Then he turned two. He was moved into a room with 50 kids, 15 or so per teacher. The chaos was palpable. He returned home at least once a week with his milk and lunch untouched because he'd fallen asleep before lunchtime and no one remembered to feed him after. His teacher was sweet but very, very young. Just four credits into her childcare credential and paid $8 an hour. When I noted the excessive whining and tantrums to her she replied, "I know! He's like that all the time!" Awesome. Thanks. Obviously it was time to say goodbye to that school.
So we did. We're now 4 days in to a smaller school. Two teachers share a class of 10 kids, total. They do Spanish class on Mondays, dance on Tuesdays, Tae Kwon Do on Wednesdays, movies on Thursdays and gymnastics on Fridays (or some approximation of that schedule. I don't actually have a calendar. nice participation, Mama.) He's already got three friends there (defectors from the previous school, too) and we're so happy and optimistic.
Obviously, it's not all sunshine and unicorns. He is two, and it is a transition. There have been more tantrums than usual (I didn't actually think he could squeeze more tantrums into a day. I was wrong.) and he seems a bit shaken and insecure. But I seem to be taking it harder than anyone, so that's reassuring. All in all, it's been a touch trying, but I'm so goddamn hopeful and excited all the time. I have always wanted Dash's daycare to feel like an extension of our own family. I wanted to know that they were our partners in this. And for the first time in a long time, I do.
The new school's director saw me vibrating with anxiety as we left on his first day, and so emailed me pictures of him having a blast about an hour later.