We had an absolutely epic day yesterday, and today was a pretty busy one too.
Yesterday the boys and I toured two daycares, ate cupcakes, outfitted Max for fall at a consignment store, played at three parks, got the van jump started by a helpful stranger and had dinner as a family at the beach.
After touring three daycares in two days (and after closely reviewing the policies of a fourth cancelled our tour when I realized it cost more than the others, didn’t provide lunch, and provided some religious instruction I wasn’t comfortable with.)
On Wednesday I toured a very nice in-home daycare that had come recommended to me by someone in a mom’s facebook group I belong to. I liked it well enough, it seemed perfectly fine, but I didn’t have the gut feeling of THIS IS IT. Plus, Mars was weirdly clingy to me there which seemed an odd sign since he is usually ready to jump in and play if there are toys and kids around.
Thursday we started the day at the only place that isn’t an in-home facility. It is more like a school than a daycare. It was the only one I didn’t have a personal recommendation for as it just opened three weeks ago, but is run by the same woman who started a similar place Mars and I toured recently and liked but deemed it too far away. The school does Spanish language immersion which I think is cool but might make Max’s transition that much harder. However, it was clean, crisp, structured, the teachers all have backgrounds in elementary education, they were all very kind, and there is a big outdoor playspace that both of my kids loved. We really, really liked it.
Later in the day we toured an in-home daycare that was the polar opposite of the above. I had high hopes for this one because kids Max knows goes there and I thought it would be great to have buddies. It was not my cup of tea. It is one woman in her home with 8-9 kids at a time and the kids just play all day with little to no structure. It was LOUD and chaotic and Max was very overwhelmed (as was I). For a few hours it would be fine but for a 9+ hour day twice a week I couldn’t see leaving my kids there.
In the end the decision was much easier than I anticipated. I chose the immersion school—the kids loved it (though Max was horrified when I told him my intention was for him to stay there all day while I am at work), and I felt really good about it. I really hope two days a week will be enough for them to get used to it—I really am worried about Max, he’s so sensitive. He still clings to me every day when I drop him off at preschool even though he loves it there and has been going for a year. (He will continue to go on the days he doesn’t go to his new school). Maybe the dynamic of Dad dropping them off will help as M is much less likely to stand for endless separation anxiety.
I’m glad that’s settled. I feel good about my decision and still horribly anxious because these kids are used to me being around all the time and it will be a big transition for them.
Anyway, between those two appointments yesterday I was determined to spend what might be the last sunny day for a week, outside. We got treats and then walked to our favorite consignment store and while the boys played with toys I miraculously found a winter jacket, a couple of sweaters and several pairs of pants for Max for fall/winter (including jeans soft enough he was willing to wear them—he hasn’t worn jeans in almost two years!) It’s really hard to find used clothes for big boys, so I lucked out.
Then we went home and packed a lunch and went to the wading pool and park #1. I have mixed feelings about the wading pool because it takes forever to get them in and out of their swimming stuff and they get bored and want to go to the playground after maybe 15 minutes. Plus the water was ice cold and Mars was freezing. But we went to the playground for an hour and then I hearded them (ever so slowly) to the van an hour before our appointment to tour the second daycare knowing they would fall asleep in the car.
Sure enough in five minutes they were both sound asleep. I went through the Starbucks drive through and then parked the van in the shade near where I thought the daycare was. Unfortunately because it was pretty hot out I decided to leave the car on auxillary to keep the a/c running and I ran the battery out. By the time I went to start up the van and it wouldn’t go I had 15 minutes until our appointment and M couldn’t come help us because our other car was in the shop. Lucky for me a very nice man parked his truck right behind us and ended up giving us a jump start, saving me from pushing two very grumpy and hot toddlers in the stroller a half mile to what turned out to be the wrong address (I had gotten the street number wrong). We were 30 min late to our daycare appointment which turned out ok.
After that we went to our favorite park close to home where I met up with a friend I’ve known since high school who lives nearby and has a baby. She was getting rid of some old work clothes and gave me two pairs of pants that lucky for me fit perfectly (and I really needed work pants too).
We got home maybe 10 minutes before M returned from work, and once he got home we all left again to have burgers at the beach and go to the park near there. It was a very busy but very fun day!
Today was almost as busy. Max went to preschool while Mars and I went to the gym, then did errands and I ended up walking from the junction to Max’s school with the stroller because Mars was asleep. It was farther than I remembered it being (it’s almost 2 miles each way). When I pushed the boys back to the junction (which is uphill the whole way) and I was sweating bullets about half way back I started being kind of sorry about my decision but we powered through and fortunately no one was too whiny or upset (except maybe me, but I kept it to myself). We went straight from there to the park where we met up with some of Max’s friends from school, some of whom are heading to kindergarten next month and had their last day of preschool today.
After lots of crazy boy playing at the park we headed home for a playdate with my friend L and her two boys K and O. Max couldn’t WAIT for K to come over and asked me every five minutes when he was going to get there. The little boys (O just turned one) played together adorably, and the big boys ran around like wild animals. It was good to catch up with L a bit though.
As soon as M got home and the friends left I was out the door for a mom date with the mom of one of Max’s besties from school. We were talking about how hard it is to make mom friends with whom you connect, share a similar parenting style and your kids like each other. Our kids are in an adorable love triangle (she has two girls) since Mars is smitten with her older girl, and her younger girl is madly in love with Mars (Max could care less and just wants to play). We got pedicures and dinner and had a wonderful time.
It’s been a busy couple of days and now it’s pouring rain like Fall is suddenly here so I’m glad we had so many adventures before the rain came.