Since I am not actually returning to work until the 14th, my plan is to ease Abner into the whole being-cared-for-by-someone-who-is-not-mommy concept very slowly. Today we started with only two hours; we'll add an hour each day until we hit full time late next week.
First off, let me tell you...daycare requires a tonne of crap. Regulations require you provide a number of items for emergency purposes, plus the usual accoutrements and "just in case" items for the day. So, as I headed down to the car this morning, I was toting:
- 1 20 lb baby girl
- 1 sack of diapers
- 1 box of wipes
- 1 tin of bum cream
- 1 winter outfit (for emergency kit)
- 1 summer outfit (for emergency kit)
- 1 pair extra socks (for emergency kit)
- 1 bottle sun screen (certainly not for today - it snowed for Pete's sake)
- 1 family picture (for emergency kit)
- 2 blankets (one for emergency kit, the other for nap time)
- 1 pile of paper work
- 1 spare outfit for the day
- snacks for the day
- 1 water bottle
- 1 spoon
- 1 rain suit
- 1 winter hat
- 1 toy (for emergency kit)
...and I still forgot a few items (like a bib and food for the emergency kit).
Within moments of arriving, Abner settled in to play with all the new toys that greeted her. One of the things I really like about this daycare is that The Daycare Lady only takes a few kids at a time (rather than the seven she's legally allowed to have). Today's group included her grandson Jabir (age 2), a cutie pie named Mandalay (almost 2) and a 4-year-old girl with the same name as Abner (we call them Big and Little Abner). I stuck around for 10-15 minutes to go through the paperwork and ask a few questions, but managed to tear myself away just after 9 am.
So what did I do with my two hours of freedom? I went for a run. Yes, you heard me right. I went for a 45 minute run - in the snow...and it felt pretty good. I also had time to run through the mall to buy a new toaster oven (our old one mysteriously melted this morning).
To my disappointment, the kids were watching TV when I returned to pick Abner up. The Daycare Lady did tell me she turned the TV on for lunch and after 5 pm, but since the movie ended while I was waiting for Abner to wake up from her nap, it had definitely been on for quite a while. I guess there's not much I can do about it.
I also couldn't believe that The Daycare Lady put Abner to sleep on a big bed - not in a crib or playpen. She insists that normally she wouldn't put her in bed, but she needed to lay down with her to get her to sleep, so she couldn't go in the crib. Admittedly, the bed wasn't very high, but when I went in to pick her up once she finally woke up, she was standing up and could have toppled over at any moment. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid, but Abner's head has taken a few bumps lately (can of beans, falling off a couch at a friend's house, and taking a header down two stairs at Grandma and Grandpa's) so I am a little leery of risking further bumps. I'll have to have a talk with The Daycare Lady tomorrow morning. She might not have needed to lay down with her if she'd just used the soother I'd brought.
All things considered...there were no tears shed by either party and Abner seemed happy the rest of the day, so I think the first day was a success.