I'm surprised to see that it's only been three weeks since I've updated here. . . it seems longer, as we have had so much going on.
The biggest change in our lives is that the boys started day care today. From the time they were born, we had intended to only keep them at home with a nanny until they turned 2 and then enroll them in day care for the socialization and structure at that time. But when the time came to start investigating day care centers in preparation for that transition, they just didn't seem ready to me, AJ in particular, so we held off.
When the boys turned 2, AJ's expressive language was only at the 12-month level. Between his speech delay and his shyness, we just felt that he would have a very difficult time functioning in a group setting. (I'm sure some of the moms reading this post who have children in day care are probably chuckling, but that's how we felt.) The cost was the same--actually, having a nanny was slightly cheaper for us--so because we didn't think he was ready (we thought MJ would've been fine), we decided we would hold off on starting either of the boys in day care until they were 3.
Over the past six months, though, AJ has made tremendous progress with his speech. (It's not entirely clear to me if this is due to his speech therapy or simply the passage of time, or perhaps a combination of both.) He has also become more confident around strangers (though he can still be shy or reticent at first). And I have noticed that both boys have seemed a bit bored at home at times, despite our nanny's best efforts to keep them occupied and entertained with various arts and crafts projects and play.
What finally decided us, though, was a minor conflict I had with our nanny that made me realize how tense the employment relationship had become on both sides over a period of several months, for a variety of reasons (too long and, frankly, too boring to go into here; none directly related to her care of the boys, which was always very good). It's funny how much we, as human beings, will tolerate in relationships of all types simply because we don't want to make a change. It seems that we would all rather stay in situations that are less than ideal and sometimes downright negative than leave the situation and do something different.
Given that circumstance, in combination with the advances I've noticed with the boys over the past six months, we decided that it was a good time to make the leap from having a nanny to placing the boys in day care rather than simply hiring another nanny. I was able to locate what I think is an excellent day care center located just over four blocks from my office, and in a span of less than 24 hours, I had toured the center and secured the two spots that were opening up today in the classroom for their age group. (I lucked out in that two 2-year-olds were moving up to the 3-year-olds room today, making two spaces available.)
The boys and MM visited the center last Friday, and they all liked it. I dropped the boys off for the first time this morning. MJ was fine: he briefly asked me to stay and play, and when I told him I needed to get to work, he gave me a hug and kiss and went back to his toys. AJ, on the other hand, tried to chase me out of the classroom and cried for at least 7 or 8 minutes after I left. (ugh)
I'm sure that these transitions are hard for a lot of children, so I am hoping it will get easier for AJ as time passes. We shall see.
Apart from this big change, the boys are also starting swimming lessons this coming weekend. They are getting to be such big boys!