Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Alice

Alice, the newest addition to the daycare, is coming into her own. It often takes three weeks to a month or so for a child to become completely comfortable at daycare, so that the child I see during the day is the same child the parents know at home. With part time children, this integration can take even longer. Generally, apart from the obvious symptom of tears, children are quieter than they would be at home, more solemn. They are observing and evaluating their new environment. Alice had a very easy transition, and relaxed quite quickly, with only a few sporadic clingy-uncertain days. These days, she's blossoming into a much more extroverted child than I'd seen thus far. She's finding her world here increasingly interesting. She's interested in her peers. Over the last week or three, the very quiet baby girl who sat at the edges and watched with interest has become an exuberant baby who cheers the action with delighted, and loud, squeals. She sits in a high chair at lunch time and bounces with such enthusiasm at the antics of the others that her cup flies from her tray, and a few stray peas and bits of chicken threaten to follow. She's interested in the environment. She's now mobile, and will vigorously chase down a ball, the other children, and most especially, the cat. She's particularly interested in the cat!! Generally he stays well out of it when the tots are about, but these days I'm almost ready to believe he's posing deliberately for her. Every morning when she arrives, there he is, on the fourth step up the stairs, awaiting his audience. Alice does not disappoint. She greets him with whole-body enthusiasm, squeals of excitement, and a beaming smile. In fact, her smile graces most of her day. What a happy addition to the crew!

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