This week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. My little Adelaide began transitioning to daycare all week. For the past two months, we've been going in for visits. Twice a week for at least an hour each visit. We played with the toys, we interacted with the teachers and the other babies. She got to experience her classroom and started forming a relationship with the people in it.
October 10th is my start date at work, but since Adelaide is pretty sensitive, her teacher and I decided to begin the daycare transition two weeks beforehand. Monday was her (our) first day. Kevin and I both got up early, got ready, and drove to the daycare in separate cars. He will be the one to drop her off in the mornings, but I wanted to go and help him get used to the routine, too, since he hasn't been visiting with us, and it's all new to him.
We have to drop Adelaide off in a different classroom with a whole new teacher for her first 15 or so minutes, until Mrs. R gets there. Adelaide wasn't used to this new teacher, but she did wonderfully. The new teacher held her, rocked her, cooed to her, and Adelaide cried for only a few minutes. Over the next two hours, I walked around the grocery store and piddled at home, trying to distract myself from this process. I cried a lot. At 9:30, I went to get her and she was burrowed into Mrs. R's chest, sleeping but crying in her sleep. It broke my heart. And I went to pick her up, she cried pretty hard for me for a few minutes. Kevin says it's her way of saying I missed you.
Tuesday the drop-off was even better. Showed Kevin how to fill out the sign-in sheet, restock the diapers and wetbag, put the milk in the fridge, etc. Another two hours. Went to pick her up, peeked in the room, and saw my baby playing in the corner, babbling and chewing on a plastic taco. She looked very content, even when both teachers weren't paying attention to her. I stood there and smiled, trying not to cry from happiness, soaking up the moment. She did cry a little when she crawled to me, but as soon as she was in my arms, we were both okay.
Wednesday was until 10:30 a.m. We both did really well that day. The image of her playing stayed fresh in my mind, and when I went to pick her up, there was no crying at all.
Thursday, yesterday, apparently was an off day for both of us again. I tell you, it's a roller coaster. We both cried off and on until 11 a.m. She was pretty clingy last night. She is also beginning to HATE the car seat. I think she's making a connection between it and Mommy/Daddy leaving.
Today she will be there until noon. She hasn't slept there but for maybe 10 minutes all week, but today she will probably knock out at some point. She is still a horrible night-sleeper, up last night at 4 a.m. ready to go. I was able to put her back down from 6 a.m. for a quick thirty minute nap, so I'm sure she will be exhausted before long. Hopefully, also, she'll drink more than 2 ounces of milk, like she has been doing for her morning feeding. Yesterday I brought half a banana for her to eat and of course she gobbled it up, but I didn't think to do that for today.
This has been such a difficult process. There has been so much that I wanted to get done with this "free" time when Adelaide's at daycare, before I go back to work. But really, it's difficult to do anything when I'm obsessing over what Adelaide's doing. All the cute faces, the new sounds she's making everyday. The way she tilts her head or holds her hand out to wave. And as of Wednesday, possibly starting to walk (she took 2 steps!!!).
I am excited to get back into the classroom and teach. Pinterest has reawakened my creative spirit and renewed my desire to teach fun art projects. I'm not so excited to get back into the school as a whole, as I usually get stressed dealing with all the other stuff that comes along with teaching, including dealing with other adults. This year my schedule will be even more fast-paced than ever before. I'll have to find time to run down to the conference room to pump twice a day on top of the crazy schedule. I've been assigned some pretty substantial tasks on my global committee, even though I wasn't there to speak up and say I haven't done this before. There is a new teacher evaluation form I'm not familiar with, a new online social network for teachers that I'm not familiar with, a website I have to create from scratch after losing my old one, and let's not forget 800 kids' names that I probably forgot over the past year that I'll have to relearn.
It'll be an adjustment. It will, in so many ways. I hope it won't take long for us to figure this whole new way of life out. Right now it feels unnatural to be apart from my baby girl. I miss her so bad. And I did so good this morning dropping her off, but in this moment tears are welling because I wish beyond wishes that staying at home was an option, but it's not. Thankfully she's doing great, and hopefully she doesn't ever doubt this love we have for her.