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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chesterbrook Academy to the Rescue!

Roscoe and I paid a visit to Chesterbrook Academy Tuesday afternoon in order to meet with the Principal, introduce ourselves to staff, and to observe the infant classroom in action.

We arrived around 11:00, met with Corinne (another head staffer, but not the principal), and then visited the infant room for an hour or so.

Having thoroughly researched our options before choosing Chesterbrook, I was optimistic going into the meeting; however, knowing my son, I was a little apprehensive about how the staff might respond to my concerns.

It turns out, they were incredibly understanding.

1. Their first suggestion was that I sleep with a blanket under my pillowcase for a week or so before Roscoe's start date. The blanket will be used for nap-time and at any point in which he needs to feel close to his momma.

2. As for his unfamiliarity with crib sleeping, the solution is that babies don't have to sleep in cribs--they can sleep in a swing, a bouncer, or in the arms of a staff person. And we are free to bring for his use a swing like the one he has at home.

3. Corinne rattled off a slurry of techniques they could try on any given day in order to keep him happy. She even suggested bringing in a stroller for them to wheel him around in, if we thought it might help.

4. I was assured they would do everything they could to keep him content, buy if Roscoe was having a particularly hard time and truly needed to be held non-stop, she offered that either she or the Principal would hang out with him at the front desk.

It isn't just their creativity and willingness to think outside the box for ways to make Roscoe more comfortable in his new home away from home that make me feel good about Chesterbrook, but Corinne's positive and empathetic attitude, and enthusiasm about caring for Roscoe, even on days when he might be a hard sell. She also encouraged me to call during the day for updates if I wanted, and in response to my suggestion that I take the last week or two of my leave to ease him into daycare, she said that Andy and I are more than welcome in the infant classroom anytime.

We also got to meet Miss Maria and Miss Ruth--both have worked at Chesterbrook for many years. Turnover is low, and one staff member has been working in the nursery for over a decade! On Tuesday, Miss M and Miss R were caring for five babies (in the Fall, there will be eight) and all but one were sleeping peacefully in various contraptions around the room--none in their cribs :)

Each baby follows its own schedule, and throughout the day, staff record intake, output, naps, and playtimes. Each baby also has his/her own cubby and crib. I was relieved to witness the teachers treating the babies tenderly, and sweetly, and interacting with them in ways that made it obvious they knew each one on an individual level. It was especially nice to see the babies respond back with grins, coos, and wild wriggling.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I’m so glad I took the time to visit early in my leave because now I can stop stressing (at least about this piece of the return to work puzzle). The three of us will be back sometime in September to observe and address any additional issues that crop up between now and then. I have to keep reminding myself that Roscoe will be 4 ½ months old when I go back to work. Quite a lot will change for him and for us in the next two and a half months.

Inevitably, the transition will be hard on all of us. Many of the solutions Corinne offered were admittedly more for my benefit than his. They are probably right in that Roscoe will be happy once the classroom and the staff become familiar to him.

If the daycare situation were less optimal, I would feel completely different about leaving him to return to work. So far so good, and I’m thankful for peace of mind.

4 comments :

  1. I totally understand where you're coming from. Maddie wanted to be held my ENTIRE maternity leave, and I felt like she'd never succeed in daycare. However, our daycare uses many of the same solutions yours suggested and it's amazing how they keep so many babies happy. Plus, you can't underestimate the interest of watching other babies.

    Now, over a year later, we have new amazements, like the fact that they have successfully gotten her to take a two-hour nap on a nap mat (hence, not trapped) every day since the first day she moved into the toddler room. For better or for worse, they're very different little creatures when not around their parents, and I bet he'll surprise you with how well he does!

    Glad everything is working out so beautifully. Trying to find a weekend in August to come up! Hope we can see you!

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  2. Glad to hear that they will be able to work with Roscoe and you.

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  3. Ok, so I am a total stranger, but my son is almost 21 months old and has been attending that Chesterbrook Academy since he was 12 weeks old. Out of all of our options, it's the only place I feel comfortable with. They are really great there, especially the infant room. I loved the 2 Maria's and Ms. Ruth as well. They will also have others come in (like for lunchtime or very late in the day) and they have all been great. It really worked out well for us when the teacher from the next class up would take over for the last hour because my son got used to that person and transitioning to the next class at 12 months was a breeze.
    Anyway, I just thought you would like to hear from someone that has experienced CBA's infant room. I found your blog by accident because I googled to see if I could find Corrinne's email address - and you popped up. Hopefully I'm not intruding!

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  4. Wow, thanks for you comment! It's great to hear that you had a good experience. I'd love to chat if you're interested.

    Leave a note and we can talk offline.

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