Yes, he is technically old enough to be in Mother's Day Out (too long to type so let's go with MDO...)! I have to admit, it was a REAL struggle for me to decide whether or not I wanted him to start MDO this year. The application process began in January. My sweet Crosby was barely even ONE. Way back then, he was still a baby!!! Practically an infant. I decided to take a tour of the classroom. It was really a great place. As soon as I put Crosby down, he began to explore, making himself right at home. The teachers even commented on his adventurous spirit. I filled out the application, knowing spaces were limited. His chance of getting in was slim. That was fine by me. To be honest, I hope he wouldn't get in. That way, I would have no decision to make and I would just worry about it next year. No big deal. So much for that idea. Wouldn't you know he got in right off the bat!
I hadn't really planned for that to happen. Now I had a decision to make. My mind was filled with these kinds of thoughts: "I can't ship my baby off 2 days a week without his momma!!!" "He will only be young once!" "You will never get this time with him back" "You are so fortunate to be able to stay home with your child. Why are you giving that up?" "It was such a struggle to bring this sweet baby home. Why don't you want to spend every second possible with him?" "We shouldn't spend the money."
There were also lots of positive thoughts: "He needs to learn to listen to adults other than his parents." "He will benefit from regular peer interaction." "He will enjoy structured activity outside of our home." "I can use that time to run all the errands he doesn't care for." There were plenty of pros. But for whatever reason, all I could focus on were the cons.
I talked to everyone I knew, seeking advice and opinions. Like the true procrastinator I am, I waited until the VERY LAST DAY to turn in my deposit. When I got there, no one was in the office so I ran out of the building thinking, "This must be a sign!" Then one of the sweet administrators was kind enough to call and "make sure" I didn't want the spot. I practically fell apart on her. She was precious and told me all of the reason why I should let him try it out. The next morning I was standing at the same office door with my deposit in hand. But I left there knowing there was still time to back out. Tuition wasn't due until July.
I shoved all of this to the back of my mind all summer long. Denial was a good place for me to be! But like every thing with Crosby's life, July was here before I knew it. Final tuition needed to be paid. Shot records needed to be turned it. I was sent a packet with his teachers name. Time to change my mind was running out. Oddly enough, Crosby no longer looked like the baby I was picturing when I was filled out the application. As much as I hated to admit it, he was no longer a baby. He was walking and running all over the place. He was saying more and more each day. He was starting to notice his peers and even called some of them by name. When I took my check to the same office I had run from in the Spring, I felt much more at ease. It was feeling more and more like the right thing to do.
His orientation was set for September 2, from 9-9:45. We met his teachers, Ms. Martha and Ms. Lisa. They were very sweet and seemed excited to meet Crosby. He immediately pushed his way out of my arms and headed for the train table. I was chopped meat from that point on. He checked out every corner of the room while I was filled in on "World Room" business. When the time came to leave, Crosby started to cry. He LOVED being there and did not want to leave. Good sign!
This past Tuesday, September 7th was his first, half day. He was scheduled to go from 9 - 12. Here is a picture of him eating breakfast, dressed and ready for his big day...
Of course we had to wake him up at 7:50. We could leave no later than 8:30! Why do they
always sleep late when you don't need them to and wake up early when you can sleep in? We pulled out of the driveway at 8:33 and barely made it on time. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, Crosby started saying, "Play! Play! Play!" I had to snap a few pictures of him sitting on the steps before we went in the building...
We opened the big, black doors behind him and he acted like he owned the place. He headed straight for his room and tried to open the door. Once we were inside the World Room, he wanted out of my arms and down on the floor. He had no patience for the "wash your hands before you play at the stations" business. I was able to snap a quick picture of him with Ms. Martha and Ms. Lisa before parting ways...
Blake and I headed off to a parent coffee where we learned all of the policies and procedures. Crosby was as happy as could be and didn't even care that we were gone. Our meeting ended, Blake and I took one last peek at him through the 2-way mirror and that was that! With only 2 hours until pick up, Blake headed to work and I piddled around nearby. I was a little concerned about meal time. Would he eat what I packed??? I wanted to be back at the mirror by lunch time to see how he would do. Apparently they ate a little early because I missed it! But I did see him take a stuffed animal to the mat, sit down and love on it. He kept trying to lie down and did a few times. Ms. Lisa came and sat beside him. I snapped a few pictures through the mirror, with no flash and no tripod. I thought this was turned out kind of sweet...
She later told me he was saying, "Nigh Nigh." I was pretty excited when the clock struck 12:00! I got to see my little man again! He was WORN OUT, as indicated by this picture...and the 4 hour nap he took when we got home!
So far, I am thinking this was the right thing for Crosby. We will see how things go next Tuesday, when he stays from 9-2 and takes a NAP there!!! Yikes...