Today (Tuesday) was Jia’s first day of daycare. A momentous, emotional, milestone day. Lots of babies head off to day care at around 3 months old, but Jia’s start came at 18 months and 16 days. We’d gotten pretty comfortable with our time together, just the two of us after daddy went off to work in the mornings, but with our move west came what was only a matter of time.
We visited her daycare at a “Meet the Teachers” day last Friday, where Jia met Miss Crystal and Miss April, two of her full-day teachers and Jia got to explore the toys in her room. No other kids came, since Jia is the only new kid to the class this year, but I think it was good for Jia to meet her two teachers without being overwhelmed or distracted by other kids around. We spent about 1.5 hours with them that day, so today went as smoothly as we could hope for.
Jeff and I started the morning off by trying to make as much “normal” noise around the apartment as possible, to wake her up EARLIER but naturally, but it didn’t work! I even turned on an episode of Friends as I cooked her breakfast, so that the noise would begin to rouse her. Nothing. So I proceeded to open the blinds and curtains. Nothing. She only woke up when I finagled with her white noise, but at least she was pleasantly awake. Well, we figured out what we should do in the future: open up her door before we start breakfast and hope that the noise gradually awakens her. (those little boogers, they never want to wake up when you want them to!)
After a half-eaten attempt at breakfast (it’s actually pretty liberating to not obsess about breakfast, since I knew she’d get a morning snack at daycare in less than two hours!), I grabbed her lunch and straw cup, we put her shoes on and Jeff grabbed our camera. Jia and I scooted off to my car and Jeff followed in his car, so he could go to work after we said our goodbyes (he gave work a heads up that he was going to be a little late, so he could take Jia to her first day of daycare awww).
I am pretty sure Jia could sense today was different, because she clung to Jeff once we arrived in her classroom. I hung up her jacket and hat, put away her belongings in her designated cubbie, put her food in her designated bin in the refrigerator, and put her cloth and disposable diapers in the diapering area in her assigned diaper organizer. We watched Jia wander around looking at the other toddlers enjoying their toys, and she would quickly return to each of us as if to say, “I still want you close!” Jeff snapped a few photos and then said his goodbye.
I hung around a bit to wait for her to warm up to someone (she became interested in table filled with paper shreds and Miss Crystal played along with her) and said a preparatory goodbye.
I signed her in for the day and gathered my keys and opened the baby gate. She was still having fun with Miss Crystal, so I asked Miss April if I should say goodbye again, since she was distracted and happy.
Miss April said yes, and that’s when the reality set in: Mommy’s ACTUALLY leaving me here.
Then the tears started.
I knew she would eventually be okay, even as she reached her arms up to me so I could pick her up (I didn’t). I gave her a kiss on the head and told her I would be back in a few hours to pick her up after she played, ate, and napped. Then I let Miss Crystal pick her up to take her to play. As I walked away I could still hear my baby crying, but knew it would be a short few minutes before she was okay again.
Overall she did well, as expected and better than it could’ve been! I’m glad she didn’t cry the entire time I was gone. I called for an update from Miss April at about lunch time, where she told me that Jia was up and down emotionally. Whenever the kids transitioned to a different activity (going outside to play, snack time, etc.) she would get upset, then sit down and watch the other kids. I was told she wasn’t interested in morning snack time until the snack was gone, then had some Cheerios instead. She ate about half of her lunch, didn’t nap, but ate a full afternoon snack. She didn’t mind the diaper changes. She had her lions with her when I picked her up, because she would scream bloody murder if they were taken away from her to be put away, so her teachers let her keep them. I think this was a good choice, since she was already having to deal with not having her pacifier with her.
I’m not really sure if she made any real friends today, but she met some faces that should start to become familiar over the next couple times she’s there.
It’s hard for us (just Jia and me) to be leaving for Charleston tomorrow for a week-long trip, since she won’t see her teachers or classmates from day care again for a while. (Let alone, changing time-zones for the second time in two weeks!) We’ll have to re-acclimate her all over again, and Jeff and I turn around and go to Las Vegas for the weekend after Jia and I return. This little trooper, I hope she does okay sleep-wise for her Gran and A-Yeh who are flying into LA to babysit and dogsit while we visit Sin City. She usually does pretty well with them babysitting since she got used to spending so much time with them back home, so I’m really glad that she at least gets to be with her grandparents! Having the pool, park, and library all within 1 block helps her keep busy but close to home, in case she feels like a little hermit after the traveling!
Things Jia has been doing this week:
- “Bye Bye Mei Mei” when we leave the apartment
- She’s categorizing shapes and colors and organizing them into piles
- Saying compound words: sunglasses, in-side, out-side, sleep-sack, back-pack
- Enunciating better
My brain’s dead, I can’t even think of what’s been going on beyond these four bullet points. So on that note…
Here are some pics:
A little about the YumBox: I mentioned the bento-box style YumBox in a previous post (okay, my memory is fading, it might’ve been on Twitter or Facebook and not in a post), but I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned how awesome it is! I chose this brand in particular (compared with all the stainless steel versions that tons of eco-moms rave about) despite it being plastic, because it has completely sealed compartments. The lid of the YumBox has a rubberized lining that’s shaped to create an air-tight seal to separate each food, causing no leaks with yogurt (top pic), peanut butter (bottom pic), etc. No worries that your fruit salad will spill into your sandwich section, and no need to use plastic sandwich baggies! Less waste! It’s so great! I only wish that somehow I could incorporate a freezer pack into this. It’s a really perfect size for a toddler and will be even better as she gets older. I also got silicone cupcake liners to separate foods when I need to further divide the compartments. And honestly, it’s a great “toy” for an obsessive organizer like me, as it makes packing meals a little less dreadful.
So basically, since I know not to expect normal eating (or napping) patterns on our day of travel, I’m just making sure to keep her favorites around that will at least offer her some protein and fat. I really hope she doesn’t gobble up everything and I’m out of food. But that’ll be a first, ha.
So please, if you’re reading this on Wednesday (9/2/15), send us some good vibes for our travels. Send us wishes for good napping and eating, and a happy traveling toddler!
By the way, what would you do if your toddler was asleep in her car seat and you had to get up to pee mid-flight? Call the flight attendant over to babysit? Sneak away and hope she doesn’t wake up?