One of the items I put on my list of goals for 2016 was to do more for myself. Part of achieving that goal was to work more.
After a lot of consideration, A and I decided that we would send her to a playgroup in the mornings. I would then get the time I needed to focus on my work at home without trying to squeeze it into nap times.
I spent a long time researching schools and playgroups in our area. The one that really stood out ticked all the right boxes. It was close to home, had a great facility, and accommodated children from a few months old right up to Grade R (which is the year before they go to big school). They also help out with potty training, development issues (they have occupational therapists and speech therapists on the premises!) as well as school readiness.
I went on a tour and, after seeing everything, I was sold. The hardest part was actually signing Willow up (which was all me and had nothing to do with the school!). But then I got a client that would have me busy every morning of the week and sending Willow to school became an urgent matter.
Thus, I found myself at the school gates early on Monday morning preparing to say goodbye to my baby for the whole morning! Willow handled it a lot better than I did. That first morning she went off with the teachers with barely a goodbye to me.
The rest of the week didn’t go as smoothly. Willow whines and cries at drop off, but stops as soon as I leave the room – it’s her tactic to get me to stay longer. We also have a few tears when I pick her up in the afternoon, but just as with the morning, these quickly subside.
She is still getting used to the school’s sleep schedule but we have had no impact on night time sleep. Her teachers tell me that she really enjoys painting and story time, but that she isn’t the biggest fan of outside play (which surprises me, as she constantly wants to go outside at home.)
All in all, I would say the first week went well. I have noticed that since going to school Willow has gotten even chattier. She babbles constantly and her teachers say the exact same thing. She is also a lot more affectionate, coming up to give me big hugs before she heads off to play again. Another thing I’ve noticed is that she’s acting a lot more child-like. The last of her baby-like behaviour is disappearing as she becomes a fully fledged toddler.
I know that she will settle down quickly into the new routine. I’m looking forward to admiring her artwork and hearing of her adventures in the future.