Sassy Red Head
don't rest easy
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12th-Aug-2009 07:52 pm - Vacation day three
Today was a doggy kind of day.  After lazing at home, enjoying a wonderful decaf or two and hanging some laundry to dry out back, I took the dogs out to the car.  

A few weeks ago I bought them doggy sealt belt harnesses.  Mostly because one of them (who shall not be named, but is rather goat-like) can not sit still in the car and I'm afraid that if the dogs and Bobby were in the car at the same time (hasn't happened yet) that Bobby would be trampled.  This same dog has some anxiety about car travel.  With the seat belt, they can still move around a little but they are generally kept in place.

I got them buckled in and off we went to the groomer's where they got mani-pedis. They don't seem to enjoy it as much as I do.  While they were there, a black pug named Winston came in. His fur was so soft!  I think black pugs are generally less coarse.  He was really cute.  There was also a little puppy that made me remember how I ended up with a second goat-dog.  They are tricksy!

After the spa, we headed over to naughty_bride 's for a doggy meet and greet.  She's benevolently dog-sitting for 2 nights for us next week and we wanted to dogs to meet each other before they are forced to share living space.  It went really well, Willy showed off how loud he can be (very impressive) and Tyrone and Bernie showed off how much urine they can expel (more than you'd think). There were a few tense moments but once everyone decided on a hierarchy, and what items were not to be touched by visiting dogs, peace was at hand.  I think the popcorn helped.

Today was also the last day of Bobby's time at this day care. To thank the women caring for him (as far as I can guess, there were about 5 regulars) I brought in the cookies I made last night and some jars of bubbles.

A brief overview of the reasons why we left this day care:
-they do not provide vegetarian meal options and feel scraping off the meat is adequate
-I bring in cloth diapers. As such, I can see how often Bobby was changes and how soiled the diapers are. I needed to remind them, more than once, how often diapers need to be changed.
-when I would change his diaper at home, after picking him up from daycare, it sometimes looked like the person had put it on with their eyes closed and I can't imagine he was very comfortable
-the price OH MY GOD the price
-many different care takers
-a new building is being built next door and the construction is RIGHT NEXT to the play yard

That said there were lots of good things about it. They spoke French to him all day long. He got to do arts and crafts every day (although at times I was skeptical about how much of the work he had done himself). He's come out of his shell a lot and doesn't need my by him at all times. He's made some friends. It's obvious the people there cared about him and took good care of him.

Where is he going now?

Well, for the next week and a half he'll be with me, at home and on day trips to places like the Toronto Zoo (next Tuesday for whomever wants to join). After that he'll be going to the home of a WONDERFUL Finnish woman that I met when taking him to play groups before I went back to work. Before I had even thought about switching daycares (we already had ours booked when I started going to this play group) I got to observe how she cared for the children in her charge and I was very impressed. She wasn't putting on a show to impress a potential client. I got to see her real approach for a few hours a day, once or twice a week, for about 3 months.

As fate would have it, she was completely booked up and turning down clients. I often thought to myself that if she wasn't booked, I would have loved to have her care for Bobby but I just shrugged those thoughts off as passing fancies. Then, after a really hard day at his daycare (before I went back to work he was going part-time) I brought him to play group and asked the woman of she by chance had any openings. He face just lit right up! She told me how the NIGHT BEFORE she had a cancellation and how she was worried she wouldn't be able to find anyone to fill the spot before she went on vacation (she goes away for 5 weeks every summer - hence why Bobby is starting with her at the end of August) and she was SO THRILLED that Bobby would be in her charge. She took care of him the rest of the time we were at play group, just to see how things would go, and he loved her.

Let me just say that at this point in his life, he only let his parents and grand parent hold him. She scooped him up and talked to him and showed him things and he was totally happy in her arms for about 10 minutes. It was marvellous.

Her whole approach to caring for children is exactly what I want. Some excerpts from her contract (which is more of a work philosophy than a contract but I digress...):

Outside Time

daily walks in the neighbourhood to explore nature and our surroundings
trips to the park across the street to play and meet other neighbourhood children
playing in the back yard – sprinkler, watertoys, doing crafts, tag, and other fun things
most days we will go out in the morning and in the afternoon
walking to weekly community play group

Inside Time

playing with toys, lots of educational activities, learning colours, alphabet, counting, time, lots of art work and puzzles
listening and dancing to age appropriate music – all the classics and more.
no television

Behaviour Management

encourage children to negotiate and solve problems themselves
intervention and discussion to learn problem solving
re-direction to other play areas
time out to play quietly with a quiet activity
I am a very patient person, do not yell, and know that children respond best when their feelings are taken seriously and they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve
when children see other children co-operating and having fun together, there is a natural tendency to join in.

