“If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.”
–Edgar W. Howe
Yesterday was the first day of day-care for our daughter. We all thought that her mother would have a really hard time dropping her off, but our girl just snuggled up and went to sleep when she arrived. No crying, no tantrums. Just content to go back to sleep. The center is close to my wife’s office, so she was able to visit with our daughter during her lunch break, and everything seemed ok.
Since our girl is only four months old, this transition shouldn’t be too traumatic. I think the worst part for her is us waking her up at 5:00am– talk about turning the tables! Just when she’s sleeping so well, mom and dad mess up her schedule. It may take a couple of weeks, but she should get the hang of the new routine.
I went yesterday and today for the drop-off, and must say that the place is rather nice. It has key-card security, and there are only two infants to each teacher. Our daughter has her own cubby in which to put things, and a drawer in a small dresser for spare clothes. The kids have daily and monthly goals that are set out for them, including learning to reach and grasp for things, and listening to a variety of music. They will work on face recognition, and other things like shapes, colors and whatnot. They even took a brief stint outside yesterday to enjoy the spring weather. At the end of the day, we get a written report as to how much she ate, how many naps she took and for how long, how her disposition was and all sorts of things like that.
Naturally, as parents we worried all day about her. Was she eating enough? Is she being fussy with her new teacher? Is she napping? Is she too hot? Is she too cold? Is she drooling everywhere? It’s enough to drive one batty with all of the worry. Finally time came to pick her up, and she was lying on the mat on the floor, staring at the ceiling and chewing on her fingers– just like she does at home. Her eyes lit up, and she gave Mommy a big smile, as my wife scooped her up. Crisis over, we packed her in the car seat, and headed home.
All in all, we think it will be good for her, because she is getting exposed to new people and new teaching. However, that doesn’t help to fill the void inside when we drop her off in the morning, all bundled up and drowsy. Like kids at Christmas, we can hardly contain ourselves during the hour drive home so that we can play with her.
And we are well rewarded with smiles, jabbering and a gob of drool.
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