This past month, I started a really unique experiment.
I’ve been resident blogging at Early Learning Childcare.
I was given a really incredible opportunity to bring my toddler to the new downtown daycare, one day per week, in exchange for sharing my experiences on the blog. So that’s what I’ve done on Tuesdays — I drop Alex at daycare and blog up a storm. I either work at the daycare itself, or at a nearby coffee shop.
Early Learning has only been open for two months — and it’s exactly the kind of daycare that Edmonton’s downtown core needed. After I toured it (read the post) and loved it, I couldn’t say no to registering Alex. Plus, as a stay-at-home mom living downtown, I’ve felt a bit isolated. This daycare feels like a dayhome, with wonderful caregivers who love my boy — and that yard!
Downtown Edmonton is lucky to have Early Learning Childcare — it’s incredible, inside and outside.
Before his first day at daycare, I thought: would Alex actually nap there? In a different room? With other kids, too?
I was highly doubtful.
I even chuckled to myself… there was no way.
I asked if I could stay and see how he did throughout the day, but just blog inside the daycare office while Alex was playing. They loved the idea. Voila! It was a unique opportunity for me (as a mom blogger) to stay, work, and observe my little man at the same time.
The first Tuesday, Alex was crying. I could stay as long as I wanted with him. I kneeled down, hugged and kissed him, and he soon got distracted reading and playing with a toy car. I worked in the office down the hall. I was waiting for the big moment — after lunchtime when all the toddlers would go down for a nap. Before I knew it, the lights in the daycare were dimmed low, and all was quiet. Not a peep.
Was he actually sleeping?
I tiptoed over to the play area, and sure enough, Alex was curled up under a blanket on his mat, sleeping. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Day one! We stayed until 4pm that day, and went home all giddy after a successful first day.
The second Tuesday was a bit tough. I stayed at the daycare for the morning, working in the office, and could hear he was upset. He didn’t settle into a nap this time. Around 1:30pm, I caved. I walked over the room where Alex was crying and picked him up, and took him home. By the way, when I got home, I instantly regretted removing him the daycare.
He would have been just fine. It was me, and I interrupted him. Mommy doubts way too much and doesn’t give Alex room to be on his own with other people.
The last Tuesday, and now today, I’ve just been strong. I trust the staff. I love the outdoor yard and huge play area. It’s like, better than what we have at home. So I’ve left the daycare altogether and let him have his time without me. I’ve learned that it’s okay to let go a little bit, even as a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom.
You should see his progress!
Through an online application, the daycare uploads adorable photos of Alex. The last two visits, he’s been watching butterflies hatch, and been playing outside a ton. I get an e-mail notification and can see the photos instantly. He’s in his element, and doing great. All the parents at the daycare can access the app and get live updates on how their little ones are doing. This has been wonderful.
Plus, I can call anytime. If I’m worried, I give their office a shout, and they update me on how things are going. They’re excellent at keeping him busy, with a book, an activity, an outdoor picnic and play, water sensory play, music or a snack. He calms right down. Everything is always great, and I’m excited to get him at the end of each day.
Alex is capable of more than I give him credit for.
And so is momma.