A little background: He started at a daycare that I LOVED when he was three months old. My brother had sent both of his kids there so I was comfortable before I even left him the first time. And I had reason to be. The ladies who ran the daycare were/are wonderful and I am actually still quite close with them. When The Boy was just two these two ladies (twin sisters) decided that after 25 plus years of daycare they were selling their house and buying a house by the beach. They were following their dream and who can blame them for that? (Well I can! Because it was hugely sad and very inconvenient for me...I am not sure why they couldn't wait until my second child was in kindergarten but I digress...)
So I started looking for a new place. And after several different tours and one place that we started out and then bailed on because it was HORRIBLE (hindsight people...) we settled into a Montessori school taught out of a home that was a perfect fit for The Boy. He was the youngest kid when he joined at just over 2 years old but that worked out well for him. Like theDirectress used to tell me, "He runs with the big boys." And he grew in leaps and bounds. Being surrounded by kids older than him constantly pushed his comfort boundaries and made him try some new things that I don't think he would have done on his own. It was a wonderful situation for him. But with all the kids being older than him, they all eventually moved on to kindergarten and/or pre K classes.
So that brings us up to our current situation. The Boy will be 4 in January (I know, right?) and he is now officially the oldest one at his school. The Directress has recently brought in a whole new batch of kids (I guess she does need to run a business) and, while they are all lovely, and even include twins that have gay parents, they are all two years old. There was one boy left that was a little older than The Boy with whom he played every single day. And that boy left last week. His parents thought that as he was getting ready to start school he needed to be surrounded by kids his own age rather than a bunch of two year olds. Food for thought.
This got me thinking. I am thrilled with the care he gets there, and his sister is now going to the same place, so not only do we get a "sibling discount," but the pick up/drop off is a breeze since they are both at the same place. But he is the oldest one. And he is surrounded by two year olds. Yesterday he asked if he could paint and they had to take him into the classroom by himself to paint so the little kids couldn't get into the paint. It wasn't long ago when painting everyday was the norm and in the curriculum for all of the kids. I asked him the other day who he plays with now that his friend has moved on and he said, "I play by myself Mommy. Those other kids are babies."
It's clearly time for him to go.
So I have an appointment at a new Montessori school which is about 5 blocks from our house and where he will be in a classroom (this is an actual school; it isn't out of a home like the other place) with other 3-4 year old kids. We go on Monday morning for a tour. I am glad The Boy is old enough now to go with us and to give me his honest opinion afterwards on how he feels about it. But it makes me sad. I am worried for him to have to make a transition, but I know he needs to be more stimulated and be with other kids his age. I am sad he won't be with his sister during the day. And then I wonder if my own fear of change makes me more worried than I need to be. The Boy is extremely social and generally doesn't have a hard time making friends wherever he goes, so maybe this will be easy for him. But I can't deny that it is hard to have him move into a real, honest-to-god school. The next step will be kindergarten. I am seriously not ready for that. Thankfully I have another year and a half before we have to deal with that.
Wish us luck on Monday. Probably more for me than for him. :(