Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Toddler Room

Ingrid will turn two (as in, years old) in a few short months.

I have stopped referring to her as whatever-month-old. Now, I inform those who question her age that, "She'll be turning two in April." Which kind of bums me out. She's still so tiny - how can she be two? How can I remember her at nine months so vividly, but 19 months feels like a blur?

A few months ago, Ingrid's favorite teacher at daycare jokingly asked when will we have another baby. She explained that many of the babies leave the Baby Room and forget the teachers. But, the toddlers (and older kids) remember the staff and greet in the hallway and gym happily. If we had another baby, Ingrid would have a reason to visit the room and hopefully remember her "first" teachers.

I had never even thought of this and my knee-jerk reaction was to respond with "Who can afford to send two kids to daycare here?" and then, "Ingrid will totally remember you guys!"

The teacher is right. She won't remember them, but we will and that's pretty important. They were so wonderful at making us feel comfortable. They were in constant communication and more importantly, Ingrid loved (loves) them all. As we drive away from school, she yells "Bye bye Chrissy! Bye bye Malena! Bye bye Tao Tao!" - and will sometimes blow air kisses (too sweet!).
Yesterday was Ingrid's first day in the Toddler Room at daycare.

I feel like the time is right, she's ready. Although, it's hard not to feel some emotional connection to these caregivers who have watched her go from laying to crawling to walking. Cooing to talking. From being baby to insisting on playing with babies.

I had planned on going with Dan to drop her off in her new room, but when the day came, it just didn't make sense. We never drop her off together. She would have to say good-bye to both of us. It didn't feel necessary.

After receiving a text from Dan letting me know that the drop off included a tearful good-bye a little wave of shame hit me. Realistically, I could have been there. Should I have been there? Guilt mixed with worry caused me to search for carbs that afternoon. Sadly (and thankfully) there were none available.

I rushed out of work to pick her up. Going across the hall to the new room felt foreign, but as soon as I peaked my head around the door, I saw Ingrid organizing cars (with a baby in hand, natch), and felt relieved.

She had a rough start to a wonderful day. Played with all of the new toys and fell asleep while watching the fish tank. On the car ride home, I asked her if she wanted to go back to the Toddler Room. She thought about this for a few seconds and shouted a resounding "YES!" 

Sometime transitions - like moving to a Big Girl Bed or ditching the pacifier - feel hard and leave me longing for her to stop growing. I know that we'll have ups and downs as Ingrid adjusts to the new space but, thankfully, this transition feels right.

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