Gavin has been in day care for three weeks now and he seems to enjoy it. The other kids really like him, which of course is no surprise. He's a like-able kid. Okay, so pretty much all infants are like-able and toddlers in particular seem to love infants. It's like they feel a connection to them, like there is some part of them that subconsiously remembers being an infant themselves. Gavin smiles a lot and reacts to faces you make at him, which is really fun. When Gavin was a tiny little baby and I was talking with my friend Missy, I was telling her how I didn't want him to get bigger or to grow up. The thought of him some day not wanting to snuggle up and sleep in my arms just brings tears to my eyes. I just wanted him to stay so small and sweet and soft and helpless and snuggly forever. Missy said she knew how I felt, but that as he grows, I would be excited about each new thing he did. Excited about him learning to smile, learning to walk, learning to talk, learning to eat solid foods. I tried to hold on to what Missy said when each pound he gained made me long for that tiny little seven pound body, those dark blue eyes that barely opened for weeks, those curled up little legs that wouldn't even fill the legs of a sleeper, the itty bitty bottom that made even the newborn diapers seem huge. I held on to what Missy said, and although I do miss that little tiny baby, that sweet snuggle bug that slept on my chest for hours and hours and hours, waking up only to eat every few hours... I love Gavin's smiles and giggles. I love his cooing. I love how he is learning to grab things and how he gets excited when he kicks the duck hanging from his Gymini playmat and it jingles for him. I love how on Saturday mornings, he lays on the bed with me and Cliff and looks out the windows and smiles. I love how he watches the giraffes and birds, yes... giraffes and birds... go around and around on his mobile. He is growing and changing and learning every day and I think he is the smartest little boy in the world. Oh, wait... this post is supposed to be about day care...
So, Gavin is happy when we drop him off at daycare and he's happy when we pick him up. He drinks the same amount of milk when he's at daycare as he does when he's at home. Someone was recently telling me about her daughter crying when she brings her to daycare. How as soon as they pull into the parking lot and she realizes where they are, she starts crying. She is 18 months old. I am so glad that Gavin either isn't smart enough to realize we're leaving him for the day or that he enjoys being at day care so much that he couldn't care less if we're leaving him. I feel bad that Kelly is worrying about her daughter at daycare. I also feel blessed that I don't worry about Gavin at daycare. I know he is safe and he is cared for and he is enjoying his time there. ...except when Jo has him do tummy time. He doesn't like that one bit, but I am so glad Jo is doing it. I don't have the heart to let him cry through tummy time for more than a minute. Jo has all kinds of tricks she uses like propping him up over a rolled up towel or her leg so that he is on his tunny and is strengthening his neck and shoulders, but his upper body is raised up off the floor a bit. She pays close attention to his development and has also noticed that he tends to look to one side more than he looks to the other side. She even offered some suggestions on how we can work on this so that his neck muscles get used to looking both directions.
Jo and Jim Dusek have three kids. Samantha is a senior in high school and is home schooled. Alex is in 8th grade (I think) and goes to the public high school in River Falls. Ben is... 8 and is also home schooled. He plays with the day care kids and even helps feed Gavin and entertain him. They live on a farm about three miles from our house. They have a dog, a few cats, chickens, and three horses. One of the horses is often wandering the yard unfenced and untied - just hanging out. Obviously, it's a place that even a horse wouldn't want to leave.
We are so glad to have such a great place for Gavin to spend the days that we can't be home with him!