First Day

20 02 2007

Tomorrow will mark a special day. It is a day that hasn’t happened yet, but will happen nevertheless.  Tomorrow, Annabelle will join Eliana in her daily morning routine and follow Eliana to school.  That is, Annabelle is finally going to daycare with her sister.  While this will cost some extra cash on our part, our sanity (most my wife’s) depends on this particular happening.

I remember when we first tried to put Eliana in a daycare.  I had just been hired by Intel and was living basically alone in Phoenix while Eliana and her mom stayed in Tucson together. That was a rough time in that I didn’t get to see Eliana as much as I would have liked, but also, Eliana was just tough to handle while her mom tried to rest or work. They have never seen eye to eye, and I doubt they ever will. So, we had found a daycare near our house in Tucson, and gave it a try.  Eliana didn’t seem to like it very much as she would always fight her mom when she went to drop her off. I thought it was just her way of countering her mom, and didn’t think much of it. But, over the next couple of weeks, we didn’t see any improvement, and frankly didn’t seem to find many positive things about the kids nor the teachers. It really was not a great place for Eliana, even though it was close by.

So, when the family moved up to Phoenix the next year, it was with much reluctance that we searched for another daycare for Eliana. This time it was not a matter getting some time off, her mom was physically unable to handle two kids, as Annabelle had just been born.  For the first two weeks of Annabelle’s short time with the family, I had been home, handling the kids. Mostly I felt bored, that I wasn’t doing anything productive, and actually wanted to get to work to do something to enlighten my brain. However, once the day finally came, I was unable to even make it out the door. It seemed that I was some sort of mystical glue that kept the sanity in the family.  As I tried to leave, the kids started to cry, and became extra fussy. I don’t even remember making it to the car when I went to go inside to take care of the kids.  This time, a daycare was required, or else there was no way I could even make it to work.

The search for a daycare center was tough, especially at the last minute. We look at all the places we could find that we knew about, without much luck.  All were either full, or just not good. We saw one particular place in the phonebook that seemed appealing, and went to visit.  They said they were full also, but we still wanted a look around to see if we wanted to be on a waiting list.  As luck would have it (or just the fact that they wanted to enroll more kids), Eliana was able to get a spot in the 2 year old class. We were saved. 

Eliana has had some ups and downs with school. When she first started going, she would cry if I did not come to pick her up before the other kids. I felt so bad making her cry. But, nowadays, she doesn’t want to leave. She has friends, and good teachers. And she has a schedule, that helps. And now, it’s her sister’s turn.

Annabelle will benefit greatly from Eliana trials and tribulations in that she will start at a school (daycare) that we trust. She will have a big sister to lean on if she needs a familiar face. She will have great teachers.  But, benefits are also on our end. As parents, we know Annabelle’s social needs will be met on a daily basis by meeting other kids her age.  Her mom will also get some much needed alone time. I’ve tried my best to do this at night, but that is not nearly enough.  But the biggest benefit may be on the weekends as their mom can get her work done during the day and have time and energy at night to take care of everyone’s needs (I’m not just talking about laundry).

I truely hope this will be a win-win scenario for all of us. But, even so, I’m sure we will see some extra crying over these next few days as Annabelle adjusts to her new schedule. Eliana just loves that Annabelle will now go with her to school every morning.

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