Jun 10 2009

Daycare Debacle

The one where Cole was hit and I wanted to remove him from his school immediately but, instead, let “reason” and “practicality” win out, leading to him still being there for one more week and me feeling paranoid EVERY SINGLE DAY and grilling him on what has happened and if he’s gotten in trouble or hit or ANYTHING and basically not trusting anything his daycare lady says? Yeah… it’s working itself out.

No. No- WE’RE working it out. I take all the credit for us here, because nothing would have changed if not for us, and it’s been fucking stressful.

We have one more week of care, and then I go on disability and Cole will stay with me, probably until September 1st. After that, so far, our options seem to be:

1) Put him in the Nursery program at the local Waldorf school where I went (from grades 5-8).
2) Put him in another home-based daycare that’s been recommended to me by people I trust.
3) Some combination of the two.

The first two certainly have their strengths and weaknesses. I really like the idea of Cole entering the Waldorf program because I think it’s a wonderful start for the arts, music, drama, and foreign language that he’s not likely to get many other places. I also am VERY drawn to the idea of being in that community, myself. I’ve tried to start up friendships elsewhere, but nothing has really taken. Here, though, there is a built-in community that I (more or less) have things in common with already. Educated, fairly liberal, professional, 30-somethings with kids? In THIS area? Sometimes it feels like we’re the only ones, though I know that’s not true. Driving into the Waldorf school parking lot was like discovering a new world populated by people just like that, and it was amazing. He can also stay there for next year and move seamlessly into the Kindergarten class with kids he already knows.

Its weaknesses are that I don’t completely buy some of the Waldorf educational philosophies (no reading until much later than public schools- that’s not alright with me. I LOVED reading as a kid, and was reading quite well by first grade), though I certainly think that public school is far from perfect. Also that the program is either Tuesdays and Thursdays, half-day OR Mon, Wed, Fri, half-day. Not exactly a great match with my working schedule.

The major strength of the home-care is a fuller schedule (though she doesn’t work on Thursdays, stops at 4:30 on M-W, and stops at 3 on Fri) (by the way- WTF is up with THAT?!) that’s year-round. The weaknesses there are that 1) it’s another home-care, 2) it’s still not full-time, 3) I have NO idea of her teaching philosophies, and 4) he’ll need to go somewhere else in a year for Kindergarten.

There is a chance that we may be able to have the best of both worlds, sending him to Waldorf T and TH and to the home-care M,W,F, but I won’t know until this Friday when we interview at the home-care.

I know- this is boring the SHIT out of you, but I keep needing to talk about this, re-hash it, re-think it so that I can be as sure as I can be that we’re doing the right thing for us and for him. There are no perfect answers here, and any way that we go is going to be a struggle. He’s WELL worth it, of course, but there are certain “solutions” that are far more crazy-making for me and/or our budget. We’re trying to achieve balance, hardly knowing the sizes of the loads we’ll be expected to carry.