Yesterday was the kids' first day at the new daycare, Sheltering Arms. Jeremiah and I spent a l lot of time telling Kate and even Sarah how much fun it was going to be and how much they were going to looooooove the new place. Of course, they'd spent over a week at home with us and various relatives who paid non-stop attention to them. They'd skipped naps. There were tons of gifts. Kate had been eating kind of poorly (though nowhere near as badly as the rest of us). So, while my plan to avoid taking them to the Frazer Center one day and Sheltering Arms the next succeeded, there were some other factors at work.
For one thing, Kate and Sarah had become very mommy-clingy. I spent the previous couple days with Kate attached to my leg and Sarah attached to my chest. When we arrived at the center, Kate insisted on being carried in. So I carried her, a giant shopping bag full of the stuff that was in their old cubbies and Sarah's bottles, while pushing the stroller with Sarah in her carseat in it. That was tricky. When I walked in, there were 2 employees at the door to greet me. I immediately informed them "this is our first day!" and to my relief, they set to work making us feel comfortable straight away.
Sarah was perfectly happy. She was smiling and making spit bubbles and playing with her mouth. Kate was quiet, but interested while Nikki, the program coordinator, showed us all around and where to put our stuff. They had a skeleton crew due to the holidays and very few kids were there, so Kate and Sarah started the day in the same room. Kate seemed alright...
Then I took her hand, walked her over to the little clatch of kids who were there, all younger than her, and said hello to them and introduced Kate. All the kids stared at her silently. She stared back silently. I said "Kate, can you say good morning?" and she was silent. It was then that she began to bawl. Given that she'd been talking about her friends at the Frazer center on the ride over, I wasn't surprised. I resisted the urge to join her. Barely. But again, everyone was on point, and when I left the room Kate and Sarah were both on the lap of Miss Diane. Kate had a baby doll in hand. When I spied on her via the closed circuit TV they've got, she was doing her "I'm in charge here" walk across the room and putting the baby doll back with the other dolls.
When I called at 10:00 Sarah was having some tummy time after her bottle (I forgot to mention they should be at the ready with a burp cloth when they do that, but they no doubt figured it out) and Kate was having a diaper changed and was not crying. They have phones in each room, so you talk directly to the caregivers, which is cool.
Joy picked the girls up early and took them to her place to play with the dogs and hang out. Not because it was their first day at a new place, well, maybe a little. When she did, she learned that Sarah had spent most of the day being held and rocked. "Does her mother wear her all the time?" the woman in the infant room asked Joy. Weeeeellll, not all the time, but for the past week. Oops.
All in all, we're pleased. If yesterday was a good indication of what they're like there all the time, this place is going to be great.