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Daycare

Yes I'm an anxious mother. Move along if this annoys you.

So, for the first time, it's been a little over two weeks now, Rebecca didn't cry when I came to pick her up. In the, "Oh my god, where have you been all this time!" kind of way. So, that was good. I thought, ok, maybe this isn't such a bad thing, and you aren't going to hate me. Usually she's seemed kind of upset and withdrawn or dopey for the first half hour after I pick her up. This is non-optimal. Sometimes I think it is because she's hungry, because she doesn't really know how to eat the way they are feeding her, and sometimes I think she's being brainwashed into passivity. Today I'm guessing both. The more I thought about today, the more I think maybe things aren't so great, even if she wasn't crying today.

So, mismatch of eating styles: Today when I picked her up she was being spoon fed a banana. Usually I let her play with hunks of it, I've never tried to spoon feed her something that solid. When I picked her up she didn't say anything. She was looking at me with a "my mouth is full" sort of expression. Which may have had something to do with why she wasn't crying, but that's never stopped her before. So we went around, collected her stuff, got her daily write-up sheet that said she had had a late nap and when she'd eaten. And then someone wiped some of the banana off her shirt. Then we went out to the car where we usually play and nurse for a little while before she has to get in the carseat for the ride home. And I wiped some of the banana off my shirt. And then she dribbled a little more chunky banana out of her mouth. She still looked like her mouth was full. I was sort of starting to wonder. So we sat there and played and she sort of drooled chunks of banana for the next five minutes. I think she was just sucking on what they were feeding her, and swallowing only the bits that were dissolved. So, yah, there's a mismatch in eating styles, and I'll have to only send her to school with mushy food for a while. And I don't think they understand finger food the same way I do either. She never really eats the crackers and dissolve-y vegetable puffs that I send her to school with either. I think they don't set them out on her tray, because she happily eats them at home. I don't know if they are trying to feed them to her one by one, or what.

Brainwashing into passivity: Also when I got there Rebecca and ~7 other kids were sitting around the magic semicircle baby table/highchair. It's a semicircular table with 8 seats set into it, just the kind of thing I would want if I was trying to feed a bunch of kids at a time. The problem, and I'm thinking it is more of a problem the more I think about it, is that Rebecca is the only one who was being fed. I said "What are all you guys eating?" and the childcare-er said that they had all finished their crackers and whatnot. Now, these kids were all cleaned up, and sitting around this table, with absolutely nothing to do. I don't know how often this happens, but these kids were all just sitting there, not complaining. You might think, "Oh, how nice, what well behaved children," but I think, WTF? What is wrong with these kids? And why can't they all be sitting on the carpet? Then if they want to do nothing, fine, that's their thing. Now, it was beginning to get ready for nap-time, so maybe the caregivers didn't want them to get riled up before bedtime. It's forgivable. But I'm beginning to notice a theme. It's something I'm going to have to pay attention to.

I thought that Rebecca would get at least more stimulation at daycare than when we're sitting around the house and I'm ignoring her doing something else. But if she spends half her time sitting in a highchair, then I think maybe she isn't.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 15th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
They are not like us...
I hope it's ok to leave a less-than-fully-positive comment...

Oh, but before I start that, I LOVE the way you decorate this page, and how it changes frequently :)

Anyway... As much as the folks at day care are swell folks, and doing a great job, and they really really love Rebecca, etc... their #1 goals are (a) low mess (b) low noise. Except at special noise-making times. Basically, people are inherently lazy, and so, after a few weeks on the job, figure out ways to make it less work on themselves.

This means that Rebecca doesn't get special banana treatment, and hole big chunks of banana get shoved into her mouth in the name of expediency so that ALL the kids can be marked off as "fed on time" on their little charts.

And, of course, she's not going to be encouraged to be terribly unlike the other kids, or unlike the day-care's expectactions of her.

It's not that they're "bad", it's just that they're ... well... they're WORKING.

You probably have a great day-care provider (for all I know :), but you should probably wrap your head around the idea of either (a) they're going to do things differently than you would and, many times, in ways you consider inferior or (b) there is only one mom on the planet who will do things your way -- what's it worth to you?

Take heart -- things are worse in hospitals & nursing homes... :\

Sorry the msg isn't cheerier. It's really not all that bad, over all, I think. Just neither "all that good" -- so you have to make up the difference in other ways. I guess that's what "quality time" is all about.

Go, Kathrine, go! :)
<xo>
katharos
Feb. 15th, 2007 02:07 pm (UTC)
Re: They are not like us...
Oh, I know, and that's why I'm thinking about it. The big question is how much IS it worth to me. Because I do have choices.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )