I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I absolutely love Cate’s daycare. I feel like we were really blessed to find Patsy. I was so worried about starting back to work and leaving my pweshus widdle baybeee with someone else, and I had all of the stereotypical Mommy Guilt issues about abandoning my child and all of that. But Patsy just made it so easy for us. Don’t get me wrong, Cate took a while to warm up to her, like she does with everyone. She’s a very cautious little girl who takes her time in adjusting to new situations. Leaving her at daycare the first few times was awful. She would scream and cry, and I would have to leave, because staying to comfort her would’ve only made it worse. Patsy was great, she’d call me five or ten minutes later so I could hear Cate laughing and having fun, and I’d know that she was fine.
As time went on, the adjustment got even easier. Cate now reaches for Patsy to take her out of my arms as soon as we get there. And half the time, if she’s busy playing when I arrive to pick her up, she ignores me and keeps on playing. (Although there are days when she’s obviously had enough and is ready to go home. That happens when I arrive and she starts saying “bye” to everyone before I even get her shoes on her feet.)
But also, I just really love Patsy. She’s had this in-home daycare business since her son was two years old (he just graduated from college), so she’s seen it all. I’d be willing to bet that she knows more than practically every childcare book combined. If Cate is showing some weird behavior patterns that I can’t figure out, I can usually bounce it off Patsy and she can give me some ideas on what it is or how to handle it. She’s so easy to talk to, she’s so non-judgmental, and I’ve never heard her raise her voice to the kids, ever. She’s just awesome.
Yesterday when I went to pick Cate up from daycare, Patsy told me that she had met with a parent that day, and that she already has a new baby lined up to take Cate’s spot after we move. I almost burst into tears on the spot.
Logically, I know that there are a lot of really great daycare providers out there, I just worry that I won’t find anyone in Raleigh that I’m as comfortable with, or who Cate and I both just flat-out adore as much as Patsy.
This move is mostly a really happy thing for us, and we’re really excited about it. But I have to be honest and say that there’s a heck of a lot of fear mixed in too. What if we don’t like it there? What if only one of us likes it and the other one doesn’t? What if it doesn’t turn out to be the financial life raft that we think it’s going to be?
And perhaps most of all, how will Cate adjust? She’ll be 18 months old when we get there, and I imagine that throwing her into a new daycare situation will be a lot harder than it was when she was only 8 months old. The last thing in the world I want to do is be like, “Ok, kiddo, I know we just up-ended your world completely, but here’s another new and totally unfamiliar environment. Mama’s gotta go now, see you later!” I think that would traumatize her.
I’ve decided that after we move, I’m going to keep Cate home with me as long as it’s feasible (assuming I’m not in the middle of a work project, but right now there’s nothing on my calendar for the rest of the summer, so that shouldn’t be a huge issue). I might hire a baby-sitter to come to our house for just a few hours here and there to help us get by, and that will give me time to explore other options. Hopefully, if I give us a nice big window of time to adjust, we’ll be able to find a daycare that we love almost as much as Patsy. Fingers crossed.