In case anyone missed reading about it on my personal blog, in two weeks, I'll be going back to work full time. There are so many things to get in order, the biggest one being...where they kids are going to be while we are at work all day. I take that back, where they are going to be was pretty easy. Sending them to preschool part time for a year was the best thing I could have ever done, because it made choosing a daycare center that much easier. No, these are the real dilemmas we've been tackling lately...
SweetPea: So here's the thing. When SweetPea was in part time Jr pre-K, I'd discussed the issue of her going to kindergarten this Fall with the center director. Since she won't turn five until February, she's past the cut off age for public kindergarten. As far as the director and her teachers were concerned, they gave a big thumbs up to SweetPea skipping pre-K and going straight on to private K. When I mentioned the issue to friends and family, everyone had an opinion. No...everyone had a strong opinion about whether I should send her or not. You'd think we were discussing whether or not I should take my four and a half year old out for a belly ring and a tattoo...that was the kind of reaction I got! Some thought she was too young and we were pushing her too hard. Others didn't see any reason why I should hold her back. In the end, the decision not to send her came down to money...we couldn't afford to send her to full time private kindergarten. Now that she's going to have to be at the center full time, we had to decide which room to put her in. Come to find out, a handful of her Jr pre-K friends who are her age got moved up to private K. I talked to her best buddy's (who got moved up to private K) Mom and found out what kind of material was being covered, only to find out that SweetPea is ahead of what they are learning right now. So...we took the plunge and she will be starting private K in two weeks. For her part, she's excited to be back in class with kids she knows and she's psyched about being in kindergarten. To be honest, I think we've made the right decision.
Lil Buddy: His situation is a little different. Lil Buddy will be transitioning into the early preschool class that's appropriate for his age. It's the "potty training" room (woo hoo!) and I'm hopeful that being in a room full of other kids in the same boat that he'll go from being "mostly potty trained" to "completely potty trained". The biggest issue we had to grapple with is how he would be able to continue with his speech therapy. You see, about two months ago we had him evaluated by a private speech therapist and he was diagnosed with an articulation disorder. In a nutshell, he has perfect language comprehension for his age, but only 10% of what he says is understood by anyone other than, well, me and SweetPea, who spend all day with him. His private speech therapist doesn't have late or weekend appointment hours, which potentially meant he wouldn't have help with his speech issues. Thankfully, I had the sense to call the daycare center to ask whether anyone would be available to help him. While the center doesn't have anyone trained in speech therapy, they were able to refer me to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services. The company contracted to provide these services in our area will be evaluating him at home this week to see if he qualifies for help through them. If he does, they will send a therapist out to the daycare center to help him until he reaches age three. At three, he will be evaluated again and if he still needs therapy, he will fall under the "jurisdiction" of the school district, but will have to travel to their facilities for therapy. Hopefully by then, his issues (which are considered fairly minor) will be resolved.
For the most part, we've pretty much got all our ducks in row for the kids to be in full time care. Their paperwork...filled out (OK, mostly filled out), naptime stuff, extra clothes and potty training britches for Lil Buddy...packed up, and kindergarten school supplies for SweetPea...ready to go. Of course, I still have to complete the last of my pre-employment things this coming Monday (a TB test and a drug screen...good times), but come Monday the 20th, we should all be ready for the next chapter...the working Momma years!