My neighbor and good friend, Candace, has decided to start doing some part-time in-home daycare beginning this summer. So as a big favor to myself Emily became her first charge. For the past 2 1/2 weeks I have dropped Emily off from 9:00am-12:00pm twice a week to give myself a chance to run solo errands, complete small house projects, attend housing related meetings and go to OB appointments without dragging a toddler along. Although I have felt a few tinges of guilt for "sticking my kid in daycare," the freedom has been wonderful and could become addicting. It has been a great decision for everyone involved and will continue until either the baby or my mom comes.
Not only is Emily learning about obeying another authority figure (the first day I picked her up she was in time out :op), her potty-training has also received a new jump start. She has actually gone on the big potty for Candace a couple times using a toilet ring. I think having a different person ask and seeing both Candace's 4-year-old and 15-month-old (yes, she's only 15 months) sit on the potty and go presented some positive peer pressure. As a result, Emily regularly sits on the big potty at home for me now. She has yet to actually produce anything, but just being willing to try and even initiating an attempt is a huge step in the right direction!
One slightly negative effect of the daycare experience has been a definite increase in "clingyness" to and preference for "mommy". I think the fact both Austin & I have been completely wrapped up in home projects and housing decisions is also playing a big role. Plus, I think Emily can sense the impending doom and fall from her reign as "only child". I've heard of other kids doing this, too. I have been trying to consciously find time to spend with her one-on-one throughout the day. Some days I do better than others. It will be very interesting to see how she handles the actual arrival of the new baby!