02 September 2011
"Popette's" first day at daycare
Yesterday it was "Popette's" first day in daycare. I was feeling very anxious about sending her off into the unknown, as it was all new to me as well as her. Although she's 2 and a half now, she's still my little baby. We haven't been separated a lot since she was born, so it was a big step for me to send her somewhere without me being there to look after her, and to trust that the people there would do a good job at looking after her.
I had been tossing up on whether to start her before the baby arrived or after she was born, and had all these thoughts going through my head about whether she would feel rejected by me because I sent her off to daycare, or whether she would feel unloved and take it out on the baby, or resent me and the baby as we would be the ones taking her to childcare. But when talking to the Childcare Centre Director, my hubby and I decided that it would probably be a good idea if we started her before the baby was born so she could get used to the daycare and not have the baby to worry about.
Lately I'd been worried about whether enrolling "Popette" into daycare was going to be the right thing or not, so after months of procrastinating about it, hubby & I decided it would be a good thing for her and also for me. We thought the interaction with other kids would be good for "Popette" as she doesn't play with a lot of other children and really needs to mingle with kids as she's become quite shy and withdrawn, and having some time away from Mummy might also be good for her.
So last Friday hubby and I enrolled her into a daycare located just down the road from our house, only 5 mins from Mummy, for one day a week. One of her little friends goes to the same daycare, so we thought it might be nice if she went the same day as her so the transition would be easier for her.
For some time I had it in my mind that I would send her one day a week once "Bump" was born so I could have a day to myself and the baby, and also have a little break from "Popette". What I didn't think about is how it would affect me when I actually enrolled her and took her on her first day.
When I eventually dropped her off I was expecting tears and cries of "Mummy don't go", instead she clung to my hand for a little while, until her little friend ("Miss O") came over and took her by the hand and started to show her around. When I told her I was going and I would see her later, she ran back to me, and said "See you later Mum" and that was it. There was no tears, no sudden outbursts, no clinging to my leg and screams of "Don't go Mummy", not even a kiss and cuddle goodbye!
I on other hand felt a little sad as I was leaving my little girl behind. I was strong and didn't burst into tears like my hubby thought I would. I really wasn't sure what to expect. Maybe I expected to feel wanted or needed since I was the main person whose been looking after her for the majority of her short life. I thought my little girl might of wanted Mummy to stay and not leave her alone in the strange place.
It felt strange to arrive home to an empty and quiet house, with no "ABC for Kids" on the TV or "Popette" running around the place. I found that I missed her as soon as I dropped her off. I'm sure in time I will relish these days, but at the moment as its all new to me and her I guess it'll take some time in getting used to.
From what I heard she had a great time, and only got upset when she was told that she had to go inside for lunch...I think she was upset mainly because she had been playing outside on the slippery dip and in the sandpit, two of her favourite things.
I arrived later in the afternoon to pick her up, and instead of getting an excited greeting, I got a sad little face along with some tears and a cuddle. I don't know if she was unhappy with me for being away for so long, or whether she was unhappy that she had to leave. I hugged her and told her that I miss her, and she replied "I missed you Mum", hubby seems to think thats why she was so sad as she missed her Mummy. After our hug, we collected her things, then she excitedly showed me the fish in the tank, and some things she had played with. She then waved goodbye to the ladies who looked after her, and said "See you next week".
She came home with a "present" she made Daddy for Father's Day, a painted and sparkly paper picture frame and a card she drew in which she excitedly gave to Daddy, then told us all about her first day at daycare. I'm guessing it wasn't such a bad day for her after all.