The 5 Stages of Moving to the Toddler Room

There is no overstating the grief one feels in moments like these. All we have in this world is love. We are born alone and we will die alone. I shout in the void and pray for the response that never comes.

I haven’t yet come to fully accept what is clearly to be. What we are facing is not unique, but the feelings, the inevitable sadness and loss, these, my friends, are universal.

We all have or will face something devastating. Something will make each of us heartsick, not wanting to move on from a moment we can’t acknowledge. To acknowledge it would only confirm that it really happened.

My loss, like many before, will follow a similar progression as it makes its way purposefully to a place where it can be turned to acceptance.

Today my baby, my sweet little Teddy, will be moved up to the toddler classroom in daycare. I share with you now what I have learned from the ages, and from Elisabeth Kubler Ross. I do it not for me, but to add my voice to the ages in hopes that what I experience, documented thoughtfully, may help my fellow kin in the human play in which we are all actors.

He's trying to eat keys. He's not ready for this
ef=””> He’s trying to eat keys. He’s not ready for this[/cap
Denial I know they say he has to move classrooms and that he’s literally a threat to the safety of the babies in the room, but I’m sure if I drop him off in the same class as normal no one will say anything. Besides, I think it’s what they really want me to do. In fact he’s been running in on his own for months now, maybe I’ll just open the door far enough to let him sneak in on his own, then keep walking. He won’t care. It’s probably a joke anyway.

Anger Seriously? Seriously. It’s one almost 2 year old. And he’s gorgeous. So he’s a little bitey. That’s just how they play at that age. I’m surprised you didn’t know that. Whatever. You’re the same person that thinks he should move up to another class. Do you even know that he’s INCAPABLE of being prepped for this and he’s gonna be confused and terrified! Jeez, play one damn game of ding-dong-ditchyourkidinaclassyouwereclearlytoldnotto with you people and you get all sensitive.

Bargaining Listen, I’m really sorry about that whole ditching the baby in your class thing. I actually couldn’t make it out before you were opening the door to find me. I was hiding with his older brother around the corner when you came out. I feel like such a fool. In my defense I was so mortified by this whole transition that I’ve been having a lot of late nights and drinking quite a bit. I honestly must not have been thinking straigh. Whatdya say, you know, for Teddy’s sake, we just give it til the New Year? Then I’ll insist he goes, even if you don’t want him to. Think about it. It really is probably the best thing for everyone.

Depression I mixed beer with milk last night and slept in the car so the kids wouldn’t wake up from the wailing. My kid is in a room all day with kids bigger then him, sleeping for the first time on a mat and not in a crib, and if he’s anything like me at this moment he’s scared, confused, gassy from milk beer, crying loudly in the back of a station wagon in his driveway.

Acceptance I don’t know why people worry about this kinda stuff. It’s not a big deal, really. You’d think they’d get used to it. I’ll be sure to give younger parents an earful when they’re acting crazy about these things, tell them to relax and jus go with it. It’s not that hard really.

Author: joejmedler

Joe Medler lives in New Jersey with his wife, who is universally understood to be far too good for him, and his two young sons, who are far too smart for him. His work has been featured on MamaLode, The Original Bunker Punks and Sammiches and Psych Meds. You can find more of his work at and follow him on Facebook at

5 thoughts on “The 5 Stages of Moving to the Toddler Room”

  1. I love this! We have all been there. “Ding dong ditch the toddler with the infants” is a game played by us all.

    I was horrified switching rooms with my oldest. By the time my middle child did it, we were at a different daycare facility. They started transitioning her weeks before they told me about it. They would take her over to play for about 45 minutes before nap and another 45 minutes in the evening. By the transition took place she was stoked, I was not. I still wasn’t ready they needed to start the transition with me early as well!


  2. This is so beautiful it made me think of all the things my son is incapable of as transitions are his nemesis. I’ve bargained for time as I’ve had to leave amazing care providers behind when I moved away. Reading this brought that all back, my missing and gratitude for them. I think I need to add them to my Christmas gift list. Thank you for the great blog. πŸ˜ƒ


    1. I’m so sorry to hear that your son has such challenges. It’s so hard to watch when they struggle so. Like you we’ve had to make more moves than we’d have liked in this early stage of our family life and adding some names to the Christmas card list is a great idea! Thanks! Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Joe, yes it’s very difficult to watch my kids struggle and suffer with neurological disorders. I do my best to be proactive and vigilant about keeping them happy, calm, and regulated. Yes I’ve moved 4 times with my husbands career. My Christmas card list just keeps growing and growing. All the best to you and your family. πŸ˜ƒ


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