Friday, January 21, 2011

My time in Early HeadStart

When CW was 2, and shortly after I discovered I was pregnant with Ivan, I signed him up for Early HeadStart. I was hoping to get him into the center, but the line for homevisits was shorter. When AB came to our first visit, I was really glad I made that choice and took us off the list for the center.

AB was tons of fun. She brought toys that CW enjoyed, she chatted with me and occasionally gave my family extra support, like playing with Ivan while I got some time with CW or helping me get a gas card to help with the frequent trips to Lansing. I couldn't have asked for a better homevisitor. She felt like a good friend, even tho I knew she was getting paid. She never treated us like that and she genuinely loved the boys.

Then when CW got into HeadStart, she accepted a teaching job within the organization. That meant we were getting a new homevisitor. Things were also being shaken up. When I started there were 2 visitors, and 1 got a teaching job and the other had a baby and chose motherhood. So everyone got new visitors.

K was from the EHS center. She was nice, loved Ivan and took perfectly good care of my family. Not her fault she came in after the coolest homevisitor ever! We had her quite a few months, but then money came into 8-cap from the government stimulus (AAHA or some collection of letters I can't remember). A EHS center opened in Ithaca and since that was her home turf, she took the offer to head that up. You go girl!

So then 8-cap got a bunch of new homevisitors and we got AO. She was good, too. She loved Ivan, and he adored her. She even had fun with CW, laughing at his quirks. But she got engaged and moved out of state. I haven't had a visit since mid-December. They send a paper with activities on it, but it's not the same. As an added bonus no one bothered to tell me that playgroup was moved from Thursdays to Tuesdays. That was a big bummer when I got all organized to go and no one was there.

Ivan misses AO. I told him we were going to playgroup this last Thurday and he starts saying AO's name. Broke my heart! I had to tell him that she was all-gone and we wouldn't see her again. He spent 3 days saying "ao, all-gone?" He even cupped his hand over his mouth and said "AO, THAT YOU?"

All this adds up to me not being the excited involved parent that I used to be. I don't want to have another stranger coming into my home and family. I'm not big on meeting new people, so it's way out of my comfort zone. I also don't want to ever have to do this again. It's not fair to Ivan to get attached to someone, he doesn't get that this is just her job. I don't think it was as bad when AB left because CW had started HeadStart and Ivan was still a baby.

I love HeadStart and Early HeadStart, and I'm grateful to 8-cap for all the support they've given my family. I'm just worn out on the homevisitor dance. So I am in this for the kids, what I hope is the new girl makes it until Ivan gets into HeadStart - which could be as early as next September. Then I won't have to worry about that anymore.

Also - CW does remember AB and we have pictures that pop up and he remembers that part of his life. Ivan is that same age now, I want it to be good for him.

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