This is Kailey's first week at her new daycare -- she now is with 11 (11!!) other children during the day and three new caregivers. I thought it might be a teensy bit traumatic for Kai, despite her legendary fearlessness (which, really is legend -- I saw fear in her eyes the other day when we took her to a pool with a water slide. She hesitated for a moment and grabbed onto my finger... right before she nodded her head in determination and launched herself down the slide. Fear, I saw it... even if it was fleeting). Anyway... so, she has exhibited fear in a moment and, I thought, maybe a new home, 11 (11!) new kids, and new caregivers might be a little intimidating. But, no.
Over the last two weeks, we did three visits to the new daycare. The first day, I just hung out with Kailey at daycare; although, I don't think Kailey really registered that I was there. We walked in the door, she saw kids, toys and an open backdoor leading to a backyard with a lot of play equipment, and that was that. She squirmed to get down, checked out the various rooms, and proceeded outside. The "big" kids (you know, the 3 and 4 year olds) were playing with the balls, and Kailey joined right in. She rode a trike. She swung. When it was snack time, she followed the other kids inside, sat at the table, and demanded "more" crackers when she ran out of her portion. But, I was there -- so, I wasn't sure how it would go without me lurking in the background.
A few days later we went back. I needed to go buy a dress for Katie's wedding (woo hoo!) and so I decided I would just drop Kai off for an hour or so, get a dress (aren't I very ambitious) and then return. We walked in, and it was deja vu. Kai squirmed to get down, and ran to where the other kids were playing to see what they were doing. I followed behind and told Kailey, "ok... mama is going to go to the store. I'll be back." No response. "Kailey... I'm leaving... I'll see you soon." Nothing. "Ok Kailey. Bye." She looked at me with a hint of irritation and said, "BYEEEE." Alright then. She seemed to be OK with me leaving. When I returned 75 minutes later, Lauren (who runs the daycare) said it was a repeat of last time. She played. She snacked. And, when I came through the door, she saw me and ran the other way... determined to get outside before I could make her leave.
Eric took her for two hours a couple of days later and it was the same thing. No issues. No worries.
But, yesterday was her first FULL day. Nine and a half hours in a brand new setting. I dropped her off, and it was the same as the other times, complete with the "BYYEEEE" when I explained to her that I was going to work. I called during naptime and was told that Kai was having a grand time. And, at naptime, she watched the other kids pulled out their mats, and pulled out a mat. She saw the other kids lay down, so she laid down. Then, she got back up and was told by Barbara that it was naptime so everyone was laying down. Kai nodded, got back on her mat, closed her eyes and went to sleep. I'm telling you... the things kids do for other people!! When I arrived that evening, she just continued playing. I picked her up, she squirmed to get down.
Today it was the same story. Three different parents remarked to me this evening on how well Kai was doing (apparently, they visit more during the day than I do). But, it's true. Kailey is very confident. Very adaptable. She likes new things, new people, new places. She loves to play. Lauren said tonight that Kailey is "extremely proficient at keeping herself occupied... she goes from one thing to another. She never stops." Kailey... our little energizer bunny. Ready to take on the great big world.