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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Acceptance (Week 6, Day 6)

Today was another lovely fun filled day of morning tea with a girlfriend, meeting another friend for lunch, and a visitor in the afternoon to see Madeline. If I were so inclined to stay home, I could definitely find a way to fill my time!

In the afternoon,  I received a phone call from the daycare which we applied for prior to Madeline’s birth - yet another reminder that my maternity leave is fast approaching its end. They called to congratulate us our acceptance into the daycare, with the flourish and excitement I would expect of a college admittance announcement. Not to say we are not excited - Phil and I are thrilled that we found a place that we were happy with, and felt was safe/comforting/suitable enough to leave our precious little babe in their care for eight hours a day. I’m just surprised at the intense screening and exclusivity of daycares.

Approaching finding someone to watch Madeline when I returned to work was an area I was able to glean much advice from Chicago Moms that had braved these waters previously. My friends have run the gamut of nannies, corporate daycares and home daycares. When Phil and I discussed what we would like to do with daycare, we decided to move forward with corporate daycares - after hearing some of the horror stories of nannies flaking out and leaving our friends stranded with no notice, we liked the idea of many hands at a daycare to support our child’s needs. We also really liked the social interaction Madeline would get at a daycare filled with other infants.

A co-worker of Phil’s had recommended a daycare to us that was right down the street from us. Knowing that Chicago daycares have wait lists that can sometimes be in the “years” category versus “months” (I have to say, I’m a planner, but how in the world do you plan out a child’s daycare YEARS in advance?) I dutifully scheduled a tour with the facility a good four months before our daughter was born - including my maternity leave, that gives us seven months advance notice. That should be plenty of time, right?

Our trip to the daycare was positive. We found the place very secure - so secure that we couldn't figure out how to actually get into the building! It had a nice little outdoor playground in the back, with trees and swings and all the necessities for good toddler play time. The facility was clean and organized, the staff was friendly. The director took us on our tour, and with every room we entered, the children grinned at the Director, clearly recognizing her face. They genuinely looked like happy children enjoying their time there. Our minds were made up before the tour was over, and we were in luck to find out they “probably” had openings.

From this point, we put down a deposit, hoping to get the “probably” open spot in July. Which brings us to yesterday’s call. I’m thrilled to have everything lined up for when I return to work, and that I feel very comfortable with our choice in daycare. Knowing that I toured the facility so long ago, before Maddy was even born (heck, before we even had a NAME for our little girl!), I have lots of questions for the Director of the site and am considering asking for another tour just to refresh my memory. I’m also quietly ignoring all the fears and worries that I know are going to build over the next few weeks as the countdown continues on our beautiful weekdays together - What if the supervisors and nannies don’t cuddle with her all day like I do? What if she doesn't make friends with the other babies? What is she doesn't sleep there? Worst of all - what if she doesn't like it? What if she is unhappy there, and I've traumatized her for life with the experience?

Deep breaths, everything will be fine. I think.