I just realized this morning that I have never posted an update on Sam's progress with daycare.
The reason for this is simple: there was no need to do so. Daycare has become such a part of our lives, it is surprising to me that we waited a whole year to do it. Sam loves it. She loves the kids, she loves the daycare puppy, she loves her teacher, she loves the outdoor playspace, she loves the new toys. When I drop her off, she practically pushes me out the door.
R and I often marvel to one another at how much she has grown just because of daycare. It is truly one of the best things we have ever done for her. Now, granted, she is only there 16 hours a week, which is nothing compared to my friends whose kids do 40+ hours. But I have still seen her grow by leaps and bounds, her social skills improving and her independence growing everyday.
When R and I started her there, we were so nervous about her having outside influences, but we found a provider whose values jive with our own (no TV, maximum play time) and she is wonderful--patient and gentle, but also firm.
Much as I would like to believe that R and I would do fine as Sam's sole influences, I have been shocked to see just how many positive changes have arisen from her tenure at daycare. She has learned to blow kisses, she has learned to share, she has learned to slide on her bum. But she has also learned more subtle things I can't explain from the interactions and from learning to trust an adult besides her parents. This morning as we left for daycare, I told her where we were headed and she was waiting by the door, screeching her teacher's name until I let her out.
In fact, the only downside to it has been the commute. Oh, and the fact that I miss her profusely. But the bean? I think she barely notices I am gone.
We did not have to put Sam in daycare and I thought a lot about it. Now, I would say it is one of the best decisions we ever made for our child and I will certainly try to do the same for Alijah when he turns one.