Even though there isn’t much evidence to support it, this pregnancy is apparently marching along. (Or so the weekly “here’s how big yer critter is now” e-mails tell me, at least.) And while we’re kinda stuck waiting on nursery stuff until we find out the sex (*hopefully* next week!) I’m trying to start working on baby-related things.
My big challenge this week has been daycare. My reading tells me I have a lot of research to do, and to start sooner than later in case there’s a waiting list at our chosen facility.
There’s a (24 hour) daycare center called Kids ‘r’ Us across the parking lot from my office. I assumed from the time I found out I was pregnant that the baby would spend his/her days there, with me popping over for lunch and occasional cuddle-breaks. So this week I called and spoke with the director, got some preliminary info and made an appointment for a tour.
I toured the facility yesterday and was underwhelmed. My gut reaction was that Kids ‘r’ Us was dirty and disorganized. The staff didn’t recognize me as a touring parent as I wandered their rooms at naptime. They were either doing paperwork or sweeping up what I thought was an inordinate amount of random gunk off the floors. The infant room was less inspiring. I don’t think the cribs or changing area is sanitized often at all, and the linens are washed weekly. The cribs were scattered haphazardly around the room, and there didn’t seem to be much in the way of toys or stimulation for the wee ones.
I was pretty disappointed, especially since I really wanted this facility to work because of it’s location. But I just can’t see leaving our baby there. But I wanted to check out other facilities before I totally crossed them off my list, because maybe my expectations were way too high. (What do I know? I’ve never been in a day care before.)
So this morning I called a ‘corporate’ day care that I pass during the last 10 minutes of my commute to work each day called Kids ‘r’ Kids. (Where do they get these names?) The director answered and gave me a lovely spiel about their facility and their infant program which began with how often their cribs and linens are sanitized (daily) and finished with details of the sign language curriculum they start by 4 months. So many great things about this place, and from the looks of the photos on their website, it’s exactly what I expected a day care to look like. PLUS, the price works out to the same as the place by my work – and once the baby is on solids it’ll actually be cheaper because they supply the Gerber-brand baby food.
I’m touring Kids ‘r’ Kids tomorrow at lunch and I cannot wait. If I like what I see tomorrow, I’ll check out the place with the Bureau of Licensing and whoever else my social worker co-worker says I need to. (I don’t know what I’d do without my co-worker Kate. She is a font of incredible mommy-wisdom combined with no-nonsense social worker smarts.) I’ll take Paul to tour the place, and if we agree on it, we’ll put down a deposit to hold a spot in September for our wee one. (I’m hoping to be able to take 6-7 weeks off work for maternity leave; we can’t afford for me not to work, so I can only take off as much time as I can save up vacation & sick leave for.) Gotta love America’s (lack of) Maternity Policy.
I’m a little surprised at my visceral reaction of “I’m not leaving my baby there” to the first place, but it’s kinda nice to be feeling mom-like.