I think enough dust has settled that I can write about what happened over the weekend. However, it requires some background. I'm going to split this up to help keep it from being too long. Also know that I'm going to let some details out that are a bit personal, I just ask you be respectful of the level of privacy I try to maintain here. If you have questions about specifics, email me. (ameliasprout (at) gmail (dot) com) So, for today, the background.
We had a horrible time finding a good daycare. Living in North Minneapolis gave us fewer options than in the suburbs. The neighborhood is older, there are less home daycares, and the ones that are there of any quality, are full.
I called around 20 daycares near our house, of that, only three called me back. Two had openings, but neither were familiar with breast milk, or some common safety issues. We ended up settling on a center in our neighborhood. We were lucky to be able to afford center daycare. M was there for 10 minutes. The tour had been nice, we liked the infant teacher. It came recommended by a person I rode the bus with. The day we showed up we found out the infant teacher wasn't in until 9 (I was there at 7). The person who was there said she didn't change diapers, wasn't familiar with breast milk, and then sat M in a bouncy seat, on a table, right where I could see the no table warning. I left, called A, then went back and got her. I brought her in to my office for my first day back at work. My mom was going to be in town that week, so A and I stayed home the next day (split the day) and the rest of the week my mom took care of her.
We found another center a little farther away from home. We liked it enough, and they had an opening. It was a corporate center, there were lots of rules, some hassles about breast milk (it required giant red HAZARDOUS labels), but we never felt like M was in any danger. However, as M got older, we realized that while her basic needs were met, she wasn't getting anything extra out of it. She started falling behind her peers. For the price we were paying, we wanted more than basic needs. Happy babies like M didn't get a lot of attention, because they were happy. There were other things too, we weren't comfortable with the preschool teacher, and had never seen the toddler teacher.
I had heard great things about this daycare downtown. It would allow me to bus downtown with M, giving me more time with her, and their program had rave reviews from other moms. They always had a waiting list, and their prices were reasonable. When we decided to leave our old center after some incidents with M's dietary needs, I got on the waiting list at the center. Right when I was about to pull her for anywhere I could find, they called. They had an opening in July, but M would need to be walking. She was 14 months old when I got the call, she would be 15 months old for the opening. I did something I swore I would never do, I pushed her to walk. We got squeaky shoes, we cheered her on ever chance we got. She'd already been cruising for months, so it wasn't a huge stretch. Right before the schedule start date, she started walking. I pushed out the start two weeks to make sure we were good.
We loved the center. M made huge strides. The new center combined with the tubes helped her start talking up a storm. She seemed more confident too. Her teachers communicated really well. We really honestly loved it. I spent time talking to the teachers in the morning, and never felt anything off at all.