Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Does She Do All Day?

I often find myself at work wondering what exactly it is my daughter is doing at daycare. After carrying her around with me for nine months on the inside and near constantly for three months more on the outside, it was difficult to send her off with strangers. Choosing a daycare is an arduous task, but then once you've found one you trust enough to leave this little person you've made - that's when it gets surreal.

My daughter just switched rooms at her daycare. The first room is designed for babies. Lots of swings, bouncers, rockers and cuddles. I was in no rush for her to graduate from that room. The teachers are really sweet and always seem excited to see her. I'd walk by the second room on my way in every morning and what I saw through the window reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies.

While it's turned out not to be quite as scary as I originally thought, I'm still not quite sure what to make of this room. The head teacher is a very odd hybrid of warden and circus clown. She refers to all the kids as "friends" in a way that feels slightly cultish. Unlike the first room, where the mobility of most of the kids maxes out at slug level, this room has such a mash up of skills it's hard to think of any activity that could encompass them all. Some of them seem like towering giants compared to Em. It was these "friends" that made me nervous about sending her to that room in the first place.

Today they were learning about facial elements. Eyes, ears, mouth, nose. I was told my 11 month old daughter didn't get it yet. Really? Is it news that she doesn't know what a nose is? Knowing what a nose is is kind of advanced for her age, don't you think?

I've visited other daycares and the holding pen analogy seems to hold true in many places at this age. No one seems to know what to do with them. They're just getting their sea legs and ready to explore the world, but not old enough to spend more than 30 seconds on something. Everywhere else I go they seem to just throw them to the wolves (and by wolves I mean, lump them in with four year olds).

She comes home really happy so I don't want to make too big a deal out of it. She naps crazy well there, in a way that makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong and she seems to get along with the other kids. Still, the whole thing feels a bit like the underpants gnomes.

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