, wishful thinking, all of the above. We had not liked the last daycare the boys were at. But it was the only one that could bus Roman to his elementary school that had room for both the boys, so we had to take it. It wasn't terrible. Just not very nice. Staff was hard to find. Things always felt disorganized and dirty. I felt terrible about leaving my boys there, but there wasn't much we could do at the time. We wished that they could go back to the center before that, but it was too far away from Roman's elementary school
With Roman now at an amazing elementary school with a great after school program for when we need it, bussing and other transportation issues would not stand in the way of finding a daycare that we, well maybe not love, at least felt comfortable with.
We looked at a lot. Nearly every single one nicer than the one in Utah. And all with waiting lists months long.
One place stood out from all the others. A place just down the block from the hospital. The center is run out of a 100 year old home. And it was unlike any place I had ever looked at. They only take 24 children, ages 2-5. And the children are not divided by age. They all play together. Each room in the house has a different activity: blocks, dress-up, books, art, science. Each room is staffed at all times by college child-education majors. The children are free to move between the rooms as they please, no schedule other than morning circle time, lunch, nap, and snack. "Just like," the center director said, "life at home. If the child wants to play cars instead of blocks, or read instead of dress up, we let them. No one can say which is better and healthier for them." And the backyard was a huge playground full of trees and sandboxes and swings and slides and tunnels. Our first visit, Blaise grabbed a truck and headed to the sandbox.
We loved it. We added our name to the list right away. Then the director hit us with it. "Most families get a spot in 9 months."
We were going to need one in less than two months.
So we kept looking. We looked at academic centers and standard daycares.
Then we got a phone call. A child had moved and there was a spot availabe at the center we loved. How we got the spot, I don't know. But we took it.
Blaise started yesterday.
All morning, I wondered how he was doing, how he was adjusting after so much time at home.
Then, to my surprise, I got an e-mail for the director in the early afternoon, telling me exactly how Blaise was doing. She said he cried after being dropped off, and initially didn't want to play, but they sat outside for a while and she suggested filling up dump trucks in the sand box, which he did.
I was amazed to get an e-mail. What a wonderful thing to send when parents are dealing with first day jitters.
Amazingly, I got another e-mail today, telling me that Blaise did much better, and was a "lovely altruistic child." I wanted to reach through my computer screen at clinic and hug the entire daycare.
And even if there were tears, I was met at home by a darling little boy who shouted, "Guess what? I went to school today!"
We are so fortunate to have Blaise is such a place. One of the things I love about this place is that it is NOT an academic center. It is run like a normal home, to give children as normal a childhood as possible.
There is plenty of time for school later, as Blaise's parents are evidence of.