New Daycare for Bean

I worried about the timing of all these new things in our lives for the kids. They were moving into a new house the same week that they started a new school and I went back to work. That’s a lot of change for me, much less for the kids. Rather than try and cram all the changes and reactions and things we’ve done to help (or hurt) the transition, I thought I’d break them up into several blog posts this week. I’ll start with Bean at school because that one is the most predictable change and reaction.


Bean is at a prime age for change to be unsettling. He knows our routine and schedule and, more importantly, he knows when we’re NOT doing our normal routine and schedule and that made school a little bit of a challenge. He spent a lot of time this summer up at the church nursery, so he sort of understood the concept of daycare. But he also knew the church nursery workers and so walking into the daycare where he didn’t know anyone was tough. The best technique with Bean (though it will differ from child to child, I’m sure) is if I give him space to feel out a situation by himself, while still being close so that he can see me. So, I stood there for a few minutes talking to his teacher while Bean cautiously ventured into the classroom with the other kids, always looking back to see if I was still there. It helped that someone had a Lightning McQueen car. He locked right in on that.

What I should have done was snuck out then. It’s what everyone says is the right thing to do. And I think I know that’s the right thing. But I don’t like the idea of him turning around and suddenly I’m gone. The thought of that kind of panic setting in for him makes me really upset. So instead, I did the wrong thing and called out, “Bye Buddy! I love you!”

And, of course, he started crying. (sigh)

I bent down, gave him a big, happy, quick hug, and told him in a singsong voice that I loved him and I would pick him up in the afternoon. He still cried, but by the time I got Gracie checked into her classroom and peeked back in on Bean, he wasn’t crying anymore. He was walking through the classroom, holding the teacher’s hand, looking at all the toys and other kids.

Our daycare has one of those video monitoring systems, so I have been logging in from my classroom and checking on Bean this week. Mostly, he seems to be doing really good. He plays and reads books and loves the slides and swings outside. And the first thing he says to me when I pick him up every afternoon is that he had “fun with fends.” He cried a little on the second and third days that I dropped him off, but by Friday he was just walking into the classroom on his own like a big dude.

On Friday afternoon when I picked Bean up, his teachers told me that he had had a bit of a rough day and had cried quite a bit. Though it breaks my heart (I cried myself when I told Chris about it), I know that days like that are just part of the adjustment period and process for Bean. The first few days may have been a little scary and overwhelming, but they were also sort of exciting for Bean. Something new and adventurous. But by Friday, I think he was realizing that this would be his new daily routine. The novelty wore off a bit and the tears flowed. He’ll work through it and, in the end, I’m sure it will just add to his incredible flexibility and comfort level with change. But when you know your child is crying because he’s scared or frustrated or lonely…well, it’s just about one of the worst kinds of hurting a parent can feel, I think.

Once we’re past these first few weeks of transition time, I know how happy Bean and our whole family will be that he is in daycare. At his age, I love that he is getting the opportunity to socialize and learn skills from others and from his peers. I miss him all day long when he’s at school, but I see the value in daycare for a two-year-old.

But for a four month old? It’s pretty hard to find value in daycare for Gracie. But she’s doing really great and I’ll give you her full report tomorrow. For now though, it’s time to get the kids up and going for their second week of daycare. It’s onward and upward from here…

(This picture has nothing to do with daycare. It just makes me giggle. The End.)

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18 Thoughts to “New Daycare for Bean”

  1. I give you SO much credit. I start back to school in about 3 weeks (I am taking some extra time off to be with my 3-month old) and I am DREADING leaving her with my husband and our babysitter. I think it is harder on us Moms than it is on the babies. I know that you have done this before and I’m positive that it doesn’t get any better as they get older or as you have more babies. Thank you for posting about this!

  2. I had tears in my eyes reading about Bean crying! This being a mother thing, I tell ya…
    My 2 year old hasn’t been to any kind of day care as yet, because I’m at home anyway (and we can’t afford it) but I really think even just part-time care would be fantastic for his development at the moment (he’s a bit behind with speech). I’ve been with him for practically every hour of his life so far, leaving him only in the care of my partner, or occasionally my parents, so I think it will be a bit heartbreaking for me. It puts me at ease to read about someone else’s daycare experiences – and it gives me a little nudge to start looking at my options.

