Today we said good-bye to four of our toddlers as they graduated to our preschool program which is located in another building.
I have been working in daycare for 12 years (yikes, that makes me feel old!), so I've gotten used to kids coming and going. Saying good bye is all a part of the territory, especially with infants and toddlers as they aren't in the same program for more than a year. However, I have been with this particular group of kids since they were infants, so I have developed a much stronger attachment to them. Before my maternity leave, I worked in the infant program with all four of these kids. Than, after my met leave, I found myself in the toddler program with them again. Although I missed eight months with them, I feel like I've watched them grow and develop every day for the pst two years.
They all have a special place in my heart and I will remember them all fondly.
"A" was almost a year old when she joined us and has always been very grown up for her age. On a regular basis, she blows me away with her knowledge and language skills. She is already well on her way to becoming a teacher or a lawyer!
"H" is our little Ladies Man! He had a very difficult time when he first started daycare at 9 months. I remember wondering if he would ever adjust, but he did. And although he has had some difficult phases (including potty training!) he has grown into a happy, friendly, entertaining little boy. I will miss his curiosity, asking me a dozen times a day, "Nicki, what doing?"
"M" was a pretty easy, go with the flow kind of baby. As a toddler, she started off pretty quiet and suddenly, almost over night she became a little chatter box with a very vivid imagination! I will always remember her as "Rhonda's girl" wanting to go to the office or to visit the babies!
And finally, there is "G", my little Peaches. "G" and I bonded almost from day one, when she was a little tiny six month old baby. For the first few days, maybe even longer, I was the only who could get her to eat or sleep. She was a "Nicki's girl"until the day I felt for mat leave and stepped right back into that spot the day I returned to work. And as much as she loves me, I think she loves my "Baby Liam" even more. Along with all my other memories of Peaches, I will always remember her as Liam's first girl friend because he loves her too."
As much as I am sad to say good bye, I am very happy for them. They are all more than ready to move on. They will all have a wonderful time learning new things, making new friends and forming exciting relationships with their new teachers at Preschool.
And every time a child leaves our program, it makes room for a new one to start. Friday is a day of new beginnings as one new toddler enrolls in our program and three babies move up to the toddler program, one of which is my Liam. And in the coming weeks, we will see more friends leave us for preschool and move new friends join our fun little group!