We went to Riley's 3 year old wellness exam and the doctor suggested that we put her in preschool when the time was right. To my surprise, Jesse was all over this. A couple months later we started our search for the perfect preschool, but apparently April is too late in the season to be looking for September. About half the places were already full. After an extensive search we got on the wait list for one place and were able to secure a spot in another. Eventually, the wait list opened at the first place, but we declined. They had an awesome curriculum, but it also came with a cost. In the end, the place we selected just felt right.
Having to end Riley's daycare was way more difficult for me than having her start preschool. Her daycare providers, Char (and Chris), have been awesome and such a big part of Riley's life since she was 3 months old. I remember being so scared to drop off my colicky baby thinking this Char woman was going to regret ever committing to watching our baby. Luckily, Riley was phasing out of the colicky stage and (I'd like to believe) became a favorite of Char's.
|Huh, Riley even kinda looks more like Char than me...|
When the last day of daycare arrived, I took off work early as I wanted to be able to say my goodbyes face to face. Char sent a text asking for us to make it quick since she was holding back the tears - it was just too hard. The goodbyes went fine (I cried later - I'm sure Char did too). I'm not sure Riley understood that she wouldn't be going to Char's again (we'll visit, and Char will watch Riley from time to time, but it's not a weekly thing anymore).
We'd been talking about school for some time - hoping to prepare her for the change. The week before school started we took her to visit and after a few shy moments she seemed fine. In the days before school started she was sharing with everyone that she was going to go to school. So excited!
On the first day of school grandma came by to be part of the drop off. Of course, we took pictures and then headed off to school.
Riley did great. She ran right over to all the toys and had a 'no big deal' attitude when we left. She gave us kisses and hugs and then went back to playing. Jesse later went back to drop off a blanket for nap time. She didn't see him, but he peaked in the room and saw her happily eating her lunch with the other kids.
It's now day three and she's continued to do well. Way better than I expected (and better than I think I would have done at her age). I'm so proud of her an her ability to adapt to new situations. Before we started preschool I worried about making the change at this time, but in the end I know that this is the right thing to do. This girl craves learning - something I hope is lifelong - and will flourish in this environment. I can't wait to see what this next year brings.