Tuesday, 11 March 2014: Three Hundred and Forty Four Days Old.
Ayla and I had our second attempt at day care today and this time it was a success.
Mind you like last week Ayla refused to sleep during the day for some reason, squeezing in just one 30 minute nap around lunch time, but she seemed happy and content enough to be sent off to school!
I was feeling much more relaxed too and I was really looking forward to starting a new chapter of parenthood that will mean mummy can get some time to herself every now and then.
So out came Ayla’s first set of daycare clothes (pictured) and her little baby sneakers. Her bag was packed with a hat, some nappies and cream, a change of clothes, a zippy-straw cup, some expressed milk and a bottle.
Then off we went!
We arrived just as the babies were waking up from their naps so the kids were bright, bubbly and happy; I was actually surprised at how friendly and outgoing some of them where, coming up to meet me and Ayla and promising to look after her for me.
I put Ayla down in the play yard and she sat motionless with wide eyes, staring at all the commotion around her. The other children kept bringing over toys for Ayla to play with, gently patting her head and trying to read to her but after about 15 minutes I think it got all a bit too much and Ayla started to cry.
I picked her up and gave her a cuddle and one of the day care mums brought out a baby couch for her to sit on. After a little while when Ayla seemed more settled and confident, I sat her on the little couch beside me and from then on in she was back to her old self.
After about an hour it was afternoon tea time at the centre and time for me to go to uni. The day care mums took all the kids off to wash their hands and get ready to eat and as I left Ayla was sitting up in a high chair about to get stuck into a piece of pear, a slice of orange and a square of sultana cake – happy as.
As I was leaving I tried explaining what was in Ayla’s bag, but I felt like such a bad parent when I could hardly answer any of the questions the day care mum had about Ayla’s routine!
- Will she need a nap this afternoon? Umm… probably, she’s hardly slept at all today which isn’t like her.
- What time does she usually go down for her afternoon nap? Umm… I don’t know, she hasn’t been having arvo naps for the last couple of weeks, but she used to sleep anywhere between 2 and 5pm!
- Should we give her a bottle if we put her down to nap? Umm… you can certainly try but she’s never taken a bottle.
- Which bottle should we use, does she have a preference? Umm… no, neither, both? I’m sorry! I’m just not sure, she changes every day!
- How much food will she eat? Umm… that changes every day too! She was having three solid meals a day but lately she’s dropped back to just snacks and milk.
I was worried they thought Ayla was a spoilt brat but off I went to uni, keeping my fingers and toes crossed that Ayla would be her usual wonderful self and wouldn’t turn into a sleep deprived monster!
When my class finished, and I was pleased to have only thought about Ayla every fifteen minutes, I couldn’t wait to get back to pick her up.
I arrived to find Ayla exactly where I left her, sitting up in a high chair but this time having some pre-dinner snacks. When she saw me Ayla squealed with delight, throwing her plate of food to the floor and kicking her legs in uncontainable excitement.
The day care mum picked her up and brushed off the crumbs then took Ayla off to the sink to wash up. The whole time Ayla couldn’t take her eyes off me, pointing at me with her wide tired eyes.
The ladies at the day care literally gushed about how wonderful Ayla had been, and they had so many wonderful things to say that I don’t think they were just being nice!
Apparently Ayla had been truly wonderful and friendly, ate lots and played really well with the other kids. They said that she had had only one moment of sadness which was easily rectified by a bit of distraction, and one even said she would take care of Ayla any time!
I realised that although my vague recital of Ayla’s routine earlier could have come across as high maintenance, the truth is Ayla is just easy going and placid. Ayla doesn’t need strict rules because she’s happy to go with the flow and adapt, and that’s one of the things that makes her so damn lovable!