Friday, 31 August 2012

The Journey to DC… (daycare, that is)

It’s official. My son starts daycare next week! Hurray hurray! Not only is he going to daycare, it’s the amazing government subsidized daycare (Centre de la Petite Enfance for my Quebec friends) that is located onsite at my company. I am living the dream. The suburban corporate working mother dream, that is.

For six wonderful months, my amazing mother and my son’s beloved Grandmaman (or “Gaaaaa” as he calls her) has been babysitting my son while I am at work. I am so thankful that she has been able to do this. Not only did this avoid us having to send him to an expensive private daycare but it also built a wonderful bond between my son and his grandparents. She is an extraordinarily patient person who had to draw from reserves of strength and energy that she probably didn’t know existed in order to spend long days with a toddler. But she never once complained and told me often how much she enjoyed it and how much she loves him. Who could ask for anything more? I know that on the days when she had other appointments and I had to work from home to stay with him, I was ready to tear my hair out in frustration, so she is a better woman than I am.

When I got the call from the daycare a few months ago telling me they had a spot for my son in September, I was ready to throw a party to celebrate. In Quebec, there is an excellent program which subsidizes daycares to provide affordable childcare to parents. The problem is that government subsidized daycares are so popular that waiting lists are notoriously long and spots are highly coveted. I put my son on this waiting list when I first learned I was pregnant. They knew about my pregnancy before anyone else! When I wasn’t hearing from any of the dozen or so daycares on whose waiting lists we were registered, panic began to set in. I was starting to look for semi-private or home-based daycares for my son. Fortunately those spots are easier to come by, but I was still holding on to hope that he would get in to this particular daycare.

The day has almost arrived and I am so excited. I know it will be a challenging transition, but I think it will go well. By all accounts, my son is so ready to start interacting with other children and he’s desperately in need of new experiences and stimulation. When we visited the daycare last week, he was so excited it was hard to tear him away when it was time to go home! I’m sure there will be moments where the novelty will be at its peak and others where he will not want to be parted from mommy but when the routine becomes established, it will be good for everyone.

Wish me luck! Read all about it right here next week!

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