Sofia has started her first days at nursery to tears at Drop Off. It’s really hard leaving her there her face looking at you, tears flowing and a general look of “how could you”. We don’t want to but for now have to. She has a long day of 8-6 coming but for this first week it is 8.30-4.30.
Settling in has been relatively short in comparison. 5 sessions of just over an hour to let her play and for the nursery to see how she plays and her general mobility. First session was mainly form filling but gives you a chance to figure out how the whole thing will work
- Meet Sofias care worker.
- Timings, how will you get there and back. What time will she be there from and to.
- Food, what will they eat and when, do they have any allergies, luckily Sofia doesn’t.
- Medication, Sofia doesn’t currently.
- How do they nap, Sofia needs one of us to get her to sleep.
- Storage, where you can store buggies and any codes and locks to get in. We’ve put a tracker on our buggy just in case from Tile.
- Who will come and pick them up and contacts. We needed to make sure grandparents were on the ok list.
- Understand the day and what they will do, there is a outdoor play and indoor soft play area. Also for us a split room for those who are mobile and those less so.
- Check on nappy types/sizes and also powdered milk if not on whole milk yet
- We got details on a App that tracks her progress called Tapestry.
- Key nursery contact details.
First full day was ensuring she settled and was ok. I’ve actually taken the week off to make sure she is ok and also to initially shorten the day. It’s pretty emotional, you are dropping this little person off who is largely with you 24/7 and letting people who are not related start caring for her. There are tears all round, I didn’t think I’d be that bothered but seeing her eyes well up and her hands reaching out for you is heattbreaking. I don’t know if it will get easier but you just need to make sure she has everything she needs for the day. It’s all obvious stuff.
- Dummy, this helps calm her down. We packed a spare one
- Water beaker, we packed a red one which indicated allergies so she used a blue one there. It is worth checking on colour coding during the settling in
- Clothing change, she has a peg with a photo on it so you can place a bag with clothes for her if she needs them after water and messy play (buy some cheap clothes!)
- Cuddly toy, if she has something that she uses a lot then worth having this to hand to help her feel at home. Sofia doesn’t yet so one for the future.
- Some favourite snacks for while she is there. Sofia isn’t too fussy but if they have favourite foods then you can bring some in.
- Lots of love before and after without making her feel like this is a big deal
First few days have been really tough on Sofia, she has emerged shell shocked but still has enough energy to run round outside pushing her car for a further hour and chase the local neighbourhood cat. The first thing she does when coming back is take a seat on her step in the hall and chills for a few minutes.
Despite eating everything for lunch and a snack at 4pm she still comes home and eats a meal and has a 7oz bottle later just before sleeping (we wonder if we overfeed her usually). She has also slept well and has slept past 6am the last few nights until she lost her voice late in the week (through crying 😦 ).
One worry is that she sees me as the bad guy. I drop her off and pick her up from what she probably considers prison. She does have this look both before and after of you bastard! I will get you back. Probably through further hiding of my credit cards. It won’t be long before we miss her carrying one of our phones in to the toilet and leave it there. She gets happier daily though. So there is hope.
With being at home I can do both Drop off and pick up but this is only for a week. After we need a pickup and drop off routine. So I’ve needed to time the route, understand train times and generally the logistics of getting there and back quickly. We’ve got a rough schedule thanks to Em which looks something like
- Mon I drop off and Em picks up
- Tues I pickup and Em drops off
- Wed Em does both as she is working from home
- Thurs I drop off every fortnight and Em picks up. Ems mum will be helping the other time and might give us the odd night to ourselves (date night)
- Friday Em is off
Hopefully when I get back to work we will be able to adapt this routine as I learn what I will be doing and how I can work differently going forwards. In some ways Drop is quite a nice and relaxed start to the day. This might change when the work schedule kicks in and winter starts but for now.
The first few days at nursery have been tough. So she is starting to bond with some of the care workers but is missing us. We are missing her and there are regular phone calls to see how she is doing. The nursery have been good at accommodating this. At the end of the day they have a logbook and run down on the events of the day. She has actually eaten all the food presented and even followed this with tea at home. She was very tired although she has a tiny engine on her that powers her on and was pushing her car round the outside of the house after we got back.
I’ve had to find some things to do, I’ve started to read and get back in to what is happening at work and in my industry. It has also let me get on with some chores around the house and have some time out before work starts. I don’t intend to start those things I said I’d do but haven’t yet.