Clare started daycare on Monday!
I spent most of the day there with her on her first day. I left only for an hour over lunch. Today, I spent the morning with her, left while she was eating lunch, and came back 4 hours later spending the last hour and a half of her day with her. Tomorrow, we're going to try out what will be our more typical morning routine, where Rob and I drop her off and leave right away and then I'll come back later to pick her up. I think I won't leave her the full day but will head over there sometime in the early afternoon.
I think Clare likes daycare but I think she'd prefer if I stayed with her. She didn't cling to me but was ready to play and explore right from the first minute. True to the personality that we've grown to know, Clare did more exploring than participating Monday morning. She was a bit tentative and wary and studious. She did not like having her diaper changed and she did not like napping in a strange place. Mind you, that didn't stop her from sleeping for over an hour once she finally succumbed to the sleep. Bubble time, reading books, and talking to the other kids seemed to be her favorite parts of the day. She was happy to go about her day there just as long as she knew that I was nearby and by the afternoon was playful and smiling.
Today went even better in a lot of ways. She was interacting even more with the daycare workers and the kids. However, she was terror struck when I told her that I was leaving. I was gone for 4 hours and got the impression from the staff that she cried a good part of that time. Apparently, she'd only just started to settle right before I returned. The great news though is that during my time away she slept for an hour and a half and it only took them 15 minutes to get her to sleep. I got a big hug when I got back and that was it - for the rest of the afternoon she was off on her own singing, dancing, sliding, talking, climbing, walking, and reading.
I'm a bit wary and tentative and afraid for tomorrow myself (she gets it from somewhere). It's hard for me to see how afraid she is and to walk away from her. Still, I know that she's ok, that she'll be ok and that I will be too!
Talk to you soon,