So, Brent and I went yesterday and toured the daycare who after over 2 years finally had a spot for us. The director is really nice (and highly regarded in our area), but once again I left feeling pretty unimpressed and Brent felt the same way (when I initially went back in 2008 he wasn't with me.) It's a nice center, top ratings from the state, and the teachers in Lilli's room had all been there between 4 -8 years and were friendly, so we wouldn't be running into the same turnover and constant change we had in her last center. Their list is so long now that they aren't even adding to it, so it's an in-demand place. There was just nothing special about it, and the idea of putting Lilli back in a small classroom with 11 other kids (with 3 teachers) just wasn't appealing. The rooms were pretty drab (the center has been open for almost 30 years) and just didn't speak to us. There were some definite pluses, but overall the pros for us didn't outweigh the cons right now. We're on several other lists, and there's one daycare downtown that if they called me tomorrow our answer would be a 100% Yes - it's just a really great place full of creativity and just suits our style. (Our estimated acceptance date is next summer.) I think our main issue with turning them down was just the wait! When you (and dozens of other families) have waited THAT long for something it just feels strange to say No. But the truth of the matter is we're pretty happy with where she is right now. It's not perfect but they are always open to working with us and they really do love Lilli. The overall environment is about as low stress as a child-care environment could be. When she was in the toddler rooms at her old daycare there were some days she'd just come home exhausted because "little so and so" wouldn't nap, or was coughing or screaming the whole day, etc. Of course that leads to her having to go to bed early, being an bear during the evening and so forth, and we haven't had any problems like that over the last 3 months - we bring home a happy toddler with WAY more energy than we have in the evening!
She's currently taken care of by a woman probably in her mid/upper 40's (her kids are high school and college) and her mother every day, along with an aunt. Today when we were leaving Granny (as the kids call her) gave Lilli a big hug and told her she just missed her after she leaves. It's kind of hard to beat that. And today Lilli didn't want to leave - she wanted me sit there forever and just play with her and the toy she was all enthralled with.
So I guess sometimes the grass isn't greener! Now maybe we can just enjoy the rest of the week with no major decisions. (Of course Pippin has been kind of under the weather this week and I came home to a crate filled with poop. Not the best smell to knock you in the face when you walk in the back door.)
* All these pictures are of Lilli in her new Turkey shirt I had made for her. Kind of hard to get her to stand still for a good picture of it, though! I ordered it kind of big so she could wear it this year and next since Thanksgiving and turkeys are such a short holiday window but it came out quite a bit bigger than I'd really like. It's not too bad with the arms rolled up and next week I'll probably pair it with leggings instead of jeans. She'd just better not get it as messy as her Thanksgiving shirt from last year!