Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Last and a First

Within the last month, Grace has had a "last," and a "first" for her!

Her last was her last day of daycare. Grace attended a day care from the time that she was five months old for five hours a day, five days a week, while we were in full time language school.

She was at her first day care from September until March. That daycare was okay, but it was really dirty and pretty disorganized. The women that worked there though loved Grace, and I didn't doubt for a minute that she was being taken care of. It was right next to my language school, too, so while I was still nursing Grace, I could just walk next door during my lunch break and feed her.

Then, one day in the spring, I went to drop Grace off at her daycare and was met at the gate by an unknown lady. She took Grace from me and went inside. Now, this wasn't totally out of the norm, as new workers were constantly being cycled in. But I didn't see even one of the normal workers through the gate, and the daycare was strangely quiet. I had a weird feeling but had to get to school.

When I got to my class, I found out they were taking a test and since I didn't have to take one, I sat out in the sitting room. About half an hour later, I got a call from the director of the day (in Arabic) saying that she and ALL of the workers had been let go and replaced over night. Something about the owner just wanting a new staff at lower salaries.

I ran next door and got Grace and she never went back. I was pretty freaked out that I had left Grace (unknowingly,) with people that she and I didn't know.

We switched to a daycare that was about 15 minutes away. That's not normally a long drive, but we  didn't have a car so that meant we were spending alot of time in taxis. It was all worth it though- the new daycare was very clean and the child to teacher ratio was alot lower. They were never able to get Grace to sleep while she was there, but it was okay, she just took a longer nap in the afternoon!

In the last month or two, every afternoon when I would pick her up, she would be sitting with the daycare director, in her office! The director often had several children and another adult with her in the office and I know Grace loved the quieter atmosphere with more attention.

She went to this daycare until the day before we moved. Her last day was July 16th, 2012, and it was such a bittersweet day. Sad, because the women who cared for her did such a great job, and Grace loved having friends to play with every day. Happy though, because I never wanted to send her to daycare. I always thought I would be home with my babies when they were little. I was glad to close that chapter of our lives.

Happy baby, on her way to her last day of daycare!
A first for Grace happened just a few days later, when Grace got to go to church nursery for the first time! While were in language school, our church was a small group that met together weekly. There was no church nursery, just a family style environment that worshiped and learned together. As soon as we moved we were able to visit three different churches in three consecutive weeks, letting Grace go to Church nursery for the first time.

Getting her strawberry back pack on for her last day!
Our first week went smoothly, except when snack time came to an end and Grace threw a fit when she wanted more. In her defense, they served Goldfish, which she had just had for the first time that week and she was in love!

Our second week went mostly smoothly. While I was signing her in and filling out some paperwork, Grace was beside or behind me, peering through the baby gate into the room and talking and laughing with the toddlers on the other side. She was bouncing with excitement and couldn't wait to get in there and play. While I was writing though, another lady and her son walked up. The woman signing me in got my attention and told me to look at Grace and help her. I turned around to see a panicked Grace, with a 4 year old boy BITING HER NOSE!

Yes, my 1 year old baby girl was just standing there when this 4 year old boy bit her on her face and held on for dear life. Luckily, her skin wasn't broken, but she was really freaked out. The mom of the boy apologized profusely and the nursery worker asked her if he was "a biter." The mom said that he was and that she knew she had to stay with him in nursery because of it.

Good to know.

Grace was fine though and had a great time after that!

Our third week, we visited a different church and Grace was the only child in nursery! Not just in her age group, but at all! Very strange, considering there was 4-500 people there. Grace loved the attention and the toys though and had herself a great time.

So, there you have it. A detailed description of Grace's last daycare experience and first church nursery experiences!

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