I realize that I have frequently stated on this blog how quickly time is passing and how ill-prepared I am for Annie to grow up on us. And at the risk of boring you with yet another “how did my baby get so old?” post, I just have to say, “How did my baby get so old here?” This week, Annie officially transitioned into the "Butterfly" (or Toddler 1) room at daycare.
This is big kid stuff, people. In her new room, she only takes one nap a day (a transition which she is handling okay, but which leaves her pretty sleepy come early evening), sleeps on a cot for that nap instead of in a crib, eats at a tiny table and chairs instead of in a highchair, and does more focused activities like drawing (or, as you may more commonly refer to it, scribbling) and “playing” with musical instruments. The teacher has an area of the room set up with the books they are using as their theme during that week or month (this week is Clifford). It’s like a real classroom in there! And Annie seems to love it.
|This is the face of a girl very excited to eat breakfast in her new classroom.|
|Dancing her way down the hallway.|
Mama, on the other hand, is having a slightly rougher transition. It’s so weird, this parenting conflict. I obviously want my child to grow and thrive and become more independent. And I love watching her develop her personality and start to show interest in certain things over others. But I simply cannot believe how fast she has gone from a swaddled little baby to a toddler, running around the house, climbing on things, and shouting her small but growing vocabulary at us. After I dropped her off in her new classroom yesterday, I actually cried when I got to the car. I didn’t sob, but I definitely lost a tear or two. I just couldn’t believe she was that big. Big enough to recognize her friends and smile and point at them, big enough to take my hand in the school hallway and walk me to her classroom, big enough to sit down when instructed to do so and stay in the chair for the full extent of her breakfast. I guess it is an emotional time because it is so jolting. It is like this slap in the face that says, “Don’t blink. She will be starting Kindergarten before you know it.” And I already mourn the loss of her baby days, as they get fewer and fewer in number.
But like I said, Annie seems to love her new room. She reportedly spent lots of time her first full day in there just walking around, examining the toys and taking inventory of all the cool stuff she hadn’t been able to play with before. And when I went to the room to pick her up yesterday, she greeted me with a smile and brought over some toys for me to see…but she wasn’t in a hurry to leave. She wanted to keep playing. And I guess that’s the most any parent can ask for in a daycare/school environment. If she’s so happy she doesn’t want to leave, that’s a good place to be.
|Being a true Kentucky girl - watching the horses after dinner at Windy Corner Market tonight.|
And in the midst of her growing up on us, she has started a new habit. A habit she first demonstrated the last time she was sick. Now, she frequently likes to sit facing me on my lap and for brief moments she will lay her little head on my chest and just rest. Just briefly. Just for a few seconds. But long enough for me to squeeze her tight, rub her sweet baby hair, and tell her I love her. Long enough for me to realize that this sweet, charming little girl she is becoming is every bit as wonderful as the tiny infant she used to be. Even more wonderful, in fact. And in that moment, I’m not just okay with the fact that she is growing up on me, I actually love it. And that’s a nice feeling to have.