So this morning marks a momentous occasion – Olivia has entered daycare in Tokyo.
Yep, today she’ll spend 3 hours in the daycare directly across the street from our apartment building, soaking up a bi-lingual environment with children around her age… something that has been a bit sparse / random. Prior to this her interaction with children was a bit more free-form – maybe they met someone in the courtyard or perhaps she could find a reasonable friend at the play hall. Now, however, I expect that a more structured environment will lead to a bit more structured relationships.
She and Susan visited the center on Tuesday and Olivia was quite upset that she wasn’t staying, which was a great indication that she wasn’t going to have much trouble letting go of mommy. I’m sure this draws on her experience from daycare at home where she was going up to 5 days a week for full days. Today she just barely remembered to give us hugs and kisses before she dove into the center. On both occasions she remembered that this was traditional Japanese and you leave your shoes at the door. Before we left home we went over her Japanese vocabulary, and reminded her that she should use both languages… this excites me greatly.
Beyond daycare, however, the girls have had some luck in making new friends. The trip to the play hall on Tuesday (or was it Wednesday?) garnered a girl Olivia’s age. As a double-bonus the little girl’s mother was someone Susan could get along with as well, so they’ve made plans to go to the Play Castle (??) on Friday. This is in addition to the people that they’ve met through the Tokyo Mother’s Group which has gone on a bit of a summer hiatus.
There you have it – they are really settling in. Olivia will attend daycare two days a week for the foreseeable future, partly for the friendship aspect and partly because Susan begins her weekly hour-long Japanese lessons next week.