Friday, October 31, 2008

Day Care, Part 3

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Raine's experiences in an early intervention program for children with physical or mental delays. These many days later, I'm finally getting around to writing about Sun's experience in a Christian day care center. I apologize for the delay. I wanted to get an audio recording of Sun singing "Let's Go Fly a Kite" so perfectly as he does, so I could post it here and show everyone what a great vocabulary he has at two years old. (One of the perks of being a Grandmom/Mom is that you can gush about your grandchildren unashamedly.) But it was taking too long to actually get that accomplished. That was asking too much of Sun, of the blog, and frankly, of me. However, I did get an "imperfect" and yet engaging performance from Sun, which you can listen to by clicking the attachment below (if I can get it loaded).

Let the Sun Shine

I've had two children and been around a lot more, so I can say with some authority that Sun's communication skills are advanced for his age. I started keeping track when he was 14 months old and spoke 29 clearly articulated words, one of which was "book". A month or more later, he more than doubled the list, with 65 words, including "oxygen" after his sister's oxygen generating machine and tanks were added to our household decor. I lost count around 17 months and by 20 months, he was speaking in 3-4 word sentences. He could sing his ABCs, recognize people from pictures and say their names (including "Obama!"), and ask for just about anything he wanted. He made observations about the world around him. Once in a woman's office, he heard a train whistle from some distance away and said, "Train, Mama." The woman was so amazed not only because he said this, but because she had worked in her office for years and never heard a train go by.

Not long after 21 months, I noticed Sun using similes and metaphors. That's when I knew--I needed to get him into some kind of formal learning environment because he was quickly going to exceed my teaching abilities. So I started looking for classes and day care centers, which I wrote about in an earlier post. That's when I ran into the "High-Cost-of-Daycare" wall.

I'm happy to say that Sun is now enrolled in a Christian day care center that we all like. It has a friendly, professional, caring staff; a wonderfully colorful, diverse, and expansive facility; a website, a newsletter, a camera in every room so parents can observe their children; parent meetings, daily reports, lessons in values and world cultures (!); and (this is what I really love) a big comfy sofa in every classroom.

All of this is not cheap. Sun attends only one day a week. It's what we can afford. At first, this appeared to be a problem. Sun cried when we arrived on our one morning a week. But yesterday, for the first time, he did not shed one tear! He let go of his Dada's hand and joined the class at snack time. When I picked him up later, he did not cry. He was glad to see me, ready to go, but he didn't look as if he thought, "You found me! Get me out of here." He told me on the way home, "I want to go to school AGAIN!"

His teachers report he is always polite, active, talkative, and loves the playground. He asks for the potty (sometimes). He makes wonderful art/science projects. The latest is one of those telephones you make with two toilet paper rolls and string. This arrangement appears to be working out well.

There is a down side. Today, Sun is running a fever and throwing up. The same thing happened with Raine last week. Their pediatrician said there's a bug going around. As Charlie Brown would say, "Rats!" Last week, a notice came home with Raine saying, "Your child may have been exposed to head lice."

"Good grief!"

Venturing out into the larger world, being stimulated by other sites, sounds, and people, learning, growing, having fun--all that is great. The colds, the germs, it's all part of the experience. Just means we have to be even more diligent.

I am a "Wiping-Noses" Mom Again,

signing off.

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