We're down to the last four days of having a nanny for Emelia. She's shared Avery (Nana) with Jonah for over two years, but this spring we decided that Emelia was ready for something different. On Tuesday September 1, she starts in a Montessori program on the Hill.
Emelia has been excited about going to school for a few months already. In May she went to the school for a little while so the school could see how she responded, and she LOVED it. When it was time for her to leave she started crying because she was having such a good time. Ever since, she's been asking when she was going to go to school again.
For me, the hardest part of the change isn't that she's growing up. It's that we're saying goodbye to Jonah and Avery. Jonah's still around the corner from us, and we'll have many chances to get together. But Jonah has been a pseudo-sibling for Emelia (ironically, Avery says they're sometimes mistaken for twins when she takes them to the park), they get along so well, and it's clear that they're a positive influence on each other. They'll go from seeing each other three times a week for 9 hours at a stretch to a couple of hours every week or so. We told Elisabeth of our plans to switch to the Montessori program and thought she might want to do the same with Jonah, but she wanted to stay with Avery. And so the two kids will take different paths, and it's left me feeling wistful. I don't think Emelia realizes that starting school means no more Nana and Jonah.
As for Avery, we've been happy with her, and know that she's been a major part of Emelia's growth and development. When we told Avery of our decision, she agreed with our assessment that Emelia's ready for something new, and that the Montessori program will work well for her. Avery had thought that we didn't need her next Monday and had made plans to watch Emelia's "replacement" Jack (Jonah is switching to a Tuesday-Thursday schedule starting this week), but as soon as I said we still needed her for that day, and asked if she could watch Emelia and Jack together, she immediately said she'd tell Jack's parents that she'd start the next day, and beamed over the thought of having one last day alone with Emelia. Avery has offered her services if we need some assistance due to Kathy's pregnancy or because of the birth.
To accommodate the school's five-days-a-week schedule (8:30-3), Kathy is returning to work five days a week, five hours each day (she'll pick up and drop off Emelia), compared with her current schedule of working a full work day on Monday through Wednesday and being with Emelia on Thursday and Friday. We're not quite sure how it'll work -- Kathy's taken advantage of those days off to run errands or have repair people over. We'll also avail ourselves of the school's after care some days, given that Kathy's work will occasionally require her past 3pm.
Regardless how it goes, it's another chapter in the adventure known as parenthood.