Courtney informed me we are 18 weeks from our second baby. We have gotten a few things out of the way. We finally settled on a stroller and purchased Riley a big bed. Oh yeah, and we found out we’re having a baby girl. We’re quite stoked for a girl. Although it hasn’t changed our planning much, just the color of clothes we’re picking out.
One thing we tried to change that didn’t work out was daycares. In an effort to save money we decided to give home daycare a try. When Riley was born we planned on using a home daycare provider but at the last moment decided to send Riley to a TutorTime “school”.
This attempt we did our homework, did many interviews, had another misfire, but eventually settled on a caretaker we felt comfortable with. We’ve been taking Riley there for about 2 months. Since the change Riles’ personality changed drastically. He became very stubborn and was in tears on our way out the door. For the first few weeks we chalked it up to adjusting to the change. But his attitude has persisted throughout.
We also had concerns about the amount of television Riley was watching. Prior to changing daycares Riley would watch a bit of television here or there. We’d turn on Wilbur while giving him his nebuliser. We knew the provider had the television on but we were uncomfortable with the amount he seemed to be watching. Riley was always in front of the television when we dropped him off and picked him up. This week he started asking to watch TV too rather than play with his toys.
I’m not against television. Trust me, the second Riley goes to bed we flip on The Office. Courtney pointed out that Riley had stopped doing art projects. When confronted, the provider told us he refused to do them. We started to question if Riley was getting the type of attention he needed.
He’s never been, nor will be, the kid you can ask to do something outright. He’s always going to give his opinion on the matter before doing something. We hoped in-home daycare was going to provide more attention to Riley. But it appeared it was doing the opposite. Because he was a quiet, opinionated child it felt like he was being ostracized.
Frequently we were told about how “naughty” he was being, something we never heard from TutorTime. We initially were glad to hear a more honest account of how Riley was being during the day. One of the problems we had with taking him to a center was the lack of personal information the teacher could give us. Between taking shift breaks and moving between rooms it felt sometimes that he was getting lost in the shuffle. So we took the new feedback and worked with Riley. We stressed at home the need to be gentle and careful. We cut down on all the “wildness” that is our house. But the negative reports kept coming.
It all came to a head yesterday as I was picking Riley up. He was in a surprisingly good mood when I walked in the door. The provider and I had a great conversation. All was looking fine. I was glad to not hear any bad news. I think secretly Courtney and I were both trying to avoid taking or picking him up for fear of the conversations. As we were leaving I said goodbye and asked Riley to say goodbye to all the kids and the provider. One the children sitting in front of the television looked up at us and exclaimed, “Bye naughty Riley! Bye naughty Riley!” My heart sank. We all know kids don’t make this stuff up. I called Courtney. I knew we were going to need to have a tough talk. It was time to make some tough decisions.
For now we’ve decided to continue at TutorTime. The people there have been nothing short of great to us. Its tough to afford but I think we’re to the point where we are willing to sacrifice a lot to make sure Riley stays happy. Will he continue to be “naughty”? I don’t know. We’re hoping the more engaging environment of TutorTime will help balance him out again.