This week, my daughter started gradual entry into daycare, where she will be spending a few hours each day there so that she gets used to the people and environment. She will be attending daycare two days a week once I return to work next week. This is my account of events.
Day 1 started a little rough. We just return from vacationing in Hawaii on Saturday so we are still on island time. We all ignored the alarm and woke up late, leaving only about 15 mintues to get ready. These days with baby, it takes at least 30-45 minutes to get out of the house. To save time, we ate breakfast in the car and luckily, traffic wasn’t too bad so we were only 15 minutes late.
We spent about 2 hours there. The plan for this first day was for me to be with my daughter for the duration that we were there. To my surprise, she did better than I thought. She didn’t stick to me like glue the whole time as she usually does these days (separation anxiety is alive and well). She even let the daycare workers carry her around even though she had only met them briefly 2 times prior. This is surprising because it still takes her a while to warm up to her grandparents, aunts and uncles after not seeing them for a while. There were a few moments when she got upset when she didn’t see me or wanted me to hold her. But she did go explore on her own and “played” with the other kids. She really enjoyed the breakfast they provided (she loves to eat), the music and dancing “class”, and playing in the sandbox.
I think the first day was harder on me than on my daughter. Why? Because there were a few kids there that didn’t seem too happy to be there. There was this one particularly sad looking little girl there who caught my attention. She’s only been attending this daycare for about a month, but I’d heard from the workers that she’s had a tough time adjusting. When I sat next to her during the baby sign lesson, she turned to me and said in her tiny pleading voice, “I want my daddy.” That just about broke my heart. I was so close to bawling my eyes out and taking my daughter home right then and there. Sure, she was fine at that moment sitting with one of the workers at the opposite end of the room. But how will she be when I’m not there? Will she cry and want someone to take her to me or my husband? I guess we will see on day 2….