Lunch and Snacks

I strive to feed your children only healthy food that is not processed or laden with salt and chemicals
snacks will consist of fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, milk, cheese etc
we will have a morning and afternoon snack
lunches are nutritious and home made

[EDIT] I forgot to mention that she told me she's vegetarian so giving Bobby healthy foods that don't include meat will not be an issue!

Doesn't it just seem magical???

All this to say that with the first day care, I did not feel excited for him to go there.  I felt ok with it and I trusted that they wouldn't harm him.  I thought that I would feel that way no matter what.  But when day care with this woman became a real option, I felt it in my gut that this was the right fit for us and I'm very enthusiastic about it.  

That's a strong case for following your intuition.
5th-Aug-2009 09:32 pm - All kinds of stuff.
Is it weird that my only regrets involve STUFF?
  • I regret not taking all the paintings I gave to my ex back
  • I regret giving away my drafting table
  • I regret not keeping any mementos from my childhood

I put stuff in my compost bin today and it was full of bees!  Brent says they are wasps.  I don't know the difference. Ok a quick google search leads me to believe that I am correct and that they are bees.

On to the bee story.  So I opened the lid to the compost and started dumping stuff in. Mid-dump I look in and notice a shit load of bees pigging out on some cantaloupe rinds and I just dumped stuff on them!!!

So they all started darting around all angry and such and I ran away and waited until they calmed down so I could put the lid back on.

Ummm... what the fuck am I supposed to do now?  I'm terrified to use my compost but I know they've been going in there for at least the past 3 days since we've seen an unusually large amount of bees in that part of the yard.  Will they just go away once all the cantaloupe is gone? Are the bees avoiding pollinating my zucchinis because they are distracted by the compost?  Do bees even pollinate zucchini???


I've only been back to work a month and a half and I only have 2 days left before vacation.  I'm pretty excited.  I haven't written about this before but I'm pulling Bobby out of his current daycare (for a multitude of reasons which I'm not getting into because it will get long and angry) and sending him to a new day care.  The new day care is a home based day care and the woman running it is in Finland until the end of August so I'm taking my vacation and pulling Bobby out of day care after the first few days of vacation so that we can save 2 weeks of fees.

Things planned for my vacation time:
  • cooking day with naughty_bride 
  • a trip to the Toronto zoo
  • maybe a trip to a friend's cottage (waiting for details from Brent on this)
  • maximizing outdoor time (picnics, parks, backyard play, stroller walks etc)
  • doggy play dates at naughty_bride 's

Toddlers and Tiaras is a fucking creepy show

On this day:

In 2008 - 
In 2007 - 
In 2006 - shmapped!
In 2005 - I love holes
Brent doesn't really like the idea of daycare. To him it's just a waste of money for something we could do ourselves. (We both know this is not always the case). If we want to keep our house, I'm sure I'll have to go back to work, plus I'm pretty sure I'll want to since Brent works from home and we'll probably be all sick of each other being home all the time.

He's suggested that he take care of the kid at home. He's sure it will work since a lot of his work can be done in off-hours and for the stuff that requires travel or scheduled conference calls, I can either take some time off or his mom could babysit for an hour or two.

What worries me about this is that he might find it too stressful and just freak the fuck out. He disagrees. He's actually done way more kid taking care of in his life than I have so I'll have to trust him on this.

Just to have a back up plan I looked into local day cares to see what's what.

  • The subsidized day cares have big waiting lists but the private ones do not.
  • They run from $130-$200 per week.
  • They take children starting from 6 months to a year up until school age (5).
  • The cost seems to include lunch and snacks.
  • All the ones I've seen seem to stipulate that the care giver gets x number of days off for which I would still be paying but would have to make alternate care arrangements.
  • Many of them have immediate availability which means that I won't have to worry about waiting lists.
  • Many of the care givers have training in early childhood education
My issues:

  • I plan on raising a vegetarian until they can decide for themselves if they want to eat meat.
    In addition to this I plan on feeding them only home made foods and I worry that include meals would be hot dogs and Kraft Dinner
  • I don't like the idea of paying for a week of vacation and possibly having to pay someone else for day care at the same time. I also don't like that the other alternative is that I take my vacation at the same time they do. I want to be free to choose my own vacation time I want to pay for the services I receive, no more, no less.
  • I plan on using cloth diapers but I have heard of some day cares not using them and the parents being forced to switch
So anyways, I figure we'll try out Brent's plan. I know some people have successfully done it (Dooce for example) so we can probably make it work. I don't work long hours to begin with and they are reduced for half the year. I might even be able to work out some kind of half day schedule for a little while until preschool kicks in. If it really doesn't work, then we can sign up for a local day care. Even half days of day care might just be the bit of help we'll need.

With all that said, we'll just have to wait and see and try stuff and hope for the best.

Crossposted to perfect_parent

On this day:

In 2007 - I ate the sourest orange in the world
In 2005 - head explosion
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