I have a million different posts running around in my head, so I'm splitting them up into more manageable portions.
So we, Calliope and I, have been looking at daycares the last couple of weeks. Though she's not offering a lot of input into the decision making process.
I looked at some in-home daycares that were ridiculously cheap. I got quoted twenty dollars a day at two different places. At the second, the woman looked at me anxiously as asked if I could manage that much.
And the woman at the second place was so lovely. I really, really liked her. She was Spanish speaking, which I liked, and she had that warm loving [excuse me while I essentialize] air about her that I so appreciate in Hispanic moms. They tend to be so nurturing and loving, in my experience as a pediatric provider.
She had not one but two TVs playing while I was there. PBS stations, to be sure, but still.
I just can't stomach TV. I really feel strongly about it. No matter what the content.
And I am thinking about asking her if she could just not expose Calliope to it. She had a small bedroom where one baby was sleeping (there was a TV on), but maybe she could put Calliope in there to sleep (without the TV being on) when she wanted to have programs on for the other children.
Yesterday I also saw a beautiful daycare center. And today I saw another, I guess you'd call it in-home daycare, though you couldn't tell from looking at it. Much larger, tidier, with beautiful floors and multiple staff people. Like the daycare center, they prepare organic food for the children. They also have a yard, and art and yoga teachers come in each week to teach the children. The two centers are actually just a few doors down from each other. And not too far from work. They have a yard with lots of toys, and they even showed me an Iphone video of the kids playing in a little Fisher Price type sprinkler in the summer -- so cute!
However, the director of the first (which is part of a small Brooklyn chain) has been extremely difficult to get in touch with. Her place actually charges fifty cents less per hour than the place I saw today.
When the guy in charge of the place today told me the price, I told him I loved the place, but just couldn't afford it ($9 an hour) as a single mom. He asked what I could afford. I pulled a number out the air and said $1200 a month.
And he agreed.
Twelve hundred a month is still a ton for me. I will have to dip deeply into savings. Something I hate to do.
And I'm struggling with the question if it's worth the investment from ages three to nine months (after that I will be off work for the summer and have her with me). I mean, if I have her in an inexpensive place from December to June, assuming I could find one without TV, would that in any way harm her development?
I don't know.
I know I do feel awfully grateful to this man and his mother, who run the place.
Here's another cool thing about them: they were excited that I am doing EC with Calliope. I mean, they think I'm starting too soon. But in their country, Georgia, people start at six months. So they are willing to potty her once she can sit up. That's pretty exciting!
I have scheduled a return visit for Tuesday to see the yoga class. I'm not entirely clear but I think they bring the infants upstairs to watch the older kids (eighteen months and up) do the class. There were no infants there today when I came in, at five, so the "big" kids were downstairs in the infant room. It will be nice to see the place in full swing.
But I have a very good feeling about it. The teachers all seemed so loving. Even the son, who I think mostly tends to the business side of things, had a little boy following him around who he kept kissing on the head and cupping his face. It just seemed very sweet and affectionate.
Mulling it all over.