posted by Mel
Thank you, everyone, for your well wishes and support.
In other non password-protected news (remember, please, not to respond in a password-protected kind of way to non-protected posts here), Simone now has a daycare provider. When I was 3 years old, my mother sent me to a preschool I adored, and I’m pleased to say that preschool has since opened up a full-fledged daycare for for newborns through 4’s. I was wary of it at first because it’s religiously-affiliated, but the location is incredibly convenient, and my parents are comfortable with it, so it provides a lot of flexibility for members of our support network to help out with pick-ups. I decided to check it out.
On the initial phone call I confirmed that the staff was comfortable with and accustomed to working with alternative families. Simone will not be the only lesbian-parented child there. I spoke with close friends who had good feedback on the place from friends and acquaintances of theirs who took their children there; so I scheduled a time for Vanessa and me to visit last week.
It’s warm and comfortable, as Vanessa put it “a little chaotic,” but I love that. Kids are. At least it wasn’t completely sanitized like the corporate daycare we visited. I never got the impression that chaotic equates to a damaging lack of discipline there. We didn’t find one infant in a crib. They were all either being held or changed, or they were lying in bouncers/swings or fumbling around with toys on the floor or one of those baby gym mat things. The caregivers in the infant rooms were all older women; content-looking, slightly messy, no frills women. I didn’t see one magazine, book, or television. These women look at, care for, play with babies all. day. long. (How do they do that?!)
In good weather, every child gets time outside, and the daycare is on the edge of a lovely residential neighborhood with plenty of green space on the grounds that I remember playing on as a child. In inclement weather, there’s a gym. In the summers, there’s water play and all parents are required to apply sunscreen and keep appropriate swimwear available. There’s no problem with bringing in homemade baby food, breastmilk, and your own baby rash/first aid supplies; though of course, otc medication still must be accompanied by a doctor’s note.
As an aside, in their handbook there is a 4-page long very reasonable and sensitive policy on the subject of biting. I had no idea that this issue would require so much thought, but they seem to be handling it well.
1.) The hours are 7:30 – 5:30. It’s a bit of a drive from this place to my work, and this could be a problem in bad weather. It means I will always have to leave work by 4:30. Given the flexibility of my job, this won’t present too much of a problem and, when it does, Vanessa’s schedule might prove more flexible. Katie and my mother are also close by.
2.) Security seems a little lax. As mentioned previously, the corporatized daycare we checked out was as locked down as a prison. On the day we checked out this place, we were able to walk in and get all the way to the classrooms without being stopped. If there are children in a classroom, however, they are always supervised– even during caregivers’ bathroom breaks. There’s a heavy reliance on the caregivers to provide security.
Most important, though, I got the sense that there’s a lot of love and patience for the children and respect for their parents. It’s urban, comfortable, and laid back, and it fits my family. I’m looking forward to seeing Simone skip through those halls the way I did.
Now to find a pediatrician.