In October of last year, Gracie and Luke started attending day care at the child development center where Daddy was going to community college. At first, they did not care for it. Frankly, I wasn't excited about it either. I would have rather they stay home with Daddy or me. But, given that Daddy needed to go to class and he could not take care of 14 month-olds by himself, it was an acceptable alternative.
Throughout the aftermath of the fire, Daddy's extended stay in the hospital, and my teaching summer school, Gracie and Luke still attended the day care. There were several things that bothered me about some of the people there, but overall, Gracie and Luke were well cared for and were thriving. While it was not my ideal, it was a safe place for Gracie and Luke to grow and learn and we could afford it.
A few weeks ago, we received a letter from them telling us Gracie and Luke could not return. In light of the new State budget cuts, we no longer fit the program. At first, I panicked. What were we going to do? Daddy is still recovering and Gracie and Luke would go insane if they were kept inside or in our yard five days a week. Then, we realized that this was an opportunity for us to look for a new place for Gracie and Luke to play with friends and learn new things.
Don't get me wrong. I've written many times about how I wish I could stay at home. I also wish that Daddy or another family member close by were in a position to be their primary caregiver. That's just not in the cards for us. As an alternative, we need to find a place that will allow Gracie and Luke to be 2 year-olds: play, learn, and grow.
We researched a couple of places and quickly realized that having two 2 year-olds in day care is very expensive. Most places want to charge $750 per child per month. At that rate, we would not be able to afford our electricity, gas, water or groceries. Then, yesterday, Daddy happened to be paying attention while he was driving and saw something we have been looking at for 20+ years and never noticed: a Montessori school around the corner from Grandma and Grandpa's house.
In grad school, I studied Dr. Maria Montessori's educational plan and remembered it as being something positive for very young children. I went online to learn more about this particular school and found that they have been faithful to Dr. Montessori's teachings for over 20 years. Daddy went to visit the school today and found that it is indeed a wonderful place.
So, beginning a few days after their 2nd birthday, Gracie and Luke will have a new school with new friends and new experiences. The nice part? Daddy will be able to take them to Grandma and Grandpa's house in the morning for breakfast and getting dressed. Then, he and Grandma will walk them to school together.
I'm actually excited for them. The school looks like a very fun place to learn and be 2. Now, if only I could find a fun place for me to be 37.