My little 1-1/2 year old daycare charges are nearing the point where they probably don't need their morning rest. I call it a 'rest' because more often than not, one of them never does fall asleep. But that rest period seems to be essential to carry on for the remainder of the day (until afternoon nap time, anyway).
It must be confusing to be little and living between two homes and two different sets of normal. They are happy in their comfortable world at home, surrounded by everything they know and love. Then they must be plucked up out of that world and placed in a new world of different people, places and things that they must reacquaint themselves with, five days of the week. Daycare is an introduction to life-outside-of-home that is easier some days, than others.
Things can go one of two ways during that first hour of Life at Daycare. Either they are happy or they are not. If they are not (as a rule), it takes little more than a few distractions and they are off and ready to play.
Once they take off into the direction of their new day, things can go one of two ways. Good or not-so-good.
It seems there is a transition period between Life at Home and Life at Daycare that is easier some days than others. The magical cure that has been working around here for the past several months, is that morning rest period.
I lay my two, little 1-year-olds down for a rest and encourage my 2-1/2 (now, almost 3) year olds to enjoy a quiet activity (basically anything that doesn't involve running up and down the hallway) during that time.
There is something about that physical separation that eases us into the day ahead of us. Our day formally begins after everyone has had a chance to recharge and reboot.
Yesterday was a rare day. The clock was ticking closer and closer to our rest period and everyone was happy. Everybody was getting along without whining, grabbing, crying or fighting over the toy-of-the-moment. It was a little bit awesome.
I wondered if I should chance it, and let yesterday be an experiment in living the day in full, without that morning rest period.
I resisted the change.
I know from experience that contentment is a fickle thing. 'Happy' one moment becomes 'crying' the next. So I just kept doing what we have been doing since this particular batch of kids fell into this routine. I laid two happy children down for a rest.
Neither one of them slept, but both of them came out happy and refreshed. That hour gave me time to organize myself and my two, 2-1/2 year olds for the next segment of the day. That hour gave the older kids a mini-break from the little ones.
Each and every one of us gains something from that hour of separation.
We segue into our day much more successfully after that hour. It is as if our day officially begins once everyone has had a chance to unplug and reboot.
Who hasn't rebooted their computer when all else fails? Who hasn't had (near) success most of the time you unplug &/or reboot their system? It is a strategy that works well for me.
When things don't go quite according to plan, try and take a step out of your reality for a short period. Walk away and come back to the same problem after a short break and (most) things become just a little more manageable.
And if that doesn't work, do what our cat does ...
... lay down, have a good stretch and catch a short cat nap while you are already there.