Andy is leaving my lap more often, and venturing out to play even when we are in public spaces. I have been promised, since the beginning, that allowing her to detach herself when ready will provide for a more self confident child, but I was beginning to worry that I may just be supporting her clingy-ness. Today, in a case that is symptomatic of recent events, she played happily in the midst of other tumbling, grabbing children at babs. I sat twenty feet away. And she was fine. Her new found individualism leaves me feeling more confident about our most recent decision to start her in preschool.

We are thrilled with the preschool we have found, which focuses on language learning and provides organic local food to the children. It is a small, house based school that has a wonderful outdoor space and an organic garden. Perhaps the best part is that Andy’s father will be hired as her Spanish teacher and primary care provider. While he is certified in Secondary Education, there are no available jobs within 1 ½ hours of our home, and none of us liked the idea of missing him from 5am-8pm every weekday, or of him being paid to watch someone else’s children while we pay someone to watch ours. So he is going to get certified for early childhood education while he works as Andy’s teacher. He can count his working hours as part of the training, and attend courses one evening a week for 8 months. The preschool is exactly half way between my office and the house, close enough for me to bike to from either direction so that I may continue to nurse. I think it will ease the stress of both my last semester of coursework and the time I spend taking care of our house/garden/food preparation. I am also really excited about how much Andy will grow as she spends time learning not only from other adults, but from other children.

I think the changes to our schedule will also be great for B and I, as I find our relationship thrives the most when we can learn things from one another. We are both interested in Andy’s development but haven’t read a book on child development since before she was born. B’s coursework will allow him to learn about this, and share it with me, just as I will have opportunity to continue to learn interesting things in my courses to share with him. Spending so much time at home together for Andy’s first year has been incredible, but I think that this new arrangement may be remarkably good for us too.