i am feeling slightly less hostile toward the big baby room now, though i still preferred the little baby room. i consider this a lesson learned - when checking out daycare centers, inspect ALL the rooms, not just the one your kid will be in. because babies grow and get shoved into rooms with different teachers. my mistake for thinking that organization, policies, etc. would be consistent among all of the classes. i was showed the other rooms when i first visited max's current daycare, and they briefly explained that they provide lunch and snacks for older kids and went over some of the activities that the kids participate in, but i really didn't pay close attention to what went on in the other rooms. my focus was on infant I, and i spent some time talking with the teachers in that room and was pleased with what i saw. so i paid the registration fee and got on the waiting list.
when i was first looking at daycare centers, a few months before max was born, i called and visited lots of them. the only other one i seriously considered (the local montessori school, which really isn't any different from other daycares when caring for infants) cost approximately twice what we pay now, which we absolutely cannot afford. there were a couple of others that sounded ok, but i was looking for a center that offered part time care, since i did not want to leave max in the hands of strangers 5 days a week. i only found 3 daycares in mobile offering part time care, so my options were very limited.
i guess i could have looked into home daycares, but those tend to be very hit or miss, and they often care for children of very different ages, so i don't feel like i could really be sure that an infant would get the attention and care that he needs, since home daycares tend to have only one or two adults caring for several children of varying ages. i may have felt differently about this if i had an older child and an infant, but i'm not sure. i also might feel differently if i personally knew the caregiver.
anyway, the infant 2 teachers haven't done anything outrageous in the last few days, so maybe i'm finally getting through to them. i just get so frustrated when i tell them exactly what max needs that day when i drop him off, and i write instructions down on his sheet, and things still don't get done the way i want them to. maybe i am being a heinous controlling bitch. but you know what? when it comes to making sure my kid gets what he needs? i'm ok with that.
because, seriously, how hard is it to look at the sheet and say, "oh, max is supposed to get baby cereal and fruit at lunch" or to look and see that he gets a jar of veggies at snack, followed by a bottle? not that hard. especially when this is the same EVERY DAY. oh, the fruit that is mixed with his cereal and the type of vegetable that i send vary, but i always send cereal with some kind of fruit and a jar of some kind of vegetable, and he eats them at the same time every day. you wouldn't think it would be that hard to remember. and if they don't remember? that is why parents write things down.
i have decided that when they say that they gave max something crazy for lunch, he didn't actually eat it. because the teachers don't feed the babies who get table/finger food. they let the babies feed themselves. and max? he's not good at feeding himself. he isn't supposed to be at his age. he probably won't be ready to feed himself for another month or two. and that is perfectly ok. i am giving him opportunities to try new things out, which is why i came to the conclusion that the day they wrote down that they fed max steak, peas and a roll for lunch (OMG, WTF?) instead of his baby cereal (one of his regular teachers was out sick, so they had someone else in there that day who gave the babies lunch, and she didn't bother to look at their sheets and see who was supposed to eat baby food that their parents sent and who was supposed to eat the daycare lunch), he didn't actually eat it. because he can't really get small objects into his mouth. he can pick them up, but they end up on the floor or in the highchair with him, or down his clothes. but not in his mouth. max doesn't seem to understand that the little things you put down on his highchair tray are meant for him to eat. he plays with them instead.
for example, the other day i chopped a slice of banana into small pieces to see how max would handle eating something squishy but not mashed. plus, he really likes bananas. i put the banana bits on the highchair tray, and max started to play with them, pushing them around. he picked up a few. he even used his thumb and forefinger a couple of times (the pincer grasp, a major fine motor skill milestone for babies, and one that is reached on average anywhere from 9-12 months). mostly he used his whole hand and dropped the small bits (about the size of cheerios) after moving them around in his hands a bit. none of the banana bits that he picked up made it into his mouth. i fed him a couple, and he made faces at me like "what is this?" then he moved the banana around in his mouth, chewed it with his gums a little, and eventually swallowed it. he ate 3 or 4 pieces that i fed to him. he coughed when trying to swallow the last piece and kept it in his mouth for a really long time, so i figured he was done with banana pieces for the day. maybe we'll try a few bits of avocado or squishy cooked fruit next week.
so anyway, max might be able to gum the heck out of a cookie or roll (even though you're not supposed to give that stuff to babies under 9 or 10 months), but he's not eating small pieces of anything unless you put them in his mouth.
like i said, the last couple of days have been ok. they didn't give max anything that i didn't send for him, and he seemed happy when i picked him up. hopefully that trend will continue.
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