On February 23rd, Ashton started day care. I had signed him up a while back for Mon, Weds, and Fri full days, with the hopes that I’d soon have a job. Mys sister would cover Tues and Thurs. It’s kind of hard to figure out your childcare needs though, when you don’t know when or where you will be working. So, I figured this place was a good temporary solution that would allow me to get started working, and I could adjust the arrangement later to a home daycare or private nanny (or even keep him in commercial daycare if it worked out). I had a few misgivings about this childcare center from the beginning – mainly because the space was small, and felt claustrophobic. But everyone seemed nice and professional, and I’d heard good things – so I ignored my intuition and enrolled him anyway.
Well, Ashton didn’t like it. It turns out he is not as adaptable to new situations as he used to be and has become very clingy to Daniel and I. He cried everytime we left. At the end of the day when we’d pick him up, he looked as if he’d either been crying a lot during the day, or was not napping. Either way, he was not a happy guy. I found out part of the problem was that they had 5 or 6 different caregivers in and out of the room all day long. Ashton would just get used to one person, they’d leave, he’d cry, and have to start the process all over again. I had not realized that there was so many different people he’d have to learn to trust.
I also noticed that the caregivers were fairly hands off. There was little interaction, unless a child was clearly upset (crying) and even then, the hugs were few and didn’t appear very warm/genuine. I would have expected more effort to engage the kids, rather than letting them just drift around like little zombies.
Anyhow, it only took me a week to realize that this was not the right environment for Ashton at the present time. So, I gave the required two weeks notice, deciding that I would just have to rush to find a nanny once I got a job offer. I looked at a couple home day cares as another option, but was dissatisfied with the levels of cleanliness.
I had intended to still take him to day care a few more times, since we we’re paid up. But he got sick.
Week one of sickness included diarrhea, and then a cough that seemed to worsen at night. The second week, things got worse. Ashton ran a moderately high fever for several days, was not eating, had the chills, some mild vomiting, and was generally lethargic. We paid a visit to the doctor after a few days, but she declared it a virus.
Then Daniel got a variation of the virus that put him out of commission for nearly a week. If this is the kind of germs that are picked up from day care, then I’m glad we’re out of there! I mean we’ve all had numerous colds in the past year, but none like this.
It took several weeks to get us all back to normal. Since then I’ve been something of a germophobe and have avoided indoor playdates where more sharing of toys tends to occur.