This morning at daycare drop-off, it was quiet. None of the usual madness that comes with a post-holiday weekend drop off. No massive tears from the kids who have enjoyed that extra day with their parents; no gleeful exclamation of joy upon seeing the friends and toys they’ve missed; no pandemonium under foot as 5 kids show me their new stickers. Nothing. It was so oddly quiet.
Today was transition day at the centre and for the first time, 5 entire toddlers moved along to the 3-5 program at the same time. 5 of 12, all up and left.
I can only assume this has something to do with the end of the school year, and the spaces becoming available as other kids start a summer off before kindergarten. 5 of the kids in 3-5 had to move in order for those toddlers to get spots, and move they did.
Transition day means that those children moving from 1 program to another start in their known room (toddler) and then are taken down to their new room (3-5). That means that tomorrow there will be 5 new toddlers from the infant program brought over, and the tears and pandemonium will once again ensue.
However this morning, this morning was a quiet sadness.
To add insult this morning, despite running late Everly was only the 3rd child to arrive, and no one there was part of her core group she talks about so much. She always wants to go on the Crocodile toy, which is a small teeter-totter for 3. So she hopped on, and sat. She sat alone looking for someone to run over. There are 4 of them obsessed with this toy, and only 1 of them remains. The other 2 girls Everly is close to weren’t around today, so we couldn’t even coax them on. So I sat down and rode with her for a few minutes and held back tears, which I am sure are not warranted. I just couldn’t help it, where have all my little buddies gone? Where are all her favourite friends?
I missed the newsletter last week, which told me who was moving and when. We don’t tend to discuss these matters with the teachers when they don’t pertain to our own kids and while I’ve noticed the increased frequency of visits downstairs by some of Everly’s favourites, I didn’t think they would all leave at once. Last month 1 girl went down, and she was late to the party. They held her back because they knew her spot would be there shortly. Now, the other 5 are gone. I’m feeling a serious sense of sadness.
First of all, I don’t know how to explain (or if I even need to?) to Everly that they are just downstairs. I suspect she knows more than me, but she’s still so young and she looks around the house for my mom or her other friends for DAYS when we have people over. Second of all, despite knowing how easily my kid makes friends, I can’t help but wonder if daycare itself is going to feel foreign to her now? It’s been almost a year since she started with those core toddlers, and she hasn’t seen many of them go until now. It’s one of the things we love so much about her centre – the friends she’s made. Only now she won’t see them as often, at least not until we (HOPEFULLY) get a spot in 3-5 for her come March of 2013. Finally, I will miss those kids.
I see them every single day, and I talk to them. They know I’m “Everly’s mommy” and they are just as excited to see me come get her as they are their own parents. In the mornings, they swarm us. Excited to welcome Everly and exited to talk to me about whatever is happening that very moment. It’s one thing I’ve grown to love.
It’s not like there aren’t going to be new children around for this. I am sure that before I know it, there will be all sorts of new friends for everyone. Only these friends, they are the babies. The 18 month olds, some of whom don’t’ talk much. They aren’t as rambunctious, and maybe they won’t even like the crocodile or have the same shoes as Everly (which, when they do, makes her ECSTATIC). Everly just went to daycare for the first time today without a diaper (post on that coming soon!) and now, she hasn’t got her potty crew to cheer her on because 5 of 8 of the potty trained kids just up and left.
She has learned from these older kids, learned so much. She’s made little connections and I was naive in that I thought they would all just stay together. I didn’t reach out to the parents for play dates, and now I just won’t see them that often. Worse? Her birthday buddy is moving down to 3-5 early (by 6 entire months!!) which means that A – she will leave Everly when summer is over and B – Everly won’t get an early 3-5 spot because they only take 2 under 36 months and I know they already have one.
Because I’m horribly behind in my posting duties I started this 3 days ago and am now finishing it. Everly has certainly noticed her friends are gone. She keeps asking me when they are coming back. I keep telling her they are just downstairs and she will see them soon. She says “ok” and moves right along so, I suppose I’m the only one crying over this for this long. However, she asks me about them all several times a day. I’m hoping that she starts to make friends with the newbies before long, even if they are just “babies” according to her. She was once one of those babies herself and the good news is, now she’s the big fish in the sea. I think it will be good for her, to run the roost for awhile. Or maybe not, because maybe in 6 months I’ll be back here crying about how my baby is with 5 year olds and ZOMG THE ATROCITY. For now? I’m focusing on my big girl being the big girl that she is:
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