I've never even seen Enter the Dragon, but felt that a martial arts reference was somehow appropriate here.
Yes, Peanut is in daycare now. We started her last week. The plan is to have her in daycare 2 days a week in order for Gboy and I to attend to some work-related issues (his home business needs some help and at the moment the help is me). Also, I'm hoping to get some quality time with Sweet Pea (and I sincerely hope that we get to do some cat napping together on occasion). Furthermore, I think Peanut could really use the outlet. The daycare we've selected is attended by two of her toddler friends (comforting) and several other new playmates (exciting). They've also got tricycles (!) and dollhouses (!) and a chinchilla (!) and a kitten (!). They go on little excursions to the library and local playgrounds. And starting in one more week, she'll be having preschool in the mornings for a few hours. The preschool teacher is a certified 1st grade teacher with two kiddos of her own, both under the age of 5. It's a wonderful play-based environment that I think suits Peanut's personality beautifully.
Having said all of this, the first day went perfectly. By the second there were signs of some separation anxiety. It's increased little by little each day (we're at day 3 today) and although she loves the idea of playing at the daycare, she doesn't want to nap there. She hasn't outright refused to go yet, and willingly got dressed and walked over with me this morning. And all was going along really well until just before I walked out the door. That's when she lost it and the waterworks started. There was crying, howling, and climbing all over me (and little Sweet Pea who was strapped to me in the Bjorn). I know that kids do this. I know that separating takes time. And I also know that she's a pretty independent kid already (we did a play date test run that went without a hitch - she didn't seem to care if I was around at all that day). I suspect this is just something that we have to muddle through as many parents have done before me, but it feels hard. Really hard.
A part of me feels like I should be able to manage both kids and a home business all at the same time without needing outside help. But Peanut isn't that kind of kid. She's a high-energy kid who likes a *lot* of social interaction. I can only read so many books to her, or play ice cream shop with her for so many hours in the day before Sweet Pea just *has* to have her needs met and the business needs my attention. Eventually, my best efforts to multi-task ("Let's read a book while Mama feeds Sweet Pea") cease to be entertaining enough for Peanut - my little dynamo.
For now, we're riding it out to see where this takes us.