When Margo was about 14 months, I got a call from a school asking me to take a part time position, two days a week. It was relatively close to home, close to where Art (husband) worked, I knew the school had a reputation of being one of the nicest state schools to work at in the area. They needed me to start working immediately, so I didn’t really have much time to ponder. I was pretty hesitant at first, I hadn’t intended on going back to work until she was about 18 months, but to get an offer pop up like that, part time, seemed too good to let by. Also, it was a friend who had recommended me, I know phone calls like that don’t happen every day.
I’m pretty sure a miracle happened with the way we found our daycare. It took us a few months of scrambling to find it, we even did family daycare for a short bit. On the Gold Coast of Australia, as probably in many places, finding quality daycare is difficult to find, let alone finding a quality one with space available. We visited numerous daycare centers and they all smelled like poo and had kids staring into space, with this look like, ‘Are you my mother?’. (You know that Dr. Suess book?). I just thought, ‘Well, I guess I’m just going to have to stop work, because, I’m sorry, but I can’t send my child here). They probably weren’t so bad, looking back, but at the time, I thought ‘NO WAY’! A friend of mine told me about a Steiner daycare very close to my work. We went in with fingers crossed that they would have a spot, and a miracle, they did!!! Even the smelly poo places didn’t have spaces available! If you know anything about Steiner, you know what I mean when I say it gives you the warm and fuzzies in side. Instead of smelling like poo, they were burning essential oils. Instead of them yelling at the kids, they were singing them songs like, ‘Munch and Crunch, Munch and Crunch, Margo wash your hands for Lunch.’ I’m mean, just an awesome place! Margo just seemed to love it there, and I felt comfortable with her carers. She went two days a week, and the other half day I worked, she stayed home with a friend of ours.
Margo had never slept in a crib, she had always been breastfed to sleep until that point, never had a dummy (pacifier), was a vegetarian and to top it off, she was completely potty trained! Every center looked at me a bit suspicious when I told them all of these things. They had never heard of Elimination Communication and couldn’t believe a child that young would be able to tell them when she had to go! A friend of mine told me she would have to be put back in diapers for daycare, no way would they fuss over a baby and a potty… But, our good old Steiner school said, ‘great! we’ll take her to the potty, just like you do, no such thing as too young!’. Vegetarian, no problem! I was so stoked! So, at 16 months, Margo finally started at daycare, or we call it kindy here (short for kindergarten). She fell asleep beautifully in the cribs, even without a boob in her mouth! She hardly had any accidents with the potty. She’s now been there for over a year, and she absolutely loves it. She was going three days a week because we lost our half day person, but three days didn’t seem too much for her. Now that I’ve stopped working, she only goes one day and she really misses it! Talks about it all the time! When I drop her off in the morning, she says, ‘Mommy you can go now’, and gives me a kiss.
I know a lot of attachment parents would want to strip my attachment parenting badge when they hear that my 2 1/2 year old goes to kindy. But, whatever! When I pick her up, she’s so switched on! She’s talking more (oh, as if she needs to do more of that!). Putting ideas together and getting a positive influence from people around her. I’m not the only one who can raise a child. I actually like the fact that Margo is comfortable being in the company and care of other adults and be in the presence of other children. It’s comforting to know that she has trust in people other than her parents. I will continue sending her one day a week, especially once this baby comes, it will give me time to bond with a new child. We don’t have any family here, so I never get a break, EVER! I can’t just send her to auntie’s or grandma’s for the morning. So, the Steiner daycare is like her family. I know daycare is not for every child, and finding a good daycare is hard to do, but somehow it worked for us, Margo loves it, I still get warm and fuzzies when I go in there, and we’ll just continue with my one and only dodgy attachment parenting flaw 🙂