A few weeks ago I wrote about taking our daughter to daycare for the first time and the worries we were having. Re: creepy fantasy farm named places, bully kids, mean employees, etc. Well, she finished her 3rd week and I thought I’d give you an update of the daycare adventure so far. Here are some highlights:
She screamed when my husband dropped her off every day for the first week. The second week she still cried when he left, but her teachers said that she’d stop within about 30 seconds of him leaving. By the end of that week she didn’t get upset when he’d leave. On Wednesday he texted me that she ran away from him and started playing once they walked in the door. That’s good, but it also makes me sad that she’s so independent. I know, I know, it’s what we want, but still. Boo.
Those people are geniuses when it comes to nap time. Our kid is not exactly a great sleeper and I was worried that she wouldn’t sleep for them and come home a nightmare for us. Especially because they sleep on little cots all in the same room. I had zero faith in daycare naps. On the first day she slept for an hour and a half on that dang thing! Now she sleeps 2-2 ½ hours every day. AND she falls asleep on her own now instead of being held. The timing works out that she’s usually asleep at night by 7:30 now, so I get a couple hours of studying in. Geniuses.
She’s eating better. She goes through stages where she’ll eat everything for three weeks and then 6 weeks where we can’t get her to eat anything. Frustrates me like crazy. I really hoped that seeing other kids eat would help her want to eat too. I’ll accept that kind of peer pressure. Thankfully, it’s working. There’s a lot less food throwing at home now.
She totally got a cold during the second week. Not sure if it was from me or from daycare, but all those kids are little snotheads right now too. Just working on her immunity, right?
Once she hit about 9 months old she started freaking out any time I tried to use a public changing table. Thrashing so hard she’d fall off, even with two people. I forgot to mention that to them on the first day and they were definitely caught off guard. For the first two weeks they had to change her standing up. Which meant poop residue and diaper rash. Not a fan, but she’s not a willing kid, so I tried to be understanding. Then randomly one day they tried and she let them. She lets me use the changing table there too now. No idea what changed, but I’ll take it.
On the first day she latched onto one of the employees. They told me that she was on her hip all day. They understood because it was her first time there, but after the first two days the employee wouldn’t pick her up. I think it was a rough two days, but it broke the habit and she doesn’t cling to her anymore.
Our daughter is the youngest of the eight kids in the room and has always been more intimidated by kids her own size than by bigger kids and adults. She was a bit wary the first two weeks, but she’s doing much better now. It’s so cute to watch her chase after the other kids. She’s kind of a happy screamer, so she and another girl have a great time screaming at each other and laughing. Warms my mama heart to see her with friends.
She’s getting really good at following directions. I’ve seen her take her snack plate to the trash can when she was finished. She also knows that she needs to wash her hands before and after eating. When we walk to and from, she reaches up to hold our hands. It’s pretty cute to see her listening.
Male employees. Ladies, this one was hard for me. We didn’t know there were going to be any men working in her room. My husband texted me after he dropped her off and told me that there were two. When I picked her up, the chart said that one had changed her diaper. Immediate pit in my stomach. I KNOW it’s sexist, I KNOW women abuse too, and I KNOW it’s not fair, but we definitely considered asking that only the women change her. Think what you will of me, but I really struggled with this. I know that my stress was because of my personal history and nothing he had done, so we decided to wait and see. He’s actually really good with the kids and they all love him. The place they change the kids isn’t secluded. I do still kind of hate it, but I’m working on it. Who knew daycare would bring out so many freaking emotions in me?
So, that’s where we are right now. Lots of positive things, and a couple that aren’t ideal, but working with. To be honest, sometimes seeing her doing so well there makes me feel like a crappy mom. Mostly with things like, “How the heck did they get her to sleep in one freaking day, but I’ve been trying for 16 months?!” I’ve tried every sleep method (cry it out, campout, co-sleeping, etc) with no lasting success and all they had to do was put her on her stomach on a dang cot? It’s caused me to think a lot about how raising children was different not too long ago, when families stayed by each other and the new moms learned from their moms, aunts, and grandmothers. Since we live around zero family, I haven’t had that experience and have been trying to figure it out on my own and with whatever the internets tell me. So, I’m trying not to beat myself up about the things I don’t know in regard to mommying, and I’m mostly just happy that she’s loving and she’s safe. I’ll keep you updated, but for now I’m just going to say, thank God for good daycares!