So begins our second full week of daycare.
By the end of last week, my son was doing better at his new daycare (read about my initial thoughts on our switch from nannycare to daycare). Of course, two days of rain didn't help: all the kids were a little antsy from being stuck indoors all day. On the flipside, we got to experience our first Colorado thunderstorms which were fun. Not too much thunder and lightning but enough to get my son to spend a whole day saying, "Thunder! Thunder!"
After a three day weekend together, my son seemed better: less of the whining, less anxiety about being left alone for even a moment's notice. And then, Monday happened.
We went with our usual routine: wake up around 6:30am, and while my husband is getting ready for work, I eat breakfast with my son and get him dressed for school. As soon as we got his backpack out and started pulling everything together for school, he ran to his room, grabbed some of his favorite stuffed animals, and huddled close to his books. We had to carry him to the car.
When I came to pick him up that afternoon (and I tried to get there a little early), I found a teary-eyed little boy sitting in the corner of his classroom. As soon as he saw me, he jumped up and hugged me. Then he turned around, and to nobody in particular, said, "Bye bye!".
The rest of the afternoon my son exhibited all kinds of odd behavior (some of which we've seen the last week or two). I needed to get grocery shopping and dinner done and he didn't want to have any of it. He had a few moments of cooperation but many moments of running up to me in the kitchen, grabbing my leg, hugging me, and other such behavior which is new and just breaks my heart.
Drawbacks of Daycare
I know that he misses his old life (nanny, whom he trusted) and I've found some articles that have confirmed that moving to full-time daycare may not be the best setup for a toddler. I've found one article that suggests that limited daycare is better and I'm thinking about moving to a situation where I send my son to daycare for the morning and have him at home. That would have worked with our old setup in California where we had a nanny come to our house 8am-5pm four days a week. I work from home four days a week right now and am planning to move up to five days a week.
We're in temporary housing right now which means our current home is very small (read: apartment). Once we've moved into a more permanent home, I think I'd like to look into hiring an afternoon nanny who can pick my son up from daycare and bring him home where I think he'll nap better. I have doubts that my son is napping more than an hour each afternoon. If he is anywhere as anxious at lunchtime as he is when I pick him up at 3:30pm, I doubt that he is comfortable enough to nap.
The other thing I've noticed is that he is always ravenous when I pick him up. I find this odd because he gets fed a snack in the morning, the lunch I pack up for him at noon, and then another snack right after their nap. Maybe he's not getting that afternoon snack? Or not eating it?
We get daily reports from daycare that provide notes on their activities that day, how many times their diapers were changed, what they ate, and how long they napped. There are days where I don't feel like my son's behavior matches the feedback on the report. We've only been there for a week and a half and I don't want to be that "difficult parent". The one who is asking too many questions and super worried about their child.
For now it's a waiting game. Wait to see if my son gets more comfortable. Wait to see if we move into a real house sooner than later. And until then, I'll keep researching on how to make my son more comfortable with daycare and how to deal with his separation anxiety.