Today, A1 attended her very first day at daycare. We struggled with deciding whether or not we must enroll her, and if we do, where. The things we had to consider ranged from financial strain, to my own work – if she is in a school the whole day and I work every weekend, when do I get to see her and spend quality time with her. Plus, her OT kind of convinced us that she will struggle in a school. Then per chance I came across this daycare. Small, 15 kids ranging in age from 0 to 4, mixed class so A1 can decide with whom she feels most comfortable with, friendly with lots of space to run and numerous things to climb. We decided to enroll her for one day a week, and if it goes well we will consider adding days until she can go full time. The main reason we decided to do this is we noticed A1 had an intense need for friends. She gravitated to other kids, and loved playing. So the decision was basically made for us.
I dropped her at 8 this morning. She was very keen to go up to the moment that she realised I am not staying. She started crying and begging to come with me. I firmly hugged and kissed her saying I will see her in a few hours and then walked out (don’t look back, don’t ever look back. I don’t know for whom it makes it worse but neither of you will feel any better!). I checked in a while later and was assured everything is fine. Went to pick her up at 3h, thinking that she will then be awake after nap time (was very skeptic if they will be able to get her to sleep. She has not been taking regular afternoon naps for the past year). So I rocked up at 3h, only to find her still asleep. Happy and content and sleeping. The teacher woke her up and carried her out to me. She didn’t want to come to me, she was too comfortable in her teacher’s arms. This I took as a very good sign. Had a quick run down of the day – she did cry but for a very short time and then started playing. She played with the friends, and also by herself. She took part in the activities – they had soccer and music class today. I even received photo proof! She ate, slept, never complained and didn’t have one single tantrum. I know it was only one day, but the horror stories that we have lived through did make me weary. All in all, she had a great day. So great that she asked me when can she go back to school again. Oh my heart!
Yesterday she had a session at the OT, an intense 45 min of swinging and boxing. If I am totally honest, the child I got back today was 100% better than the child I had yesterday. Yes she struggled to fall asleep tonight, and she was a bit difficult over dinner, but we had no meltdowns or any other major issues. She even played nicely with her sister. Makes me think….
Next week she will go back, and if all goes well from next year she will go 2 days, then 3, until she is there full time. All in all, I think we made the right decision!