We got notice two weeks ago that our day care is closing. We had only been there for a couple of months, so I wasn’t really prepared for the emotional tailspin that occurred. This is going on my list of “Things Nobody Tells You” about being a parent!
First of all, we were spoiled. We didn’t visit center after center trying to find a place that made us feel comfortable. The site we chose came with very high recommendations from several staff members at Early Intervention. These folks have the chance to visit a number of day care settings to work with kids when there are no parents around. If things are kind of wonky, they’re going to notice. Then, in case we needed more encouragement, Big Guy got a job with a company that’s affiliated with the day care. One of his benefits was a discount! We toured the facility, fell in love and signed on the dotted line.
Filling out the paperwork for day care is sort of like applying to college. Contact info, family info, medical history, napping preferences, eating preferences, special names for things, potty training expectations, personality traits. And then there are the photo releases, diaper cream releases, medical releases. In addition, you’ve got a school physical and, if you’re as lucky as we are, a food allergy plan. Multiply most of that paperwork by two and it’s a bit overwhelming. I trudged through it, knowing that it would give me more time to write and would give us all a much-needed break from one another.
So, when we found out our day care was closing, there were a lot of things to deal with. I had to go out and find another day care, which is easier said than done. Turns out that ours is one of the best in the area, especially when you take into account the cost. Anywhere we go is going to feel like a step down. Then, I knew I had another mountain of paperwork in front of me. It’s just time I’d rather spend doing other things. The last practical matter is the cost. We simply can’t find something with a comparable cost when you factor in our discount. Many of our kids’ friends are going to a new center that is inconvenient and too expensive for us.
If all of that weren’t depressing enough, there is a whole other layer that I hadn’t counted on. I’m attached to the center. I like the teachers and the layout. The kids feel comfortable and at-home. I was just starting to connect with some of their friends’ parents. It’s like leaving a family behind. I have actually gone through the stages of grief over this and it’s taken me a couple of weeks to do so. I’m sad.
I am hoping, though, that my kids find it easier when the time comes. They’re resilient and much more open to change, ironically. They don’t have the bigger picture of quality and finances to worry about. And I’m going to try to not let me own personal day care drama rub off on them.