This is the entrance to the Aladi Daycare. It comes highly recommended, and it's the one our nephew, Samuel, attended. It's also the boys new school which, so far, they seem to hate.
We inquired about available spots last fall, but they were completely full. Two weeks ago, on a whim, we stopped by to see if they had room for two 19 month old boys. They did not. We were told there would be space in September, and we were invited back for a tour last Wednesday. During our tour we were told that a couple of spaces had not been confirmed and that we could have them if we wanted... so, we decided we wanted them. They advised us to start slowly and ease the boys into things a little each day. Ultimately we are trying to work up to three hours a day, five days a week. Here's how things have gone so far:
Day 1 - Tour day: The boys went in and checked out the place and then "played" with the group for about 30 minutes while we talked to the owner. When we came back to get them, they were anxious to leave but not distressed in any way. It actually seemed as if they liked it.
Day 2 - The boys walked into daycare and joined the other kids who were coloring. Jaime and I went to have a coffee nearby. About 40 minutes later, we got a call saying they were crying and could not be calmed and that we needed to come pick them up. According to the staff, they were doing fine up until it was time for the kids to change rooms. Connor "lost it" upon entering the other room, and Alex tried to calm by giving him hugs. When Alex found he was unsuccessful, he started crying too. They were really crying by the time we arrived and attached themselves to us like little ticks and would not let go.
Day 3 - As soon as we entered the front entry, Connor started crying and then Alex decided to copy him. The tried to attach themselves to us again, but we managed to say good-bye and hand them off to the teachers. Jaime and I waited in the foyer for a bit and could hear them both screaming. The door opened to let another child in and we caught a glimpse of a crying Connor trying to escape. We decided to head upstairs for a coffee... but, before we even got to take our first sip, the daycare called us to pick them up again. They were pretty hysterical and the staff wasn't having any luck calming them down.
Later that afternoon, Connor started acting sick. His nose was running and he was running a bit of a fever. You always hear about the rampant germs in daycare/school and how even the healthiest child will fall victim, but we were a bit shocked it happened so quickly and with so little time actually spent in the daycare.
Of course Alex's nose started running soon afterward and by Saturday they were both coughing, snotty, and running fevers. Connor seemed to get the worst of it, and, on Monday, they went to the pediatrician instead of school. Connor had a complete meltdown as soon as we got into the doctor's office. In all his 19 months, we have never seen him like that. Of course, Alex wasn't sure why his brother was freaking out, but he joined in anyhow in a show of solidarity. After wrestling to examine both of them, the Pedi said it looked like they just had a head cold and gave us something for the fever.
Tuesday, no school due to fever. Apparently, during the "adjustment" period, the school wants you to bring our kids in even if they are sick (probably how our boys got sick in the first place) unless, of course, they are running a fever.
Day 4 - Today - No fever this morning, but Connor woke up cranky and achy and clearly still sick. We decided to take them into school since we didn't want too many days to pass between visits. Connor froze at the top of the staircase that leads to the school, and didn't not want to walk any further. That kid has a pretty good memory. Alex didn't seem phased by anything until we got to the front entry. They cried while we hung out with them and chatted with the teacher in the foyer. Eventually, we decided to send Alex in since he was somewhat calm, and feeling better than Connor. Overall, he was not happy but did better than last week. We stayed with Connor and let him watch the children play through the glass while we waited for Alex. Connor calmed a bit, but only if we were still holding him. Alex made it about 10 minutes crying the entire time, not with real tears, before the teacher brought him back out.
Now the school is closed until Monday because of Semana Santa. So, the boys will, unfortunately, start to settle back into the "home" routine for the next four days and then we will start again next week. We will see what happens on Monday, the boys can each bring their teddy bear with them next week to see if that helps. I hope it does. I go back to school on Tuesday, so Jaime will be braving things on his own Tuesday and Thursday.
Since that second day at school, the boys seem to have lost their sense of security. They "freak out" more now when one of us leaves and they are apprehensive/scared even of people they know like their Lela (grandma), aunts, and uncles. I know many children go though some sort of separation anxiety, and I am here to say it is not fun for anyone. I certainly hope all of us adjust soon as I think school will be good for everyone.
"How lucky I am to have something
that makes saying goodbye so hard."
~ Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan