It is almost time for me to go back to work. I start the day after Labor Day but I will start to get up earlier next week so that it is not too much of a shock. Naturally, Lilly has started sleeping until 8-8:30am just in the past 2 weeks. But what I am really thinking, worrying and obsessing about is where Lilly will go to daycare.
She has been going to one daycare since she was 18 months old, when I became a working mom. In that first year there were a few issues here and there, but we generally loved her teachers and all the other people she encountered at daycare. After she was there a few months she had a seizure at daycare, bringing one of my worst fears to life. They were amazing in their response - every single person from the teacher who was with her at the time to the director who went in the ambulance with her and stayed at the hospital with my husband until I was able to get there. In many ways, I excused little things that bothered me because of their response to her seizure. It always felt like a warm, welcoming place. Even though I did not know all the teachers, they ALL knew Lilly. And in the good way, not the Oh, it's Lilly way, but the Hi Lilly!!! way.
Last September she moved up to a new class called Pre-k 1. I balked a little at the thought of calling 2 year olds preschoolers, but that is what they called it. From the beginning I had some issues with the change in how the teachers interacted with the children. We went from cuddly, hugging teachers to much more detached teachers. In fact, even though the daycare calls all of them teachers it felt like we went from caregivers to teachers. The teachers were not cold and did give hugs, but were just so different than the downstairs waddler & toddler teachers. (The exception being the most wonderful Ms. Gloria. Yesterday Lilly was talking about Ms. Gloria and described her as the one who gave her hugs.)
I definitely had issues with the way that things were going in the pre-k 1 class because they were developmentally inappropriate. As much as they tried to convince me it was okay, a 30 minute circle time is NOT appropriate for 2.5 year olds. Making them sit on the rug for 20-30 minutes listening to book after book on tape as the teacher turns the pages, and yelling if they creep off the rug...also not appropriate. The assistant, in particular was troubling and she and I butted heads several times. The lead teacher in the room was nice, if not a bit blah and ignorant of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). And for those thinking that of course I know about DAP because I have my masters for goodness sakes? It is actually officially organized by NAEYC (national association for the education of young children) which is for ALL early childhood facilities, even home-based ones. I let go of a lot of little things (like dittos and cookie cutter art), but not the big ones (like time outs that were too long, and my daughter's arm being stuck and you did not even notice). I was NOT the favorite parent.
Anyway, all these things added up to us looking into a new daycare for this coming year. We pulled her out for the summer since I am home, but there is a waiting list for the upcoming year. There is a new one opening not too far from us that would actually be easier for me to get to work from if need be. (Since I take Rt. 22 to the Pulaski instead of Rt. 78.) And theoretically, it sounds like a great place. But don't they all, theoretically??? My real issue is her seizures. Thinking about Lilly having a seizure at daycare makes my breath catch in my throat. There is a comfort level for me in knowing that she has already had a seizure at her old daycare. They know the drill, what to do. The hospital that we use, when needed, is about 2 miles down the road. All her info is there, many of the doctors and nurses have seen her before. And at her old daycare they were great about checking her temperature at the slightest flushed cheeks or warm head or crankiness.
In general, I am a bit of a control freak. In particular, about my daughter, I am very much a control freak. I think most moms are. We know that we really don't have the control. It is just an illusion that we can somehow control the world so that our child has the best possible outcomes in every situation. I have no control overy Lilly having seizures. But I can try to put her in the best possible daycare to meet all her needs, especailly if she does have one.