Two mornings a week I drop the children off at a very nice local daycare at 7:30 in the morning. They feed the children breakfast, alternate indoor activities with outdoor ones (weather permitting), and feed them lunch. I pick the children up at 12:30 pm. I get five blessed hours of time to myself. During that time I schedule appointments when necessary, but mostly I just work on independent pursuits. I work on this blog, or the book. I love those ten child-free hours a week. They keep me balanced.
This is Michael's last week at daycare. This fall he is eligible to enter our local school district's preschool program and the first day is next Tuesday. We're still sending him two mornings a week, but now the program is from 8:30-11:00 am. Breakfast and lunch are not served.
As of next week, I will have to serve one child, but not the other, breakfast and lunch. I have to drop children off and pick them up in different places at different times. And let's not forget that the wonderful 10 hours of keep-me-balanced time to myself will suddenly be cut in half. Now, I'm not complaining exactly (Ok. Fine. I am complaining a little.) I know that we are lucky to be able to send the children to school two mornings a week. I know that we are lucky to have multiple programs that are high quality and have openings for the children part time. I know that even five hours a week is more alone time than many moms get. I know that many moms are doing multiple drop-offs and pick-ups a day. However, it is still a transition for me right now and I'm allowed to point out the changes.
Michael is excited I think. And I actually believe that a shorter school day might be better for him. He hasn't been as excited about school since he was moved to a different room with new teachers and a slightly different mix of children. I am hoping that the shorter school day will be good for him. Also, his friend from up the street will be going too on the same days.
Also, my recently retired mother (who lives only about 5 minutes away from us) has offered to pick Michael up from school and watch him and feed him lunch so that I don't have to coordinate two children in the afternoon. I am so grateful for the offer and I think it is a win for everyone involved. My mom and Michael get some special bonding time and I get a little extra quiet time myself.
And so that transition is right around the corner for all of us. Let the schooling years begin.