  3. Poor Bean, i felt so sad for him and you reading this, It hurts when they cry, Ive just recently started my little boy at pre-school for the first time and he cried. He has been a few times now and is settling in well and not crying when i leave him. I hope you dont mind me saying but its always best to say goodbye to your child and not just leave. It confuses them as they wonder where mom has gone. Just a thought. Hope Gracie is settling in well too Xx

  4. Love that pic at the end!

  5. Clair

    Hello! I love watching Bean and Gracie grow! I wanted to agree with the commenter above that it’s always best to say good bye. Although he may cry, it’s developmentally much better for him. I think you did the right thing. Keep writing! Glad your blog made a come back after the hacker.

  6. Aunt Ginny

    I’m so proud of Beanie and you!!! Great work all around. As a preschool teacher of one year, I will say you actually did the right thing by telling him bye-bye! Most parents think if they sneak away they won’t cry but really it just means that the parent won’t SEE them cry… as soon as they realize you’re not there they are going to cry so you did the right thing! And Bean will get adjusted to it and will be fine. He’ll also probably go through phases of loving school and then crying again for no real reason… its just his way of figuring out emotions. You’re doing great! Keep it up!!

  7. Lindsey

    Katie – Just because saying bye to Bean on the first day made him cry, doesn’t mean it was the wrong thing to do. Your motherly instinct was RIGHT ON – because he would have cried anyway once he realized you had snuck out the door AND created a certain anxiety in him that you’re going to disappear when he turns his back, making it harder to get comfortable. I think you are awesome for listening to your gut and not the opinion of others.
    I’m with you about how heartbreaking it is thinking of your baby crying because he’s scared – that is definitely the worst feeling! I think you are right about Bean coming around though. Like you said, once he realizes this is his new routine, he will be golden. Good luck with a new week Bean!!!!!

  8. I actually think saying “goodbye” is the better option even if it does prompt crying. I think that when you sneak off, it makes them feel like they can’t trust you and those are the kids who become clingy and hang on the legs.

  9. Actually, Mama Katie, you did the *RIGHT* thing by saying goodbye to Bean — according to Nate’s therapists, that is! It creates a healthy understanding of beginnings and endings and can actually be more unsettling to look over and have someone just disappear. Instead, you let Bean know that you were going, you loved him, and you were coming back. That’s a healthy way to transition into a new part of the day! It’s tough on Nate, too. He’s down to crying for about 30 seconds now, waving goodbye (his newest skill!) through the tears. I hide by the login computer and wait until he’s done and then I head out the door. To be honest, I think Nate’s tears are for show. Wish our boys were still in school together….Nate misses his buddy Bean! 😉

  10. More pics of Bean in that adorable hat, please! My gosh does he look like such a handsome, charming little gent (and wow is he getting big!), and I’m sure as soon as he gets used to things he’ll be charming the socks off everyone in the room, and be so excited to have fun with his “fends” (you make such cute kids, Katie!)

  11. We’re switching daycares soon. Well, Landon will be in the preschool room and B will be in the 1’s room. I know Landon is going to throw a fit. He always does. He cries and screams every time I drop him off. It is so hard on me. SO HARD! One would think he would stop crying after a few weeks but alas, he doesn’t 🙁

    Hope Bean transitions quickly though.

  12. Tressa

    LOVE these pictures of Bean Man!! He truly is turning into such a young man, looking so much like a boy instead of a toddler! I hope he adjusts well. Any my two cents is that you did the right thing for saying goodbye. GOOD LUCK

  13. I’ve never been a sneak out while they’re not looking kind of mom. I worry that turning around and not seeing me will terrify my child. I also understand the sadness. I also see the value in preschool but part of me wishes I could spend all my days with Andrew. Hang in there.

  14. Oh, no! Help me see the positive side with Gracie! My 3-month-old starts next week. 🙁

  15. Wow, they have a live video feed? That’s actually really cool – now I’m going to be hoping all the daycares we look at have the same thing!

  16. That last picture makes me want to break into song! “Seize the Day” from “Newsies” seems to fit best 🙂

  17. Lisa

    Love the last picture…it was also taken at my favorite place…TARGET!

  18. Congrats on starting the new daycare! It sounds like it’s a great fit for Bean man!

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