Thanks so much for all your wishes for today. It went.....OK. Not really well, not too bad, just OK. Gracie has crashed, she's exhausted, and I'm feeling quite drained too. I didn't sleep so well last night, worrying about how we would cope, if I am a bad mother for putting my baby in the care of others.
I guess it was always going to be a little chaotic, today being the first day that the centre is open following the holidays. So even the kids who have been going there for months or years might be a little hesitant or fragile going back after 2 weeks in a different routine at home.
Grace was very interested in the new environment - she loves looking at other children, and there were of course new toys. I arrived around 830, and by the time I chatted with the carers about her routine and did some paperwork, she was getting cranky and tired. I was never going to just dump her and run, I always planned to spend most of the morning there with her, so I put her down to sleep myself.
Except that she didn't much like the different bed, in a different room, with different light, sounds and smells. So she screamed. For about 40 minutes. I couldn't even rock her to sleep, which is usually a sure-fire trick. If I haven't mentioned it before, Gracie is a champion sleeper, a great self-settler, just wrap her up and away she goes. I could count on one hand the number of times we've been unable to settle her. So it was pretty upsetting that I couldn't soothe her, on today of all days.
I kept thinking "that's it, I'll take her home. Just home to her own bed". I was so close to walking out with her. But we hung in there, and in the end gave up on sleeping (even though she was so tired she was falling asleep between howls! She just wouldn't stay asleep), and fed her instead.
After that she was fine (yes, arguably she was hungry in the first place, but initially she was more tired than hungry. I still get those signals wrong sometimes). I handed her over to the primary carer and she was all smiles and ready to play. I took myself off to the kitchen for a cup of tea to soothe my nerves (parents are encouraged to do this if they feel like it), and after half an hour looked in the window and she was happy and playing.
I checked in at lunch-time and she had just woken from a sleep and finished a bottle, and was ready for lunch.
When I picked her up this afternoon, she had only had an hour's sleep all day, and refused to settle for her afternoon sleep, but had eaten a big lunch, drunk both her bottles of milk and charmed both the carers and other kids. She was sitting in a swing chair surrounded by other children, looking for all the world like she holding court!
So today was OK. I'm sure tomorrow will be better, and next week better again. On the up side, they have agreed to try using her cloth nappies this week. (Normal practice is to supply your own disposables.) That made me very happy!