Neil Armstrong famously said “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”. We felt the same way today – it was Reya’s first day in day-care. Although it is a little step or a small beginning to her overall growth and development, it felt huge to us. We have had family helping us and watching her the last 6 months. For the first time we are at the mercy of strangers, albeit professionals and people far more qualified than me in handling young’uns.
Reya definitely did not make it easy on us. She had a restless and a fitful sleep night. We wanted to drop her at 9 am and were behind schedule thanks to Reya waking up at 3 am and settling down only around 4:30 am. We were wondering how she would do with the limited sleep. On the way to the day-care, we took a little detour so that she could get an extended bit of sleep in the car ride. Once we got there, the trepidation began.
We were introduced to Reya’s care-takers (although their names’ did not register with us). We were shown around the room and the daily activities. We were warned that it might take her a week to get acclimatized to the surroundings. Reya did swimmingly though. She did not cry and was playing with some toys. One of the young boys was playing with me and i felt great about the situation. I told Shweta that we should leave and that’s when Shweta started to sniffle. I did not know what the big deal was, although i was aware of the gravity of the situation. It was funny to see a big man walk to us and tell us that he cried like a baby when he dropped his baby in the day-care as well. That did the trick and Shweta felt better. We left for work and i could sense her anxiety. I felt totally comfortable knowing Reya was in the hands of professionals.
We wanted to pick her after lunch and take her home – the idea was for her to have a shorter stay in the day-care this week. We went a bit after 12 pm, only to find that the little one was napping nicely, We decided to come back in about 15 minutes after grabbing a quick bite to eat. 2 Chalupas and 15 minutes later we picked up Reya from her first day. She was smiling and happy to see us. Apparently she did ok – her provider mentioned that she cried a bit when one of the other kids pushed her. We could see tear marks around her eyes and she sniffled all the way home – but in the grand scheme of things, she seemed fine. We came home and she refused to be with anyone other than the 2 of us. She did go down for a short nap and was back to her usual antics. So i would call her first day a success. The challenge will probably be tomorrow when she realizes she will be in the day-care and not the cozy confines of her house. But as Armstrong so eloquently misquoted on the surface of the moon, the first giant step has been taken and the next few challenging ones beckon. As we have heard numerous times before – Daycare causes kids to fall sick. We shall see….