We were off to such a good start, and then it was time to go back to Ada's new day care.
Day 1 went off beautifully. No complaints and a happy, smiley kid greeted me at the end of the day.
Day 2 on the other hand, started with the most awful "No Mom, don't leave me!" face I have ever seen. She screamed and grasped for me while in the arms of her new care givers. She might as well have just ripped out my heart and stomped on it. Ouch.
I thought I'd find a happy child waiting for me at the end of the day... but no. She ran to me and then started crying and wanting to be held in the "How could you abandon me all day? Don't ever leave me again." way.
Which makes it utterly unsurprising that she woke up screaming for us three times last night, first insisting that Daddy watch a movie on the couch with her at 11pm, and then only settling down when Rick tossed her into our bed after her other two wailing episodes. The second shocked me the most as she scurried across the bed and forced her way between me and my body pillow to get as close as she possibly could to me. She's a daddy's girl 100% so this was a huge shocker.
For Day 3, I made Rick drop her off. She did the whole miserable screaming thing again as he dropped her off, got her settled and signed her in. And when my turn came to pick her up at the end of the day, her little face twisted into a cry as she raced toward me, and then quickly became the look of relief as she realized that I'd come to save her. She then did a happy dance, said goodbye to her new friends and bee-lined for her coat.
The staff reported that she did well for her first week. She is eating well, participates in circle time and pretends to sing along even if she doesn't know the words to the songs yet. But she isn't napping well. We're thinking that next week we'll try taking her stuffed animal piggy or kitty with her to see if that helps give her a sense of belonging. Poor Ada.
I've also never seen her so excited to hop into her stroller for the ride to and from day care. She'll sit in it at the top of the stairs before we have a chance to even get out of the house. Either she is that tired, or just realized she could have been riding in the stroller to Will's all these months if she'd only played her cards right.
A tough three days, but it could have been much worse. Next week, we'll try a new strategy with the help of some stuffed animal friends. I'll try to add in a few play dates with her standard cast of neighborhood tots, and we'll just have to see how it goes. Kids are resilient and I think we just have to be supportive, give her a little extra love in the coming weeks, and see how it all shakes out. Hopefully, she'll be eager to go to day care in three weeks time. But maybe it will take four weeks since the 14th is daylight savings time and that just messes everything up.
Moral of the story: Change unsettles everyone no matter how much you prepare. You just have to do your best to adjust and be supportive of one another.