Day Care and Parents as Teachers

Well, we survived our first day of day care, or "school," as I think we're going to call it for Jack. The day started off great - Jack was all smiles for his teacher Miss Mary when I dropped him off and I didn't even shed a tear! Then I called to check in on him at 10:45 and he was sleeping, but Miss Mary said he had a rough morning. They couldn't get him to take his first nap and ended up just putting him in a bouncy chair fussing because they had to feed the other children. Eek. Of course after that I was tempted to call back to check in every 30 minutes, but I exercised some serious self-control and didn't call at all.

That is, of course, until I came out of a meeting at 4:15 to a message from the day care. I called back and they said Jack had taken his second bottle with his lunch (instead of at 2:00 or 2:30 like I had spelled out on his schedule), so they had tried to get in touch with me to see what to feed him because he was hungry again. When they couldn't reach me, they gave him the formula I was forced to bring for back-up purposes only. I was crushed when they told me. I freaked out and told them it wasn't OK because he's NEVER had formula, then I called Jason balling. Poor Jason was worried at first because when I said "they gave him formula" he heard "bla bla bla bla" in my frantic tearful voice. He was able to calm me down and bring me back to reality.

I can't really explain why it upset me so much - I think it's a combination of multiple things. 1) I don't like to not be the first to do something with him, 2) I have taken pride in saying that he has been strictly breastfed for these first 5 1/2 months of his life, 3) I would be completely devastated if he decided he didn't want to nurse anymore (I realize this is unlikely after just one bottle of formula, but I was concerned nonetheless) and 4) they didn't follow the schedule I had spelled out. He only took 5 oz of the 7 oz bottle I had prepared for him. If they hadn't given it to him right after his cereal and veggie, he'd have likely eaten the whole thing.

When I went to pick him up, the assistant director stopped me and apologized profusely, told me to bring in some frozen breast milk for future issues, etc. By then I was OK with it - if the choices were to starve my son or give him formula, of course I choose the latter - they didn't have another option without being able to reach me. When I got into his classroom though, I apologized to the teacher for getting short with her and then, much to my dismay, (you guessed it) I started crying. Ugh! So embarrassing. Tomorrow I will see Miss Mary for the first time since the incident (she was already gone when I picked him up), so hopefully it goes well.

The director and the teacher that was there at the end of the day (Gail) both said what a happy little guy Jack is, so I know he had a great afternoon there. Each day will get better and better. I will be bringing a back-up supply of milk today, and will ask them to call my cell phone instead of my desk phone if they need to reach me so we won't have that issue again. This is certainly going to be a learning process as we all get used to each other and Jack adjusts to sharing attention with several other babies, sleeping in a brighter and noisier room, etc. But for now, we have one day under our belts!

Yesterday our Parents as Teachers representative came over again. She did a 6-month assessment on Jack (a couple weeks early) and he passed with flying colors. The assessment was checking his communication, large motor skills, fine motor skills, problem solving, etc. Jack also put on a great show for the teacher - when she asked if he was sitting up, I said, "he is so close!" and set him in the sitting position. He sat there for the rest of the meeting (probably 20 minutes) and only started to topple over 3 times. The teacher said "Um, he's sitting." Mark that one down in baby's first calendar! It's official.

Amanda came over to visit us last night (she's in town from Texas for work) and Jack showed off his sitting skills for her too. Big boy.

We've started giving Jack prune juice because the cereal is starting to stop him up a bit. Tuesday I gave him a sippy cup for the first time and he figured out how to drink from it very quickly. He also grabbed it from me and held it up to his mouth. He hasn't figured out that he needs to tilt his head back to drink so I still assist him, but I thought that was a pretty good start for the first introduction.

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