Ever since she was born, Z has been spending Fridays with her grandparents (my parents). When I was on Mat leave, the two of us would go over for a couple of hours and hang out there, maybe have some lunch if we were early enough. After I went back to work, my parents offered to take her on Fridays so Joe could have a break. They loved having her around and I suspect my mom saw this as a way to ensure that she ate well at least one day a week. (my mother is surprised every time I mention that I have cooked more than a can of soup).
It has been working out really well except for a little bit of crying when I drop her off in the mornings. In the last month though, the crying has started earlier and earlier. First, it was a lot more crying when we got to the door, then the crying started as I unbuckled her out of her car seat. Last week, she started crying when we were about 2 blocks away from my parents place.
This morning, the crying started when I went in to wake her up. I told her we were going to Kung Kung and Por Por's house and she sat up and started to cry, saying 'no go'. After a half hour of this, Joe told me to just go and forget about my parents place for this week.
I know why she's crying. She's bored out of her mind there. My parents are great and they love her, but they have just gotten too old to do this. Z is their 9th grandchild and they have done the childcare for almost all of them. It was great 30 or so years ago with their first grandchild. But they are in their late 70's now and they just can't keep a highly energetic 2 year old stimulated. They ran into this same situation 5 years ago with Z's cousin. They were looking after her 4 days a week and when she was about 2 years old, they admitted to my sister that my niece needed more.
It's obvious that Z is at that point as well.
I've started looking for daycare solutions for one or two days a week (and let me tell you, it's hard to find places that will only do a couple of days a week) because I don't want Z to not want to see her grandparents. I hate seeing her face fall when I say we are going to their house. I don't want that to be the emotion that she associates with them. I'm glad that the three of them had the two years to get to know each other, but it's definitely time for a change.