Day 2 of gradual entry into daycare started out better than day 1. Once again, I pressed the snooze button when the alarm went off, but baby woke us up so we didn’t sleep in like the day before. We had, so I thought, enough time to eat breakfast since the daycare told us to come later. Even with the extra time, we still left the house 20 minutes later than my husband had suggested. Rush, rush, rush. Is this how it’s going to be when I go back to work? Traffic was good and I would’ve made it on time if it didn’t take 5 minutes for me to park. And I wasn’t even parallel parking! Shows how inexperienced of a driver I am, but that’s another story.
The plan for today was for baby to spend 2 hours there, but with me in another room. We entered the daycare as they were just settling down for the baby signs lesson. My daughter must have sensed my anxiety over leaving her because unlike yesterday, she stuck to me pretty closely. She was not interested in the baby signs and the other children. She was more interested in the murals and mirrors on the wall and did not want to go to the daycare workers. While I was with her, I saw the same sad little girl I saw yesterday, except she looked even sadder today. During the 20 minutes I stayed with my daughter, this little girl sat and cried quietly. I wanted to go over and give her a hug, but it was not my place. The only thing the daycare workers did to comfort her was ask if she was okay. Is that good enough?
I took my opportunity to
escape leave when my daughter began to show interest in some toys. She started to cry as soon as I said good-bye and started walking away. I went down the hall and sat near the reception area. From what I could hear, she cried loudly for a good 10 to 15 minutes. It was heartbreaking and felt like sleep training all over again. Luckily, they were doing some cleaning of the facility and her cries (and my tears) were drowned out by the sounds of a vacuum. I thought I heard her crying non-stop, but when I checked on her after 30 minutes, the daycare worker I spoke to said the cries were from other kids. They said that she was better after they gave her breakfast and changed her poppy diaper and was only crying on and off a bit. She didn’t see me, but I could see that she was crawling on the ground by herself and was whining a little, making it known that she was not happy at all. I went back to my little area and spent the next 30 minutes looking at photos of her on dropbox. I have taken thousands of photos of her since she was born and the majority are photos of her being silly, laughing, smiling and happy. Happy was not how she was feeling at that moment. How could I put her in any situation that would make her unhappy? After another 30 minutes of crying on and off, I went to her. I decided that an hour was enough for her (and me). I thought it would be better for her to end the day there happy rather than sad. She clung onto me for dear life as soon as she saw me. After a few minutes of comforting, I led her to the others and she began playing with a big box of dried pasta. She really enjoyed this activity, but for the rest of the time we were there, she kept her eye on me and was never too far away.
At the end, the daycare worker told me that my daughter seemd better when they left her alone. That she got more worked up when they interacted with her. Is that why they didn’t comfort that girl? As I left the daycare, I wondered if my baby will ever adjust. Will she become that sad little girl overtime? Will she feel abandoned and alone and willl her loud protests and cries become muted?
It is midnight now as I finish this post. I am tired. I am drained. I am dreading day 3.