Monday, January 21, 2008
Things I Learned While My Son Was In Daycare
Do you remember when we first placed Snuggle Bug into daycare and I felt like I was trying to avoid having a panic attack over it? Once he started we survived the first day and then the first week but barely.

Well, we somehow managed to survive 6 months of Snuggle Bug being in daycare. His last day was on 10 December and I've been meaning to post about it since then but just haven't gotten around to it. I was reminded of it by reading another post on the topic of daycare.

So, I'd like to share some things I learned by having Snuggle Bug in daycare.

1) Snuggle Bug never really grew to love daycare as I've heard some kids do. He tolerated it. He had days when he wouldn't cry at drop-off and days when he would. We never knew what to expect because this went on the entire 6 months he was in daycare. Interestingly enough, there were days that we'd come to pick him up and he'd not be ready to go home. We'd have to wait until he was finished with snack or a project or allow him time to go from room to room to say his "goodbyes" before he'd willingly walk out the door.

2) Snuggle Bug does well in a structured environment. He listens to the instructions of other adults. He plays nicely with other children. He ate more things at daycare than he ever has for us here at home (he's a picky eater). He laid down on his little cot and took naps each day with no arguments. I'm actually glad to learn that Snuggle Bug does well in a structured environment. I'll be a little less stressed now when he starts Kindergarten because I know he'll be fine.

3) Snuggle Bug is good at making friends. He had about 2 or 3 kids in daycare that he gravitated towards and played with but he was friendly with almost everyone in the daycare center. We learned that he stuck mostly with the quiet kids in his room (stands to reason since he's a rather quiet kid himself) and avoided the rowdy, mischievous boys. What amazed us is that he remembered the names of every child in his room, and most of the children in the 4-5 year old room that he liked to visit whenever possible. We were at a restaurant one evening and Snuggle Bug stood up in his chair and yelled, "Colin!" and started to wave. We looked around and couldn't figure out who he was yelling to. Then we say a little boy waving back to him from across the room. On our way out we stopped and learned that Colin was a boy in his class whom Snuggle Bug recognized. We had this happen in a grocery store too and we parents just grinned as Snuggle Bug and another little boy greeted each other with a hug. Talk about cute!

4) Snuggle Bug knows most of his colors. The first time his "teacher" told me that Snuggle Bug knew all of his colors we I said, "Are you sure, because at home every color is blue?!" Apparently he's been fooling us all this time because in daycare they had to ask him to stop participating in a color naming activity because he kept shouting out the correct colors before any other child could make a guess.

5) Snuggle Bug does not follow blindly. One of the things I worried about the most is that Snuggle Bug would be a follower and pick up many bad habits (and phrases) from other children in his room. I worried that his personality would change (not for the better) as a result of being in daycare. I needn't have worried because he's still our sweet little boy. He did come home with new words and phrases but thankfully none of them were inappropriate. He wasn't lead blindly by the "troublesome" children (as we were told by his teacher). He avoided them and went his own way. Any temperament changes we saw at home were a result of him being 2, going on 3, and wanting to exert his independence. He's still a happy, well-adjusted little boy how likes to do things himself.

6) Snuggle Bug is a survivor. It was clear from day one that Snuggle Bug was less than thrilled to be going to daycare. We stressed the entire time he was in there and Oronozo and I juggled our work schedules as much as possible so he was never there for 40 hours a week. But in the end, Snuggle Bug adapted to his new surroundings and survived. Amazingly, we survived too!

In the end, while we're thankful he's out of daycare and back as a SAHK with Oronzo caring for him, we don't regret our difficult decision to place him in daycare. Having Oronzo work that contract job outside of the home for 6 months allowed us to build up a nice cushion of savings so that when there are lean months, as happens when running your own consulting business, we'll have savings to draw on to get us through. Having this savings gives us peace of mind and allows us to know that we can provide for our family through thick and thin.

We are thankful that Oronzo is back to working from home because not only does Snuggle Bug get to stay at home with Daddy, but so does Baby Bug and any other foster children that come our way. Knowing that most of the foster children we take in will be coming from distressed circumstances, it's important to us to be able to care for them at home, so that they can have consistent one-on-one attention.

So, there you have it, the conclusion to our daycare saga. Thanks for all the supportive comments that were offered along the way. We survived and learned a lot along the way!

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8:15 AM

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Heidi @ GGIP said...

This was really interesting to read, especially today, since my post today is how I am struggling with my son and preschool.

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Happy Momma said...

I am THRILLED that he is home now, that is so wonderful and I am sure he is loving it as well. It is such a blessing that your foster children will be with him as well. I had a friend who worked and was a foster parent and I remember how difficult it was for her to have to find a last minute day care.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Mississippi Songbird said...

Enjoyed today's post. I hope you and your family have a wonderful day..

At 7:37 PM, Blogger forgetfulone said...

Daycare isn't all bad. A necessary "evil" of sorts, I guess. I'm so glad your experience, and his, was good. You should be proud of all of these things, too!

At 12:30 AM, Blogger boysmum2 said...

You will be amazed at how resilient they are to daycare. Luckily my 2 love day care or at least did, having 8 weeks out when we moved has changed my little one and he is having a hard time getting back into it. Tears when we go but not ready to leave when we pick up! But again could be the same thing 2 going on 3

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

None of my kids were "crazy" about pre-school and none of them liked daycare. They never went full time either.

I was always surprised when other parents said there kids loved it and then I wondered if they parents just wanted there kids to love it.

My kids - all four - preferred to be at home and Luke didn't like K either.

Timoni liked the challenge of school and she was a self learner but half a day was plenty for her.

Then I homeschooled and they kids really liked that until I became to sick after having Joey that I had to send them back to school.

All kids are different. Timoni loved high school, Tara hated it.

You just never know.

I hope Snuggle Bug enjoys it when the time comes.


At 1:24 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said...

This was especially interesting for me because I am in the middle of a series of posts and tomorrow's is about my son's difficulty adjusting to daycare. I am glad yours did better than mine!


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