As working parents it was very important to us to find a good caregiver for our children. Shortly after Emma was born I started searching for a daycare reasonably close to work and/or home. Imagine my surprise when we discovered a home daycare 2 blocks away from our house! Now, 7 years later, we have said farewell to our daycare.
We started with Tina when Emma was about 10 months. She was a high needs baby – she never slept well and never, ever napped for me. I was so afraid to try to leave her somewhere because she would carry on with anyone when I went away. So we worked her into Tina’s slowly. First visit was me sitting there chatting with Tina while Emma clung to my legs. Not a good first day. But I worked up to leaving her and going to the grocery store.
After a few part days Tina was comfortable with Emma, and she liked the other kids there. Her performances were for my benefit alone. And so I went back to work.
Tina was a miracle worker. She got Emma into a napping schedule. This still blows my mind, to this day. I had to drive her in the car in order to get her to sleep. If I put her down she would just scream and cry for the entire naptime and not sleep at all. Perhaps it was that “all the other kids were doing it” but whatever it was, she started napping. Of course it didn’t carry over to the weekends, but at least I knew she was getting them during the week.
Fast forward a few years and I’m pregnant again. Rose is due soon and Emma is still going to Tina’s. The morning I went into labour (at 7am or so) Tina volunteered to come get Emma and feed her breakfast so we could get me to the hospital. That one tiny act will stick with me forever because it was a small thing but it was a great help in getting me where I needed to be.
During my maternity leave with Rose Emma still went to Tina’s. Her friends were there and I was ready to have a second baby who didn’t sleep and fussed non-stop like my first. Of course that wasn’t the case but it was so huge that I could offload Emma for her lunch and nap and not worry about her while I’m trying to recover from having baby number two.
Introducing Rose to Tina’s daycare was simple. Emma was there, Tina was there (she was practically family by this time already), and Rose was ready to go play!
Tina is a very smart daycare provider. She takes her kids to an early literacy program at the local school, which provides snacks as well. The kids play and learn, she meets up with some of her daycare friends and their kids, and that’s one “meal” she doesn’t have to clean up from! In the summer they all go to parks, splash pads, and sometimes other events around town. I know, with my kids, she’s taken them to a Little Ray’s show/exhibit, and one year they went down to the Busker’s Rendezvous. Those events depend on the ages of the kids she’s watching and how many she has.
I was very sad to say goodbye to Tina’s Home Daycare. The girls love her, enjoy spending time with her, and she’s been such a great help to our family. We will, of course, be friends – she’s already been invited to a party we’re having for Emma’s birthday celebration in a week or so – but it won’t be the same. Spending 7 years (4 in Rose’s case) going to the same place with (some of) the same people is a huge piece of a routine. The change up from that has been tough so far. Luckily my girls are fairly easy going. They do enjoy the after school program we have them in now, but it’s not Tina’s. I’m having more trouble adjusting to the new pick-up routine than the kids are!
So there’s my little sad story and farewell to our daycare. I wish Tina all the best in the future and I do sincerely want to stay friends with her and her family. She has offered us PA day care until at least Christmas so that’s a big weight off my shoulders. Thank you Tina for everything you’ve done for us!