I am just coming off a two week stint at home alone with Little R while her daddy is off jet setting around and soaking up the sun in Portugal (well he is really there working… but I pretend he is living the life!). During these two weeks, I have had a bit of time to reflect (usually while banging my head agaisnt the wall) and one thing that I have been noticing is the apparant difference in my daughter at daycare compared to when she is at home with me.
Each day I go and pick my daughter up from daycare and I ask her the same question ‘How was your day?’ she promptly nods her head not really understanding what I am asking (at least I think she doesn’t… she often surprises me!), I follow this up with ‘Did you have fun today?’ and she nods her head excitedly. Her teachers tell me the same thing nearly every day ‘She had a good day today’, I ask how she slept and they tell me she slept well (usually for an hour and a half), they tell me she ate well and that she had fun.
When the weather is nice we walk home from daycare and have a fun old time mixing it up between walking, running, jumping in puddles and being carried by mom. As soon as we get home, we make our smoothies grab a snack and then…. it’s like a whole different kid takes over my toddler. From the time I even start to think about preparing dinner, she cannot be anywhere but in my arms. I have become a one handed cooking ninja! I try and prep all of the cutting before Little R turns monster but some cooking jobs quite simply needs two hands. After, juggling the cooking scenario, often while chatting to dad on Skype, I think maybe tonight will be the night… maybe tonight she will actually sit still for longer than 2 minutes and enjoy dinner. More often than not however, I do not get my wish…
So when Little R’s daycare teachers tell me about her ‘good day’ and that she ate well. I just look at them and think ummm ok, sure, yeah she totally ‘eats well’ at home too. Your not doing anything that I’m not doing…. Big fat lying mamma right here!
That’s not the only difference though, there are many times I get reports from daycare about things she loves or what she’s doing and I just shake my head thinking… who is this kid that they are describing. I’m not sure if there are other mamma’s out there who experience this as well, but after thinking about it a while, here are a few ways that my ‘daycare toddler’ is different to my ‘at home toddler’.
- ‘She likes getting her hair brushed and getting piggy tails’. Um.. OK… My at home toddler, hates it when I brush her hair. I pick up the brush and she starts crying before I have even started, I know it’s not hurting her because I haven’t even started, yet she cries bloody murder whenever I try to brush her hair. Yet, she comes home from daycare with these perfect, tight little piggy tails?!? Apparently, she even goes as far as to line up and willingly to get her hair done? On those days when she leaves daycare with her cute little piggy tails I promptly take a lot and I mean A LOT of photo’s send them to all my friends and family. Then as soon as we are at home I then have to deal with ‘at home toddler’ screaming while I try take the piggy tails out before bed!
- ‘She loves food’. This one is a bit of a tough one because I feel like she goes through so many phases with food. I typically try and roll with the punches when it comes to food, but at daycare they tell me she sits with the other kids and most importantly, stays put, while eating lunch and snacks. Jump to my ‘at home’ toddler and she won’t sit in the same spot for more than a few minutes, goes through so many phases with what she likes to eat or if she even wants to eat at all! The good think about Little R is that it’s usually not every meal she is like this, it’s usually dinner, but I know she eats well enough through the day that I don’t worry about her food intake. Still, hey where is this cute little toddler who sits still and enjoys eating her dinner?!?
- ‘She has good naps’. This one just makes me laugh out loud. She ‘used’ to have good naps, it was the one thing I could depend on for her. Then all of a sudden she stopped. Well truthfully it wasn’t all of a sudden, we had just relocated, so I could see how this one changed for her. At daycare, she has her 1 to 1.5 hour nap a day without any fuss. On the weekends, however, at home. She now just stands in her crib and cries. I have tried many different approaches and continue to combat this one but it is quite honestly at the stage where I look forward to her going to daycare so she can at least get a better sleep through the day. I feel bad even saying that, but it is the truth and I haven’t given up, it’s just a work in progress for us at the moment.
- ‘She is independent’. At daycare she does her own thing, yet as soon as we are home, she cannot be anywhere but by my side, in my arms or on my boob! I totally get this one, and I do try and give her everything she needs as I know she just wants to be close to me. I know that it’s going to be a very sad day for me, when she no longer needs her mumma…
- ‘She likes other kids’. Little R is so very very shy, whenever we go places with other kids or even grown ups she will not interact with anyone. She just want to be left alone and with her mummy and daddy. It gets to the stage where she might even start crying if people try and make eye contact. Yet, at daycare she quite happily plays with the other kids.
What about you? Do you notice differences between your daycare toddler and your at home toddler? Is there anything your toddler wouldn’t do at home that they are happy to do at daycare or vice versa? Let me know!
Until next time!