Monday, February 18, 2008

Better to be at Day Care??

We recently switched to a new day care for the three days that Pumpkin is in child care. We had many problems at our old day care, which I will probably blog about at some future date once I have reached the point where the thought of the old day care does not send me into a blind rage. We have been much happier at our new day care; the teachers are more responsible and mature, the care is more consistent, the facilities are much nicer and most importantly, they do not allow sick children to attend to so Pumpkin has been MUCH less sick himself since starting at the new center.

However, one of the teachers made a comment to my husband when he dropped Pumpkin off the other morning. Pumpkin had been home with me the prior two days. He is normally in day care for two days, home with me for two days, in day care for one day and then home with us for the next two days. We’ve had to adjust our schedule a few times since he has started but he has never been there for more than the three days a week, although this detail seemed to have escaped their attention up to this point. His teacher asked if he had been out sick the day before. When my husband replied that his was always at home on those two days, the teacher said, “Well, you will not be able to do that once he starts kindergarten.” What??? First of all, kindergarten is at least four years away. Secondly, the implication of her statement was that keeping Pumpkin out of day care for those two days was somehow detrimental to him. I do not care how good a day care center is, a child is always going to be better off with his parents as long as the parents are loving and nurturing. Plus, we have a schedule at home: a morning nap at 9:00 AM (though this one has been hard to get him down for now that his mobile) and another nap at 1:00 PM. In his class at day care, they have no set schedule and they nap if and when they collapse in exhaustion. Once he moves up to the next room at 12 months, then he’ll take a two hour scheduled nap in the afternoon. Now, they sleep wherever they happen to fall.

As good as his teachers are at his current school, I do not take kindly to parenting suggestions from them. At our last day care, I had a teacher rudely tell me that I had stop holding him when he fell asleep (he was much younger at this point and had a difficult time falling asleep on his own). I argued with her and told her there were many different schools of thought on that issue; however, she was insistent and apparently confident that she had the right to tell me how to parent my child. Oh no, I don’t think so… My husband and I are great parents; maybe we are a bit overprotective, but great parents. So the many, many “suggestions” we have received from family, strangers, etc. are irritating at the best, infuriating at the worst. I know that every new parent gets a lot of unwanted advice from others about how they “should” do things, but do these people not remember what it was like when they were parents themselves? Different generations had different ideas but parenting ideas from 30 years ago, are not necessarily viable nor desirable today.