Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gearing up for going back

I took the babies in to visit their child care center again today after visiting last week for about an hour and a half.  On that day Sophie and Michael met two of their three caregivers, drank expressed milk from their bottles, and had some floor time with their new, gigantic friends.  The other babies currently in the infant room are all six months or older, sitting up, crawling, and occasionally tackling anyone in their paths.  Sophie and Michael did great that day with all of that excitement and even better today.

I planned today's visit so the babies would be ready for a nap while there, and they both slept for about 30 minutes in their assigned cribs.  Those aren't very long naps, but I'm thrilled Michael and Sophie were comfortable enough to fall asleep, even with the noise of their classmates playing just outside a curtained wall.  Sophie was a little unhappy when I first put her down in her crib, but in her Swaddle Me with her hands at her face like she likes and with a little soothing she dozed off.  Michael fell asleep in his primary caregiver's arms, but he woke up when transferred to the crib (pretty typical of him).  He didn't really fuss, just stared up at us with big, bright eyes, telling us that method just wasn't gonna fly.  I sat in a rocker with him, patted his back like we do at home, and Michael too drifted off.  He didn't stir at all, even with all the noise nearby, when I wrapped him in his Miracle Blanket in his crib.

I hung out with the three caregivers and the other babies while Sophie and Michael slept and felt a little nostalgic for my own child care work experience.  I worked for two years at a similar center in high school and college.  I started there as an assistant in the front office but spent most of my days there as a travelling sub and summer camp teacher.  By the time I left to work privately for a local family, I knew every kid and family there, was a highly requested sub in the building, and I knew I wanted my kids to go to a center like that one day. 

As much as I cringe at the portion of our income that will go to Sophie and Michael's center, I'm glad it is one with educated and professional caregivers and where they emphasize play-based learning, age appropriate curriculum, and lesson planning even at the infant level.  The super cool playground and organic meals that Sophie and Michael will enjoy soon enough also make us happy with our choice.  The fact that this is the only center in our area open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. allowing me to drop off before work when necessary is also key.  I've considered in-home centers and nannies, but I'm most comfortable with the flexibility, reliability, and professionalism of this option. 

When the babies woke up, I fed them again from bottles to get them used to eating that way there.  We left shortly after that, stopping in at the front office to confirm the details of their enrollment.  They'll be attending three days a week with my mom coming to care for them at home on the other two.  Generally with twins there's a rate for the first child and a discounted one for the second (like with any siblings), but back when we visited in December I negotiated to get the discounted daily rate for both.  It's not a huge savings, but every little bit helps!  I left today knowing that when I'm sitting through a full day of professional development back at work, as much as I'll long to be with my little buddies, I'll be able to fully picture what they're experiencing and will breathe easy...probably.

Back at home, Sophie and Michael have been napping quite a bit, making up for what they lost at the center.  I took advantage of that time to goof around on FB, return some emails, blog, my DVR'd episodes of General Hospital.  They did a sort of retrospective on Soapnet last night to gear viewers up for the return of Brenda today. 

Having spent several hours in a child care center and then some time watching GH from 1997, I'm feeling a bit like a time traveller.

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