Last Friday was the Littlest Brewster’s last day at Babes & Kids, the daycare center where she has been from day one.
We loved Babes & Kids. The teachers were amazing. The center was clean and inviting. The hours they were open were so convenient (6:30 am to 6:00 pm!). It’s reasonably close to our house and kind of on the way to and from work.
A five-star center comes with a five-star price tag. And in my quest to convince the DreadBrewer that not only should we have another baby, but that we have the money to support said hypothetical baby, I realized that we could never afford to have 2 kids at Babes & Kids.
So the hunt for more affordable daycare began. ((And even if we don’t end up having another child, it doesn’t hurt to save a couple hundred bucks a month anyway.))
I ended up putting an ad on Care.com, trying to find an in-home daycare setting. Within 2 days, I was inundated with 20+ replies. Some of them were easy to dismiss right off, while others took a little more examining to decide if I wanted to reply back. One response stuck out immediately as perfect.
The difficulty at this point was that Care.com wanted me to pay to reply! I tried everything I could think of to contact the best candidate without having to pay, but ultimately broke down and coughed up $30 for her contact information. I figure what we’ll save a month in tuition will cover that small outlay…
I spoke with the potential caregiver (let’s call her L) on the phone a few times and she seemed perfect! Amazing!! Ideal!!!
And then we met in person and all of those adjectives held true! I told the DreadBrewer after our first meeting with L, “I don’t really believe in those things, but if I did, I would say that God put her in our path.”
Little background info: L keeps 2 children in her home in addition to her son. So there’s her son (19 months) and another little boy (17 months) and LB. L used to work at an accredited daycare center, but she wanted to be able to focus more on the kids and learning and thus decided to change to keeping a small number of children in her home. And super extra awesome bonus, she lives literally 3 miles from our house.
So we decided to make the switch.
But it was so, so hard to say goodbye to everyone at Babes & Kids. I brought in a couple dozen doughnuts and a Thank You card, and LB was apparently giving out hugs left and right. Her classmates made LB a goodbye card with their handprints and a nice message from her teacher. I know we’ll see them again (we’ll probably use them as drop-in care if LA is sick or has a day off) and I know this is going to be a good move for the Littlest Brewster, but it was still hard to say goodbye.
Today is LB’s first full day with L (we did a ½ day a week or so ago that went well). Dropping her off this morning reminded me of dropping her off at daycare for the first time. Will she be ok? Will she nap? Will she miss me?
One thing that DB and I liked was that L had us make a poster to put by the Littlest Brewster’s crib. She showed us the one she had made for her son and we sort of used that as a guide. We put pictures of the family, the cats, and the garden and wrote little blurbs about her favorite things. I was actually very proud of how it turned out!
I asked L to text me around lunchtime and just let me know if the Littlest Brewster’s doing well. I mean, I’m sure she’ll be fine – especially as she barely even noticed that I was leaving, she was so engrossed in the toy box – but a little reassurance won’t go amiss.
And I know things have to change, it’s just a part of life. And I’m pretty sure this will end up being an ideal situation for everyone. But it’s still a little bittersweet.