I dropped Belle off at daycare yesterday like normal. Nothing was different, but when I got back in the car I wanted to cry. Belle has been in the toddler room since March. She's doing great but for the first few months morning drop offs were rough. She didn't want The Hubs or me to leave. She would cling to us and sometimes cry when we left. It was heartbreaking to me since she never did this in the baby room. We use to have to beg for hugs and kisses from her. Then one day last week it all seemed to click with her and she was running off to play before we were in the classroom door.
Yesterday morning she and I walked in. A couple of her friends were sitting at the table coloring, Belle's favorite thing to do. She walked right in, no hesitation, and sat down at the table. The teacher in the room gave her paper to color on and she went to town. I kneeled next to her talking to her and saying my goodbyes. My little girl that clung to me just a week ago didn't even care if I was there or not. I had to ask her for hugs and kisses a couple times before I got them. She didn't even notice when I left.
As I walked out I realized my little girl is becoming a big girl. I wanted to cry because she no longer is my baby. I wanted to cry for the fact that before I know it she won't be a toddler anymore. It's going too fast. Some days I just want to pause time and live in these moments forever.
Some days I feel like I am missing so so much. Belle gets dropped off at The Bug by 7:30 and doesn't get picked up until quarter after five. By the time we get home it's after 5:30. Throw dinner in there plus a bath we are left with very little play time. She is constantly learning new things and it saddens me that she is learning them at school and not at home with me.
But in the same breath I am so happy that she is learning so much at The Bug. She is absolutely thriving there. She has friends who love her. Every morning when we walk in all her friends yell "Belle" or "Isabelle". One calls her Izzy, ugh! She is constantly learning new words and is busy all day. She does art projects every day, plays outside every day (as long as it's not raining) on the slide and in the sandbox. She even takes super long naps and has no problems eating at The Bug.
I do not regret or one minute our decision on the day care we chose or the fact that I had to be a full time working mom. Belle has the best manners and says please and thank you for everything without any prompting at all. All of the teachers are wonderful and we know that Belle is well cared for, and loved. And the best part, she is happy!
So while she is no longer my baby, she is a happy, thriving little girl. We must be doing a pretty good job at this parenting thing.