Saturday, December 10, 2011
There will be poop.
Trying to find a "perfect" daycare is really hard. I've been blessed by the fact that my employer has agreed to let me come back part-time after my maternity leave, so now my focus is on finding Hannah a cool place to hang on the 3 days that we're apart. Naturally, so far nothing is good enough or right. Plus, not all daycare facilities take infants part-time, so our choices have been slightly narrowed.
We looked at a place I will refer to as "Daycare A" a couple of weeks ago and my immediate thought when walking into the infant room on the tour was, "My lord, it smells like poop in here! I can't have my baby in a daycare that smells like poop!" Come to find out after turning a corner in the room, I had walked in right at changing time for one unlucky kid whose family must have given him something he shouldn't have had for Thanksgiving. It was a two-person jobber - quite the cleaning crew, scent, and spectacle.
The rest of the tour was actually great. Such a nice facility and cute mini people doing their thing, looking happy and un-traumatized by the joint. They had lots of entertainment and educational activities (even Spanish class, which might be a bit on the overkill side for me), and I even witnessed one tiny girl cleaning up after herself at snack time. At some point I had to come to my grips about the poop thing. There will be poop. Lots of it. Not just at the daycare - at my house, too. Oy. I guess that's not a deal breaker.
So the final drawback to Daycare A was the cost. I get two paychecks a month, and once I go part-time, pretty much one entire paycheck of mine would be dedicated to paying for this daycare.
Then yesterday I ran through "Daycare B" - and I'm serious when I say "ran"...I pulled a jerk maneuver and dropped in late on a Friday when they were pretty much closing up shop and the owner gave me a personal tour while her own 15-year old daughter scowled at me for extending their stay there. Whoopsies.
This place was a lot less state-of-the-art than Daycare A, but still a good size and felt safe. The major perks of this place is that it is literally half the price of Daycare A and less than a minute from our house. But when we were on our tour and the owner was showing me around, she opened a cabinet where food/supplies were stored and a shelf was cocked and falling over. For some reason, that bothered me. And it bothered me that they had turned a closet into a tiny room with a toilet in case the under-2 kids were disciplined enough to give it a go. Do I want Hannah relieving herself in a tiny closet? It felt weird. Plus, the babies sleep in pack-and-plays and one of the dads picking up his kid smelled like booze. Am I being nit picky? Who cares if it's a pack-and-play or if some dad had a little Friday night sauce before picking up his kid, right? Are those deal breakers?
But, of course, in comparison to nice, shiny (albeit temporarily odorous) Daycare A, Daycare B felt like a downgrade. Yet, a fiscally responsible downgrade that's close to my house and would probably be just fine if I could stop being a snot.
There's still a "Daycare C" that we need to check out, but I already know the cost of C is close-but-slightly-less-than A and much higher than B, and I'm sure I'll see a kid picking her nose there and decide my sweet Hannah simply cannot associate with such despicable behavior. Heaven help me.